This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the series being covered here wouldn’t exist.
The review is made possible by advanced screeners of Only Murders in the Building season 3, provided to Agents of Fandom by Disney for review purposes.
Only Murders in the Building season 3 is coming to Hulu August 8, and fans of the hit series can rest assured that the latest chapter lives up to its predecessors. Boasting a number of big name guest stars, including (but not limited to) Meryl Streep, Paul Rudd, Jesse Williams and Joy Ride’s Ashley Park, the latest season injects a ton of new blood into the mix. However, regardless of which names filter in or out, the story always remains centered around the trio of Martin Short, Steve Martin and Selena Gomez.
This trio is a huge reason why Only Murders in the Building works so well. While the two elder statesmen have worked with one another for years and play off each other so effectively, it’s Gomez and her ability to fit in seamlessly beside these comedic legends that make this series a hit. That surprising chemistry continues throughout season three’s eight episode run, with audiences sure to remain invested in each character’s journey.
Only Murders in the Building season 3 review: exceptional comedic dialogue baked within a fun, character-driven story
Unsurprisingly, Only Murders in the Building season 3 picks up at the exact point where the previous season left off: Ben Glenroy (Rudd), the star of Oliver’s new play, has collapsed on stage and lays lifeless. Much like the previous two chapters, season three doesn’t focus solely on finding the killer, but rather continues to explore the lives of Oliver (Short), Mabel (Gomez) and Charles (Martin). At the same time, the story unfolds through the supporting characters’ perspectives. Previous seasons excel in this regard, and season three is no different.
A prominent component of Only Murders in the Building season 3 involves the main trio’s struggle to remain in each other’s lives in the same capacity they had been before. Each of them have their own surprisingly well fleshed out ambitions, as opposed to being brought up and then never revisited again. Mabel, like most young adults in their late 20s, is trying to find her niche, while Charles seeks to conquer his own personal and professional demons and Oliver frantically attempts to salvage his play. As different as these characters appear to be on the surface, they’re more alike than they think.
Ultimately, the dialogue is where this show shines. Oliver and Charles’ backhanded digs are once again fantastic, as is the ongoing struggle for Gomez’s Mabel to relate to her unlikely pals due to their differences in pop culture references. The trio’s dialogue shouldn’t transition as effortlessly from comedic to heartfelt as they do, but it’s truly special to watch.
Special guest stars bring laughs and energy to Only Murders in the Building season 3
Weaving some special guest stars into the plot is nothing new for Only Murders in the Building. Amy Schumer, Sting, Tina Fey, Jane Lynch, Cara Delevingne and Nathan Lane are merely a handful of prominent figures who have appeared during the first two seasons. However, the additions of the popular Paul Rudd and the iconic Meryl Streep kick things up a notch for the third season. While Rudd portrays Ben Glenroy, the leading man in Oliver’s play as well as the murder victim, Streep plays Loretta Durkin, one of Ben’s cast mates in the production.
In both seasons one and two of Only Murders in the Building, the murder victim follows their demise through callbacks to earlier events. This is once again the case in season three for Rudd’s character. So, although his screen time is limited in comparison to Streep’s, viewers should not be concerned that they might only see the Ant-Man actor in merely a handful of early scenes and then never again. There is some background built with Rudd’s character as well, which allows the audience to get to know him following his demise.
Meanwhile, viewers will quickly come to know and love Streep’s character, Loretta. Her backstory is established and fleshed out over the course of the season, with bits and pieces continuing to present themselves all the way through the finale. Like most characters introduced throughout this series, there is more to her than meets the eye upon first glance. Audiences will enjoy learning more about what makes her tick over the course of the season! It is Meryl Streep, after all.
Other guest stars who add to the show’s charm in season three are Ashley Park, who plays Kimber, the TikTok-obsessed millennial within Oliver’s cast and Jesse Williams, who portrays a documentarian named Tobert. The final trailer for the upcoming season sees Williams and Gomez’s Mabel working together and becoming close. Also making an utterly hysterical appearance is Matthew Broderick, who is also seen briefly in the trailer and whose over-the-top performance will leave viewers in stitches.
What else lies in store for audiences with Only Murders in the Building season 3?
Since Oliver’s leading man obviously drops dead just a few seconds into the production’s opening night, the question that’s clearly on everyone’s minds is: what lengths will he go to try and save his play? Well, the measures he takes are hilariously extreme and continue all the way through the finale. Oliver Putnam is nothing if not persistent! There is a perfect balance on display in season three between Oliver’s efforts to salvage the show, the group’s attempts to maintain their friendships, and the looming matter of solving Ben’s murder. Everything and everyone gets a chance to shine.
The only thing that holds Only Murders in the Building season 3 back a hair is the ending, as its eight episode run is shorter than both of the previous entries (10 episodes each). It’s entirely possible that this is by design, however, as the finale’s abrupt ending seamlessly sets up a fourth season. And yes, that’s the elephant in the room: unlike the previous two chapters, which conclude their respective story arcs before teeing up the next, season three’s story isn’t necessarily wrapped up when the credits hit.
Despite this creative shift, however, Only Murders in the Building season three is sure to satisfy viewers and leave them craving more. This particular season feels more like the first part of a longer story arc than the standalone tale that its predecessors serve as. A fourth season is an absolute certainty, based on how the finale ends, which is a gift to those who appreciate great writing, superb acting and compelling storytelling.
Stay tuned to the Agents of Fandom socials for the latest news and interviews.
'Only Murders in the Building' Season 3 Review'Only Murders in the Building' Season 3 Review
- Top notch chemistry once again from the main trio
- Fantastic contributions from guest stars
- Continued character development and perspectives
- Great humor all around
- A number of suspects with motive to kill!
- Shorter than previous seasons
- Abrupt cliffhanger ending