Warning: Minor spoilers lie ahead for Only Murders in the Building.
When I first stumbled upon Only Murders in the Building, which stars Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez, there were only three or four episodes of Season 1 available on Disney+ and I watched them back to back in one sitting.
Then I had to arduously wait a whole week for a new episode to drop, but as soon as it did, I was sat in front of the telly, cup of tea in hand, ready to watch Charles-Haden Savage, Oliver Putnam and Mabel Mora solve a murder and record a podcast about it… In short, I was instantly hooked.
And my love for the show has only grown over the last few years. Only Murders in the Building (commonly referred to as OMITB, “pronounced omit bee”) gave fans a Season 2 that was as equally good as Season 1; a rarity in television these days.
But I have to admit, ahead of Season 3 of OMITB, I was nervous that the show would lose its magic, because it was adding not one but two HUGE stars to the already star-studded cast: Paul Rudd and Meryl Streep.
I know they’re both tremendous actors and I’m a huge fan of both Paul and Meryl, but I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to suspend my disbelief if Steve Martin, Martin Short, Selena Gomez, Paul Rudd and Meryl Streep were all on screen at the same time.
How wrong I was to have doubts though. We’re now three episodes into Season 3 and my god, what fantastic additions Paul and Meryl are.
Paul is bringing his signature zaniness and hilarious wit to Ben Glenroy and Meryl – I need to talk about Meryl’s performance as Loretta Durkin in great detail.
In the first episode of Only Murders in the Building’s third season, called The Show Must…, we’re instantly introduced to Loretta: a struggling, aspiring actress who’s waiting for her big break.
She auditions for Oliver’s play by performing ‘the nanny’s monologue’ and, despite having no context for said monologue, I got literal chills.
The way Loretta delivers the dialogue is impeccable. You instantly believe she’s a nanny. But at the same time, you can also feel Loretta’s desperation for the role; she needs to be chosen by Oliver to play the nanny.
Which is a testament to how phenomenal an actor Meryl Streep is. Not once did I think Meryl was performing the nanny’s monologue; it’s very clear and very believable that Loretta is the one performing the monologue.
I won’t keep harping on about this monologue and I won’t break down every single OMITB scene Meryl’s in – I promise – but do yourself a favour and watch Only Murders in the Building Season 3 if you haven’t already done so, because while the entire cast is fantastic, Meryl is on a whole other level.
If you need more convincing (and the nanny’s monologue aside), in just three episodes, Meryl’s given us a random but spot-on Scottish accent, several moments of physical comedy, a heart wrenching musical number, and two hilarious meta comments; in Episode 3, Grab Your Hankies, Loretta auditions for a Grey’s Anatomy spinoff and Jesse Williams, who was in Grey’s Anatomy for over ten years, also stars in OMITB Season 3.
Then Loretta mentions how she lost the role of Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors to Ellen Greene, and OMITB star and co-creator Steve Martin starred opposite Ellen as Orin Scrivello in the film adaptation of that musical.
Plus, while Selena’s Mabel has become known for her exemplary fashion and style, I’d argue Meryl’s Loretta could give Mabel a run for her money.
Loretta tends to wear beautiful printed scarves, ruffled shirts and simple but elegant accessories – think pendant earrings and dainty necklaces – and it exudes a classy but eccentric New York city vibe.
Not to mention Loretta’s funky hairstyles; milkmaid braids, pigtails and side ponytails, oh my. If you see me rocking braids to the office, I was inspired by Meryl/Loretta… I digress.
Ultimately, I believe Only Murders in the Building Season 3 is proof that Meryl, at age 74, is in her absolute prime.
Oh, and that Cam from Modern Family was right:
“Excuse me. Meryl Streep could play Batman and be the right choice. She’s perfection.”