This was a somewhat uneven, but overall great, season of Only Murders in the Building. It has a strong beginning and end but kinda drags for several episodes in the middle. I don’t recall Seasons 1 and 2 ever having such a slump, though Season 3 is still better than Season 2. The reason it drags is no mystery, either. Season 3 spends too much time on relationship and theater antics and not enough time on the murder. I get that a long-running show will want to flesh out its characters and give them more to do. It’s important to see how they’re trying to make a living outside of what the podcast brings in. But the investigation should never be the B plot, because that’s the glue. For much of this season, however, the podcast trio aren’t even working together. Oliver and Charles are so wrapped up in the play they’re putting on that Mabel has to do most of the heavy lifting on her own for a while.
To be fair, though, this is the season where Selena Gomez’s acting finally grew on me. She was a little wooden in Seasons 1 and 2, which might have been by design, but she loosens up a lot more in Season 3. It helps that she doesn’t have to act against Cara Delevingne anymore, an actress who has zero chemistry with anybody. They really overcompensated on the casting this time around. You get Meryl Streep, Paul Rudd, and Matthew Broderick as newcomers. No wonder Selena Gomez had to step up her game! There are no weak links in this show anymore; everyone is great. And I appreciate that, like Bunny in the previous season, they spent time humanizing the victim after so many episodes of bad-mouthing him. It’s a fun murder mystery that doesn’t glamorize the murder, and it’s character-driven enough that, even if the final reveal doesn’t impress you, at least you can still enjoy the ride to get there.