‘Only Murders in the Building,’ created by Steve Martin and John Hoffman, is a comedy-drama series that follows the adventures of Charles, Mabel, and Oliver as they solve murder mysteries in their New York City apartment complex. The show’s third season deals with the death of actor Ben Glenroy who was playing the lead role in Oliver’s comeback Broadway play. However, Ben first rose to prominence with his role in a show called ‘Girl Cop,’ which holds personal significance for Mabel. If you are wondering whether ‘Death Rattle’ is based on a real Broadway play and ‘Girl Cop’ is inspired by a real sitcom, here is everything you need to know! SPOILERS AHEAD!
Is Death Rattle A Real Broadway Play?
‘Death Rattle’ is an important plot point in the third season of ‘Only Murders in the Building.’ It is a Broadway play conceptualized and directed by Oliver Putnam. It is produced by the mother-son duo Donna Demeo and Clif Demeo. The play is a murder mystery that marks the Broadway debut of actor Ben Glenroy (Paul Rudd), who plays the main lead opposite Charles-Haden Savage. Although the exact plot of the play is unknown, it is implied that it revolves around Ben’s character as he investigates the murder of a woman who was killed after she choked on a rattle toy.
The over-the-top and ludicrous premise implies that the Broadway play is fictional. The title ‘Death Rattle’ appears to be taken from several real-life stage plays, but none of them is a major Broadway production. Moreover, no real play features a premise similar to the show’s iteration that takes the title literally and applies it to the plot. Lastly, how the play’s main victim dies is also similar to how Ben seemingly dies on the play’s opening night. As a result, it is safe to say that ‘Death Rattle’ is not based on any real Broadway. The fictional play acts as a hilarious gag that satirizes the murder mystery genre in the form of a stage play, providing several humorous situations.
Is Girl Cop Based on a Real Show?
The first two episodes of the third season spend a lot of time establishing the acting career of Ben Glenroy. He is the lead actor in Oliver Putnam’s Broadway play ‘Death Rattle.’ However, he is famous for his role in the blockbuster franchise ‘Co-Bro,’ which features him as a half-cobra, half-human character. The second episode reveals Ben’s breakthrough acting performance came with his co-leading role in the hit 90s sitcom ‘Girl Cop.’ The episode also features Mabel watching footage from the show, which implies ‘Girl Cop’ was an investigative series with a comedic tone. The series’ generic title and odd tonality strongly suggest that it is a fictional show that exists only within the fictional reality of ‘Only Murders in the Building.’
The series joins the like of ‘Brazzos,’ which is used to a similar effect for establishing the acting career of Charles Haden-Savage. Furthermore, ‘Girl Cop’ seems like a cultural extension of ‘Brazzos’ because of their procedural formats. However, the closest real-world counterpart to ‘Girl Cop’ is the teen noir mystery drama series ‘Veronica Mars.’ The latter series revolves around the titular high school student and private investigator, and the female protagonist of ‘Girl Cop’ also seems to share those traits. Nonetheless, ‘Girl Cop’ is also a fictional television series, like most of the content that is brought up in ‘Only Murders in the Building.’