The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Review | ‘Only Murders in the Building’ season three thrills with star-studded cast

The newest season of the Hulu original series brings murder to Broadway.
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As a theater design student, I was thrilled to learn that the plot of the third season of “Only Murders in the Building” was set on a Broadway stage. With weekly episodes airing every Tuesday on Hulu, I’m pleasantly confused and eager for the reveal of this season’s murderer in the Oct. 3 finale.

“Only Murders in the Building” stars Selena Gomez, Martin Short, and Steve Martin as neighbors living at the Arconia Hotel in New York City. In the first season, the trio finds a dead body in the Arconia and decides to start an investigative podcast to find the killer together. 

At first glance, the show’s premise and cast collaboration sounds a little goofy, but the dynamic shared by Gomez, Short, and Martin surprisingly works. Short and Martin’s characters, Oliver Putnam and Charles-Haden Savage respectively, serve as a polar-opposite comedic-uncle duo opposite Gomez’s character, podcast host Mabel Mora.  

What I love so much about Mabel, which also applies to the third season, is how uniquely herself she is. She is an artist who doesn’t care about authority, or theater, for that matter. Her emotions are closed off, and I see so much of myself in that character. 

Besides Gomez’s character, Tina Fey’s role as a rival murder podcaster was my favorite addition. 

The series’ debut season was released back in August 2021 and didn’t have nearly as star-studded of a cast as the present season. Academy award-winner Meryl Streep returned to television for the third season, playing up-and-coming actress Loretta Durkin. She is cast by Oliver as the female lead in his new play, ominously titled “Deathrattle.” 

It’s comical to know how acclaimed and accomplished Streep is compared to the amateur she plays.

The plot of “Deathrattle” hasn’t yet been fully fleshed out to viewers, but it seems to be a classic murder-mystery play surrounding the death of a mother who left behind her triplets. The children are the main suspects in the case. It’s beyond silly but works well for Short’s character.

The male lead detective in “Deathrattle” is portrayed by snobby television actor Ben Glenroy, played by Paul Rudd. Rudd’s character also happens to be the murder victim this season. 

Ben is famous for his role in a popular comedic buddy-cop show; as a result, he treats every cast and crew member horribly. I am genuinely stumped on who his killer will turn out to be. 

This new season, however, seems a little too comfortable with itself. The jokes aren’t as funny and rely too much on theater jargon to establish the plot. It’s both too severe and not serious enough. 

I’m still enjoying it though, and I hope the rest of this season will live up to the first. 

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About the Contributor
Zhenya Loughney, Arts Reporter
(they/them/theirs)
Zhenya is a fourth year theatre design and journalism double major at UI. They are passionate about artistry and creativity. They are from Lebanon, KY.