Only Murders in the Building Season 3 features a slower excavation than before; however, it’s still a killer run structured effectively like a two-act musical—a charming, must-watch jewel that keeps getting better and better. The show’s meta-narrative and sharp humor are deeper, with relatable themes that carefully unravel as we get closer to solving the mystery.
For those who loved last year’s murder mystery gem, See How They Run, the upcoming season plays on familiar theatrical tropes while splitting the core group to add more tension to the crime scene. As the show does best, it keeps viewers on their toes, proposing a suspect while keeping us hesitant until the end, rightfully. The first eight episodes are the clear first act, directing viewers toward one outcome before the intermission, as the last two will undoubtedly lead to an astute curtain call. Whether the show will stick the landing depends entirely on the final two episodes, but if the first eight are any indication, we’re well on our way toward another charming, hilariously engaging triumph.
While the theatre is a stature setting this time, we still spend plenty of moments at the familiar Arconia Hotel, allowing the series to remain oddly comforting despite the murderous premise. Both locations play an intricate role in the season, enhancing it more while we uncover bits and pieces for the overarching story. There’s one episode that’s particularly appropriate for the spooky season that I imagine many people will keep in their perpetual running during the month of October.
Moreover, each of the main hosts has something they’re dealing with that subsequently brings exceptional performances from the cast. Returning stars like Michael Cyril Creighton as Howard Morris are more vital than ever, with Jackie Hoffman and James Caverly continuing to contribute to the show’s levity and the glowing ensemble of magnetic figures. The company is significantly bigger in Only Murders in the Building Season 3, yet it doesn’t feel suffocating. Where each character comes in is with purpose and intent, smoothly enriching the narrative progress.
Further, the guest stars in Only Murders in the Building Season 3 are indeed better than ever. Meryl Streep’s Loretta Durkin and Paul Rudd’s Ben Gilroy make the plot a roaring hit, even in the more subdued overtures. Though Rudd’s screen time is significantly less, considering his character is killed during the Season 2 finale, every scene he’s in remains a delight. And Streep’s Loretta is a star in more ways than one. The new characters are each fascinating in their own way, fitting right in with our band of hosts in an entertaining fashion. Jesse Williams’ character is also incredibly riveting, and his chemistry with Gomez is intriguing.
There’s much to say about the pacing, perhaps being the one downfall of the season, but it’s never to a point where it feels dreary or slow. It is merely, at times, more apparent than others. Additionally, as we dive into a more drama-ridden space, none of it feels convoluted or contrived strictly to muck things up. Instead, the tension is entirely understandable, as most of what occurs continues to allow viewers to understand their favorite characters more.
At the same time, the season might just be the funniest display yet, with some of the laugh-out-loud moments featured in the trailer. (Steve Martin’s delivery of the word “meme” should be the sole reason he gets an Emmy next year.) With top-notch guest stars and our incredible cast of bandits continuing to grow with their intergenerational friendship, the season indeed rises to new heights.
Steve Martin, John Hoffman, and the entire team of writers prove that quips full of this much heart are something only sheer passion and dedication could ignite. The times we’re living with networks doubting the importance of writers (and actors) should look no further than the gripping series that’s been shining for three years in a row. No form of AI or soulless entity could replicate such a treasure. Only Murders in the Building Season 3 might not be perfect, but its brilliant storytelling relies entirely on harnessing creativity. While solving crimes is at its forefront, the questions of legacy and our place in the world are its crux, and this year, these themes are more substantial than ever.
The first two episodes of Only Murders in the Building Season 3 premiere August 8 on Hulu.
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