📺 Where to watch Only Murders in the Building Season 3: Disney+ from 8 August
⭐️ Our rating: 4/5
🍿 Watch it if you liked: Manhattan Murder Mystery, The Afterparty, Clue
🎭 Who's in it?: Steve Martin, Martin Short, Selena Gomez, Meryl Streep and Paul Rudd
⏰ How long is it? 8 x 35 minute episodes
📖 What’s it about? Three strangers bonded by their love of true crime podcasts record their own to accompany their investigations of murders in their building on the Upper West Side of New York.
With award nominations for Only Murders In The Building stretching into double digits and mismatched sleuths Charles-Haden Savage (Steve Martin), Mabel Mora (Selena Gomez) and Oliver Putnam (Martin Short) well established, there was a risk of the show's whodunnit format wearing thin on its third spin round the block.
The third season picks up precisely where the second season ended: with the curtain going up on Oliver's big return to Broadway, as the audience waits in anticipation for Hollywood heartthrob Ben Glenroy (Paul Rudd) to step on stage. But when he does, he's mortally injured and dies on stage — literally, not figuratively.
Thankfully, by switching up the formula and introducing interesting new characters like an understated Meryl Streep (Loretta Durkin), creators John Hoffman and Steve Martin have managed to do just that. Relying less on their rolodex of Arconia residents, season three actively challenges audience expectations of the show itself.
When Paul Rudd's Ben collapses on stage minutes into that opening episode, some might think these writers are intentionally falling into formula as our intrepid trio are once again forced to figure things out.
However, it quickly becomes clear that the show is trying something new with the mystery playing out over two different time periods: before and after the murder.
The integration of Rudd and Streep illustrates a new level of storytelling maturity for this show, and Only Murders in the Building transcends the trappings of a crime caper.
This third go round effortlessly expands on character and provides pathos aplenty, as first Oliver, then Charles, and finally Mabel reveal their vulnerabilities.
Whether through a medical emergency, a fame-fuelled kneejerk reaction or something more reprehensible, there is no doubt that this series is becoming a character driven drama defined by genuine depth. Each of the principal players gets their own standalone moment, as well as working well within an exceptional ensemble.
With the added confidence to incorporate its own history into season three, Only Murders in the Building brings back old favourites, whilst managing to keep its audience guessing. It all makes this third season instantly more interesting, because the focus is no longer about a murder in any building, but instead hints at a broader history outside the Arconia for our tenacious trio.
Begin the campaign for season four immediately.
Only Murders in the Building Season 3 premieres with two episodes on Disney+ from 8 August.
Watch a trailer below