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selena gomez martin short and steve martin in Only Murders in the building season 3
selena gomez martin short and steve martin in Only Murders in the building season 3
Culture > Entertainment

The Show Must Go On: New Season of “Only Murders in the Building” Proves Bloody Fun

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UFL chapter.

Warning: This review contains major spoilers for season three of Only Murders in the Building.”

Featuring the glitz and glamor of Broadway, poisonous cookies and Selena Gomez’s exquisite sweaters, season three of “Only Murders in the Building” came to a showstopping end last week.

For those unfamiliar, “Only Murders in the Building”is a comedy series centered around Mabel Mora (Selena Gomez), Charles Haden-Savage (Steven Martin) and Oliver Putnam (Martin Short), a notorious trio of amateur sleuths who solve mysterious killings that occur in their Upper West Side apartment building and produce a podcast that follows their investigations. If you’re looking for a new, entertaining bingewatch, I highly recommend checking the show out on Hulu.

In season three, the defining whodunit is set to the backdrop of Oliver’s jarring, yet charming musical, “Death Rattle Dazzle!” The golden trio explores the puzzling death of actor Ben Glenroy (Paul Rudd), who is poisoned and later pushed to his demise from the top of a broken elevator. Simultaneously, Mabel, Charles and Oliver juggle their own personal issues, which leads to several hiccups in the investigation. In the end, however, they come together and reveal the two responsible for Ben’s death: a mother-son producer duo.

While I did find this season enjoyable, it definitely appears weaker when compared to its two predecessors. The fatal flaw of season three lies in its decision to sever Mabel, Charles and Oliver. The seemingly unlikely, yet sincere dynamic between the three leads is undeniably the heart of “Only Murders in the Building.” Charles and Oliver remain involved in the production of the musical, while Mabel continues the investigation alone. Ultimately, this choice felt unnecessary and created a heap of “filler” episodes that detract from the murder mystery itself. There were no major developments in the case until the final three episodes of the season. Though the show is marketed primarily as a comedy, the appeal lies in the crime thriller aspect and the fond relationship between the trio. Cutting down both of these aspects dulled the reveal of the killers’ identities, which had felt momentous in the past seasons. Even the worst season of “Only Murders in the Building,” however, is still highly entertaining television and I remained glued to my seat week-after-week.

Season three also ends on a phenomenal cliffhanger. Charles’s stunt double from his past days of TV glory, Sazz Pataki (played by “Glee” icon Jane Lynch), is shot by a mysterious figure. The season ends on a haunting shot of Sazz attempting to write a message with her blood. Since Sazz was in Charles’s apartment and feigns a good resemblance to him, it’s safe to say that the ex-Brazzos star may be in trouble. Is it awkward to say that I felt more excitement towards what these final few seconds were teasing than for the entirety of season three? Maybe. Season four was recently announced and I’m eager to see where they’ll take this next mystery.

“Only Murders in the Building” thrives off of the memorable and quirky performances from their three leads. Fittingly, though, the star of the series is undoubtedly Martin Short. Short’s comedic timing and amusing portrayal of the ever-exuberant Oliver Putnam remains a steadfast highlight for me, especially throughout this past season. It’s simply impossible not to love him.

If I had to pick another star of the show; though, it would definitely be Selena Gomez’s sweaters. It seems that the writers share this sentiment, as Howard (Michael Cyril Creighton) tells Mabel midway through the season, “Jesus H. Christ, I love your sweaters!” Mabel’s outfit choices are consistently incredible and I secretly wish I could steal her wardrobe.

“Only Murders in the Building” has acquired a reputation for the subtle, yet genius way it involves celebrity cameos. Season three features yet another star-studded guest cast. Meryl Streep, Paul Rudd, Matthew Broderick, and “Grey’s Anatomy”-alum Jesse Williams all joined the show this year. Streep especially knocks it out of the park as Loretta Durkin, a once-failed actress trying to protect her son. I’m not necessarily a fan of singing being involved in episodes of television, but Streep’s performance of the original song “Look for the Light” was absolutely breathtaking. Season four will most likely continue the series’ tradition of celebrity guest stars. I would love to see “Succession’s” Jeremy Strong or perhaps “The Bear’s” Ayo Edebiri.

If you’re in search of the perfect show to usher in the spooky season, look no further than “Only Murders in the Building.” You’ll be sure to find a bloody, captivating mystery that you can’t quite take your eyes off of. Speaking of Halloween, ‘Bloody Mabel’ is a perfect, low-effort costume that all your friends will adore. All you’ll need is a white turtleneck, a brown plaid skirt, a pair of black tights and fake blood. Try not to get accused of murder in the process, though.

Aytek is a freshman journalism major at the University of Florida. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in newsmagazine writing. When she isn't penning articles, Aytek could talk your ear off about her favorite television shows, movies, albums, and books. She has an interest in analyzing media and providing cultural commentary. Aytek also enjoys visiting book stores, art museums, record stores, and coffee shops.