In November, TBS premiered their new dark comedy series, Search Party. The show follows a group of four (sometimes five) self-centered friends who end up involved in the search for a girl that they knew in college. And while they start digging into this mysterious disappearance, their personal lives take shape as well. Here are five reasons why this show is not only worth watching, but worth loving because it has the potential to be the best new TV show of 2016.
It’s not always easy to care about every single character that gets thrown your way in a TV show, but Search Party somehow manages to do just that. Dory (Alia Shawkat) is the lead in all this, feeling unfulfilled in her life until she finds purpose in trying to find Chantal. Her boyfriend Drew (John Reynolds) is somewhat lost when in comes to their relationship, and he fights the idea that they need to investigate Chantal’s disappearance the hardest. There is also Elliott (John Early), whose biggest focus is himself but he somehow gets roped into helping, proving to be very helpful along the way. And where there’s Elliot, there’s Portia (Meredith Hagner) who juggles her slowly growing career in acting along with trying to crack the case.
Once in a while Julian (Brandon Michael Hall) appears but he isn’t looking to find Chantal because he doesn’t think Dory’s mission is entirely selfless, and instead he is focused on telling the truth, something that doesn’t sit well with the others from time to time.
The tie in between these characters is their self-centered nature, and how that seems to pull us in. It’s obvious that in the end everything the group does is to benefit themselves yet it’s interesting to watch them go about it. Not to mention the similarities that trace back to all of us when it comes to how self-absorbed we can find ourselves sometimes.
There’s not much to go off of when it comes to Chantal’s disappearance but watching the group try to piece everything together proves to be a wonderful experience. There is plenty of weird stuff that happens, and somehow it all has to explain what happened to this girl, right? Search Party takes you along for that ride, testing the theories and making them even more intense.
Dory is very much the leader in all this, connecting all the dots and forming all the possible ideas about what happened to Chantal. In a way, she really is the modern-day Nancy Drew, trying to solve a case with the help of technology.
TBS is quickly developing a reputation for surprisingly great new TV shows of 2016. Search Party rounds that group out, including the usual dark comedy to leave its mark. The mystery mixed with some satire provides an enjoyable story that still has an adrenaline-packed tone in between.
The show doesn’t take itself too seriously, letting us know that as much as Chantal is missing, this group of people isn’t ready to solve something like this right off the bat. They make mistakes, they get confused and they get distracted by their own stuff. But along the way, they all come back to this search, with tons of comedic relief to even it all out.
There is always more that a show could do when it comes to diversity, but Search Party seems to be trying. The lead is a woman of color, and Elliot is gay, spending a good amount of time having a confusing but hilarious relationship.
There was a specific scene in the first season that really captured my attention because while the assumption is that one of the characters is straight, there is definitely a door left open. The interactions between that character and someone else left the impression that heterosexuality is not the norm. If I could ask for one thing next season, it’s to see this character be confirmed queer because that scene paved an interesting introduction.
Not to spoil anything, but the show builds the plot up to be resolved in the last episode and it delivers!
There is some strange satisfaction from the direction the finale takes that not only ties up the first season, but also prepares the show for its impending next season. There’s enough to leave you satisfied but also plenty of shocking twists and turns. This series relies on the fact that they don’t give us too much information because there is a plan in place that lasts until the end.
If you are looking for a satire filled series that has a story set from the very beginning, Search Party is the perfect show to try.