This week saw the return of Only Murders in the Building. The show enters its third season, having debuted two episodes on Tuesday, beginning another murder mystery.
Only Murders in the Building’s first season introduced us to retired actor Charles Hayden Savage – portrayed by Steve Martin (The Three Amigos, Father of the Bride, The Jerk, and too many other projects to name) – who obsesses over his long-cancelled TV show Brazzos, struggling Broadway director Oliver Putnam – Martin Short (Innerspace, Treasure Planet, Mars Attacks!) – who’s last theatrical debut ended in disaster and blacklisted him from the industry he loves, and artist Mabel Mora – Selena Gomez (Hotel Transylvania, Spring Breakers, The Dead Don’t Die) – who was initially personally connected to the murder. The three begin their own investigation through a podcast slowly unravelling the mystery.
This season finds the three in very different places in their lives, as Oliver has made his comeback to Broadway, bringing Charles with him in their play Death Rattle, while Mabel is planning to leave their apartment complex and finally start her life.
Another murder suddenly disrupts their plans and puts them back on course to investigate on their own. This season brings in some new cast members, including Meryl Streep (Kramer vs Kramer, The Devil Wears Prada, Don’t Look Up) as a struggling actress who Oliver discovers for his play and has good reason to commit a murder, Andrea Martin (Great News, My Big Fat Greek Wedding) who appeared last season and has begun a relationship with Charles, Ashley Park (Crazy Rich Asians, Joy Ride, Emily in Paris) as another Broadway star with her own motive, and Paul Rudd (Role Models, I Love You, Man, Ant-Man) as our victim.
Only Murders in the Building seem set to produce another clever, funny and engaging season. New episodes drop Tuesdays.
While not a new show, the overlooked Detroiters is streaming in full on Paramount+. Detroiters stars Tim Robinson (I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson, An American Pickle) as Tim Cramblin – a low level advertiser who inherited his father’s company and tries to keep it afloat – and Sam Richardson (The Afterparty, Veep, Ted Lasso) as his best friend, neighbour, co-worker, and brother-in-law Sam Duvet. The series is mostly absurd, featuring the duo’s attempts to create advertising campaigns for a menagerie of odd clients or developing a range of ill-fitting ideas that tend to pan out poorly.
The main appeal of Detroiters is its freewheeling weirdness, its plots are for the most part secondary to the laugh. Robinson, who has refined his appeal for Netflix’s I Think You Should Leave, offers much of the same vibe. He shifts wildly between everyman to sad sack to aggravated revenge-seeker, sometimes in the same episode. Richardson also veers into different personalities depending on the scenario, though is less likely to spiral into an anger.
Detroiters is an odd show, lasting only 20 episodes in total, but it offers plenty of laughs and features appearances by Cecily Strong, Jason Sudeikis, Keegan-Michael Key, Tim Meadows, Chris Redd and Marc Evan Jackson in memorable guest spots.
Another returning show is Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty. Winning Time dramatises the changes brought to the Lakers franchise and basketball as a whole when Jerry Buss – portrayed by John C Reilly (Step Brothers, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Wreck-It Ralph) – buys the team and starts instigating changes.
Buss recruits Magic Johnson – Quincy Isaiah, in his first big role – a promising rookie with a positive attitude and an overwhelming desire to be the greatest, and places him on the starting roster immediately, causing a clash of egos between Johnson and the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – Solomon Hughes – while the management side of the business goes through a bevy of changes. Coaches retire, move into different positions, or suffer life-altering injuries.
The second season begins in 1980, after the Lakers have managed a victory despite losing Abdul-Jabbar to an injury. As the new season starts, the players are back in business, with Johnson’s victory empowering him and creating a further rift in his relationship with Jabbar.
Meanwhile Buss is looking to expand his business and bring his family in to run his empire – despite not respecting his sons and viewing them as disappointments due to them having interests outside of the cutthroat business.
And coaching staff Pat Riley – Adrien Brody (King Kong, The Darjeeling Limited, Poker Face) – and Paul Westhead – Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Shrinking) – have to prove they’re more than just benchwarmers and show their victory wasn’t just a fluke.
Magic Johnson also experiences a few life changes, including an injury he worries will derail his career and his promiscuous nature catching up with him.
Winning Time is a fantastic showcase of executive producer Adam McKay’s style. Having directed the pilot, McKay set the show’s visual language and stylistically it’s very similar to his movies The Big Short and Vice, as the show often cuts to a variety of different film styles.
Director Salli Richardson-Whitfield is credited with the majority of episodes this season, with episodes written by show creators Max Borenstein and Jim Hecht alongside Rodney Barnes and Rebecca Bertuch.
Winning Time is an engrossing experience, featuring a number of fantastic performers and an engaging story, weaving real life history in with the needs of a dramatic show. Whether you’re a fan of basketball or not, Winning Time is worth your time.