Preparing for the year with ‘Only Murders’

Even the loveable characters of The Arconia can’t ease my nerves.

Sanya Verma / Daily Trojan

Summer has been fun. I got to see Taylor Swift! I got into my first car accident! My bucket list is complete.

But now, summer is rounding out and somehow I find myself a junior. Halfway done with my undergraduate career, I honestly still feel like a freshman.

Currently, I’m packing up some sheets to move into my first big-girl off-campus apartment. I had to make an account with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. My age doesn’t end in “-teen” anymore. This truly is just not who I am. But alas, life moves on, even when you are not ready.

I still feel like I’m moving into Parkside Arts & Humanities Residential College, preparing to meet the seven randos I would be living with that year. That was mostly fine. So, if you are a freshman with random roommates, don’t fret — that’s how I met some of my best friends.

During my first few weeks of living in Los Angeles, I was too preoccupied with finding my class buildings and gaining the courage to ask for people’s Instagrams that I didn’t really have time to watch TV.

When I went home for my first long weekend, and my mom and I were deciding what to watch before bed, the new Selena Gomez show intrigued us both.

The first season of “Only Murders in the Building” premiered Aug. 31, 2021. By the time we started watching, nine out of the 10 episodes had reached Hulu, and we watched them all in the span of 24 hours. I was hooked.

The show all began with a meeting between Mabel Mora (Gomez), Charles-Haden Savage (Steve Martin) and Oliver Putnam (Martin Short). Bonding over their love of a true crime podcast, the trio set out to start their own, following a murder in their building. With jaw-dropping twists, silly one-liners and epic Gomez looks, what’s not to love? Short and Martin’s goofball dynamic paired with Gomez’s dry humor is pure television magic.

Unfortunately, thanks to what felt like a personal vendetta from the “Only Murders” staff, we had to wait until Thanksgiving break to finish the season.

When season two came out last summer, that same vendetta was continued. The summer allowed us time to watch all but the season finale, again forcing me to endure the struggle of making new class friends before Mabel, Charles and Oliver could track down the killer.

Now, with my move-in date drawing nearer, we can only watch the first three episodes of season three until I’m back in L.A. Based on the start of the season, I predict “Only Murders” is going to have another five-star season. Season two ended on a major cliffhanger, with an unknown Paul Rudd character falling on stage during the opening night of Oliver’s play. The new season starts with the same scene, but (spoiler) it turns out Rudd actually didn’t die. His character turns out to be an absolute nightmare, though. As an egotistical movie star attempting to make his big Broadway debut, he ruffles a lot of feathers, meaning pretty much every character could be a suspect in this murder.

This season also introduces the one-and-only Meryl Streep as a key player. She’s a struggling but talented theater actress, and Oliver’s play is her big break. Speaking of Oliver’s play, it’s called “Death Rattle,” and it’s a murder mystery in which a baby is the main suspect. I mean, how could you not get a kick out of the show?

Plus, the main trio’s relationship is still as adorable as ever. No matter how bloody their hijinks get, it’s impossible to not smile at their dynamic.

The thing is, while watching and enjoying these first episodes, I have my start-of-school anxiety looming over me.

I think the scary thing about being a junior is that life is getting too real. It’s not that I’m a wild child that needs to start caring about my grades and my future. No, I’ve always done that.

I’ve worried about turning 26 and getting kicked off my parents’ health insurance at least once a day since I was 15 and first learned that was a thing. I’ve obsessively looked at articles about layoffs at 2 a.m. at least once a week since beginning college.

I have an LSAT book sitting in my shopping cart. I’ve finished all my GE courses! When applying to schools, I was just choosing majors at random, and USC happened to be my journalism school. Now, according to many of my friends, the Daily Trojan and I are inseparable in their minds. Life is moving so fast, and while it seems I am moving along with it just fine, I feel so lost and scared.

In the second episode of “Only Murders,” Rudd’s Ben Glenroy had a few words for Mabel that felt a little directed.

“The people who figure their shit out right away are boring. The late bloomers? People like us? We make the world go ‘round,” Glenroy said. “You can afford to take your time, Mabel. What you cannot afford to do is waste it.”

As people on Twitter — excuse me, X — have said, this scene made them feel less alone. And based on the many quotes and replies, they certainly aren’t.

While I’d like to pretend that Rudd’s little speech changed my life, I still have that insomnia-inducing gnawing at my heart that keeps me up at night, even through my cranial nerve exam ASMR. Unfortunately, I imagine that feeling isn’t going to go away anytime soon. But maybe I’m fine with that. I may not necessarily feel comforted by the Rudd-Gomez interaction, but at least I get to watch some good TV.

Kimberly Aguirre is a junior writing about comedy. Her column, “Comic Relief,” runs every other Thursday. She is also an associate managing editor at the Daily Trojan.

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