Hulu Renews “Only Murders in the Building” for a 4th Season

Seriously though, could "the Building" just be cursed?
Published On October 04, 2023

Only Murders in the Building sets up Season 4 with a murder in the very last minutes of its finale. Photo: Hulu

An obsession with true crime shows and podcasts might seem like glorifying scandalous characters, but there’s just something interesting about a murder mystery. “Only Murders in the Building” might seem like one of those gloomy, murderous dramas at first glance, but things quickly take a turn toward a lighthearted depiction of true crime obsessives.

The Hulu series has been their most successful original comedy to date, one that lacks many high-stakes showdowns, but gathers much of its appeal through the starring trio’s generational differences and odd personas.

The first season began as a quirky take on self-acclaimed crime scene experts and their theorizing. Three neighbors turned amateur detectives — played by Selena Gomez, Steve Martin, and Martin Short — come together to solve a murder in the Arconia, the titular “Building.” What follows is a look at their insecurities and longings, for a friend, a career, or a child, which gets them together on trailing the culprit and making a podcast out of it.

Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot at the 2016 SDCC for "Wonder Woman."

A still from “Only Murders in the Building” Season 3.

Photo via Hulu

The show, at least initially, relies heavily on the chemistry between the two Martins — each over-the-top in their own right. Gomez falls to playing the deadpan young adult, often annoyed at the two “boomers,” but secretly wanting more of a relationship. The two eventually end up rubbing off on her, creating some heartwarming chuckles throughout the series.

By the second season, the three have become superstars in the true-crime podcast community, but the show itself acknowledges that such success isn’t replicable. However, “Only Murders” figured out a way to up the stakes with successive seasons: bringing in what seems like an endless parade of guest stars, and bringing the murders outside the Arconia (sort of).

The show takes on Broadway for its newest case — with an endless parade of guest stars as the suspects.

“It’s opening night and a big star drops dead on stage,” says Gomez’s Mabel Mora in the opening moments of the third season’s trailer. This opening night is what much of this season revolves around — a cataclysmic Broadway production directed by Short’s Oliver Putnam. The theatrical itself isn’t anything special, framing newborn triplets for a murder that even the stars fail to make sense of. This production, however, serves a bigger purpose: bringing the trio out of their Upper-West side apartment complex, opening the doors to a lavish theater that becomes the setting of a new murder.

Paul Rudd plays Ben Glenroy, the narcissistic “big star” who drops dead on the opening night. Twice. As the three huddle for another case, the production calls for some changes, which Putnam eventually metamorphosizes into a musical titled “Death Rattle Dazzle.”

Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot at the 2016 SDCC for "Wonder Woman."

The show’s newest season takes the cast outside the walls of the Arconia.

Photo via Hulu

Never giving up on the narrative of murderous triplets, “Death Rattle Dazzle” remains the butt of the jokes throughout the season, but it somehow opens to warmer feelings: a “dusty old chestnut that has been botoxed, bedazzled and brought back to life.”

“Only Murders in the Building” penned a love letter to Broadway with its newest season, even bringing award-winning composers for a score that was never meant to leave a mark. The choice to add a whole cast of suspects might seem a bit much at first, but things become more understandable when you consider the show’s essence.

Humans (or cats) aren’t meant to spontaneously burst into songs, and Gomez can seem visibly amused by the idea — seemingly a joke on the generational gap. All things aside, Steve Martin’s breakdown as he enters the “White Room” in the middle of his song has me in splits every time, and it makes the Broadway idea all the more worthwhile.

“Only Murders in the Building” teases a Season 4, followed by an official announcement.

Case closed. Ben Glenroy’s killer(s) is behind bars, and the Broadway team is celebrating their successful opening night. As the team makes plans with their partners, Sazz shows up to the party. The show then cuts to Charles’ dark apartment, where a figure that appears to be Charles is shot through the window. The panning camera shows that it is actually Sazz, setting up season 4 for “Only Murders in the Building” in a style recurrent for the series.

What followed was an official announcement. The showrunners haven’t made any announcements about the release window, but with the writers back at the tables, the next season couldn’t be that far into the future.

About the return of Mery Streep and Jesse Williams, showrunner Jon Hoffman told the Hollywood Reporter that “there is no greater hope.”