ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING: SEASON THREE
Starring: Steve Martin, Martin Short, Selena Gomez, Meryl Streep, Paul Rudd, Jesse Williams, and Michael Cyril Creighton
Creators: Steve Martin and John Hoffman
I'm impressed that after three seasons, Only Murders in the Building continues to push itself beyond its sketch comedy premise and improve on its original idea. Some of its absurdist elements don't entirely work, but this season's intense focus on the characters, beyond just the core three, made this the most captivating season yet. Both the returning and new members of the ensemble work wonders, especially Meryl Streep, whose performance feels like a return to form. I have to imagine there's not much further this concept can go, but if it keeps up this pace, then bring on Season Four.
For a while there, I thought there was only so much you could do comedically with Only Murders in the Building, especially with the Steve Martin of it all (*gasp! I separated their names this time!*), but that’s why you get strong performers like Meryl Streep, Paul Rudd, and Jesse Williams to infuse new life, their high tides lifting all boats. As this third season goes on, their talent carries the plot and mystery into surprisingly unexpected dramatic places, with Martin Short and Selena Gomez being the primary beneficiaries. The well-built finale also shows that Season Four can hopefully still bring something new.
In a vacuum, Only Murders in the Building continues to bring the same elegant murder mystery humor that it always has, with Martin Short especially bringing the heat this season. That said, this is a premise that can only go on for so long before we start getting into the Dexter problem (seriously, how many serial killers did Miami have? And how many murders can happen around these people?). But, if you’re able to look past that without it feeling a little tired and formulaic (it’s pushing it for me, to be honest), Only Murders remains a mostly unmitigated delight.
Only Murders in The Building maintains its power as a merriment-driven murder mystery show that lets its lead trio (Selina Gomez, Martin Short, and Steve Martin) shine, not to mention that adding Meryl Streep to the cast obviously elevates the material and the overall talent level. However, I can’t help but feel like this season is missing the lovable charm it had in seasons prior, which I think comes down to the fact that we are missing such a key element of the show that makes it what it is: The Arconia.