Charles-Haden Savage, Oliver Putnam, and Mabel Mora (Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez respectively), are the Three Musketeers of crime-solving, with an obsession for true crime podcasts, and with two seasons of experience under their collective belts, they are back this time with a few fresh faces. The trio of amateur sleuths, better known as “Olimable” (the “Charles” is silent), are solving the mystery behind the death of Ben Glenroy (played with major douchebag energy by Paul Rudd) who dropped dead on stage in the final moments of the last season.
The new season of Only Murders in the Building drops on August 8th on Hotstar India, and it has a lot going on for it. Here, we’re listing all the best parts of the third season (without any spoilers).
Move aside mere mortals, for when Meryl Streep graces the stage — it's like she brings her own spotlight and red carpet with her! (Steve) Martin and (Martin) Short might be strong contenders, but Streep is the shining supernova of this season, leaving everyone else basking in her celestial glow. Who could resist the delectable irony of casting Streep as a struggling actress? Not us. We were giggling right from that first shot of her on stage. Loretta, the character brought to life by Streep's magnetic talent, is a delightful cocktail of charm and comedy. Her every appearance is like a burst of fizzy champagne, tickling your funny bone and leaving you giddy with laughter. But alas, she's not a series regular, leaving us craving more of her brilliance. However, when Loretta does grace the screen, it's like a surprise visit from a fabulous, albeit slightly eccentric, relative – you cherish every second and eagerly await the next eccentricity to unfold. The show's writers perfectly leverage Streep’s reputation – Loretta's unnecessary accents and disastrous table reads are comedic gold, and Streep expertly mines them for all their worth. It's like watching a master painter turn a simple doodle into a breathtaking masterpiece, all with a sly wink and a charming smile.
Short has a reputation for exaggerated comedic moments which work in sharp contrast to Martin’s (his long-time frequent collaborator) more subdued style. OMITB allows Short to live up to his reputation, and then some. Oliver is essentially a version of Short’s own personality but with the knob turned to 100. His energy is infectious, his reactions are the biggest laugh-out-loud moments of the show. Please protect your devices from being sprayed with water, or better still, don’t consume any liquids when Oliver is on screen (you will laugh very hard - your safety is important to us). The way he bickers, banters, gasps and overreacts is simply priceless. With every episode, he leaves us giggling like a kid who just discovered the joy of whoopee cushions.
From the first season, we’ve seen Martin bring his poise and calm to this rather hectic trifecta. Charles has a quiet comedic style, he’s adorably funny. But, there’s a deep looming sadness in his eyes, and his senior moments are the cutest beats of the show. In one episode, we see Charles making his ritualistic omelette, this time around he tosses the eggshells in the trash can behind him – a flex – they land inside every single time. That scene captures the essence of Martin, who is also one of the co-creators of this show. He’s been doing this for so long, it’s effortless. For Martin like for Charles, it’s no biggie, “it’s a smallie.”
A large part of this new season revolves around Oliver’s Broadway show Death Rattle. Theatre kids won’t be able to resist memorising the entirety of Charles’ patter song (for non-theatre folks: it’s like a rap but in musical theatre), which has a surprising earworm quality to it. We witness lots of theatre traditions, lores, superstitions, and a whole lot of meta-gags. This season features original music by the creators of La La Land (2016), Waitress (2015), and Hairspray (2002). Holy mother of Sondheim we’re excited!
The show's wit and charm seep into every crevice of the storyline. The way they play with suspense and comedy is like watching a tightrope walker dance on a banana peel – simultaneously thrilling and absurdly funny! The show makes fun of its own tropes, even sprinkling acknowledgement of the fact that the last season paled in comparison to the first. There are running meta-jokes, silly physical comedic bits, and even a ridiculous dance number. The writers of this show are holding all the cards and pulling all the strings.
In the trailer, Mabel says, “Who are we without a homicide?” The through string for this show is the murder of Ben Glenroy. But let’s be real, we’re not fans of this show because of the murder mystery, right? That said, it’s a pretty compelling case – It's like having a gourmet meal at a fast-food joint – surprisingly satisfying! The show's creators have crafted an engaging whodunit that keeps us guessing.
At one point in the show, Theo Dimas retorts in sign language, “You didn’t tell me about his eyes,” when he meets Williams’ character Tobert (Robert with a T) for the first time. How can you not talk about his eyes? They’re so – be still, my beating heart – evasive, but seductive, inviting, but guarded. To make a grab at the obvious here: they are beautiful. Their oomph does not come from their beauty itself, but how Williams is aware of what they do, and channelises them to manipulate us weak-hearted mortals. We wouldn’t be surprised if Tobert turns out to be the killer, he can get the job done with just one look.
One thing's for sure: Only Murders in the Building has perfected the art of balancing a dark murder mystery with heartwarming moments. It's like mixing a gloomy crime scene with a splash of unicorn glitter – the result is a strangely satisfying, captivating concoction (just like the gut milk) that keeps us coming back for more.