Steve Martin, Martin Short, Selena Gomez and, to top it all off, Meryl Streep. This combination could be the result of rolling dice, but it is the one that has carried the weight of the third season of ‘Only Murders in the Building’, which ended this fall. And the leading trio from the beginning of the series, without Streep, was as strange… as it was effective. The chemistry between this strange trio is one of the great successes of the Hulu series, which in Spain can be seen on Disney+.
Created by Martin himself together with John Hoffman, screenwriter and producer of ‘Grace and Frankie’, ‘Only Murders in the Building’ begins when a solitary actor who has been an old glory for a long time, a director trying hard to pretend that he hasn’t been there for decades without a hit, and an ironic artist who still doesn’t know what to do with her life coincide in being (almost) witnesses of a murder inside the giant building in which they live. The three of them are addicted to true crime podcasts, and the need to do something a little less gray with their lives makes them create their own podcast, “Only murders in the building”, which will try to unravel the mystery behind that murder.
The formula, although with some variations, will be repeated in the second and third seasons, each one focused on a case, accompanied by the crazy personal lives of the three of them, and of the most diverse secondary characters. And one of the highlights of this series is the list of guest stars: we have named Meryl Streep, but the second season brought with it the legendary Shirley MacLaine, making it a gift for any movie buff to see the protagonist of ‘The Apartment’ strolling through another unmistakably New York building.
And Tina Fey, Paul Rudd, Jane Lynch, Cara Delevingne and Jesse Williams have also collaborated and even, daring to play themselves, Amy Schumer, Matthew Broderick, Mel Brooks, Jimmy Fallon, and even Sting himself! The participation of Selena Gomez could, in fact, be counted as another cameo, and be careful, because the singer of ‘Love You Like a Love Song’ knows that she is here to have a good time, and gives many fun moments in her generational clashes with “Charles (Old)” and Oliver.
But the series also relies on faces less known to the general public, but who will surely be familiar to you from other fictions, such as Jackie Hoffman, Amy Ryan, Jayne Houdyshell, Michael Cyril Creighton, Nathan Lane, Da’Vine Joy Randolph or Aaron Domínguez. All of them (especially the first four) have a curious ability to steal scenes, and they compensate for the moments in which the series focuses too much on circling the main trio, in Mabel’s most dramatic moments (there Selena is more limited) , or in the little traps to the viewer that its whodunnit aspect has. The best thing about ‘Only Murders in the Building’ is not the murders, but the humor, including the black humor when a portrait is made (we hope voluntary) of that somewhat sociopathic New York society that can excuse a murder, but that draws a line where this will make you miss the subway.