For anyone with the SlingTV app or just a web browser (go to http://www.tbs.com/shows/search-party), you can watch the entirety of one of TV’s best new shows. SEARCH PARTY seasons 1 and 2 are available right now. If you don’t know anything about Search Party, it follows the existential misadventures of Dory Sief (played by Alia Shawkat) and her friends as they get caught in the whirlwind of the mystery of a missing friend from college named Chantal Witherbottom.
Dory’s downward spiral of paranoia, fear and self-doubt (a large part of season one revolves around her feeling like no one would care if she went missing, ultimately fueling her quest to find Chantal). Season 1 felt like a throwback mystery show with red herrings, misdirects and a resolution that perfectly encapsulates just how bizarre and twisted our own minds can be.
Season 2 retained those same elements but also flipped the murder-mystery genre on its head. The beauty of this season lies in how it can present some of the most reprehensibly selfish and desperate behavior that comes from the darkest parts of the human soul and then two seconds later land a joke that will have you questioning true north on your own moral compass for laughing about it. A rare gem of a show whose characters are all equal parts detestable, relatable and charismatic. The characters are behave in unscrupulous ways, but the writers and performers all present it in a way that almost makes sense. They all feel backed into a corner and are lashing out in ways they never expected. Dory & co are your average gaggle of ineffectual trust fund 20-somethings who usually worry more about getting brunch reservations than anything resembling issues of substance. They are suddenly thrown in to a world of murder, blackmail and cover-ups to morbidly hilarious results. The shorthand for this show would be something like “Millennial American Psycho” or “Hipsters Breaking Bad,” but that wouldn’t be doing the idiosyncratic vibe of the show justice at all.
Aside from Shakwat, who gives a very tender, raw element to such a duplicitous and delusional character, the entire cast of Search Party is second to none. John Reyonds as Drew Gardner (Dory’s ex-ish boyfriend(?)) goes from a meek office worker to someone willing to ruin three people’s lives just to cover his own ass. John Early as Elliot Goss is completely self-absorbed to the point that it borders on megalomaniacal (which lends itself perfectly to the situation he finds himself in) and Meredith Hagner as Portia Davenport seems to be the most innocent (relatively speaking) of them all. Portia’s naiveté and somewhat ditzy nature never overshadows her three dimensionality (coughsJoeyfromFriendscoughs) and while she bounces around from various manipulative people in her life (whether it be her mother, her friends or co-workers), her character is the one you most feel for throughout both seasons.
Okay – so that’s it! To go any deeper would be MAJOR spoiler territory, but rest assured this show is some of the most daring and original television out there. It takes some BIG chances with how it portrays its characters and tells its story. Unlike most shows on TV, it doesn’t have that cloying nature, begging you to like its characters – it actually challenges the audience to really think about whether or not these are good people in a bad situation or just people who were always kinda shitty finally being outted for what they truly are.
Though – minor spoilers – the breakout star for this season has to be Pheobe Tyers as April. Her character is a perfect antithesis to everything Dory and her friends pretend to be. She’s not fashionable or faux-friendly. There’s no sense of pretension about her at all and while she’s not the most likable or friendly character, she is 100% on-the-surface about who she is. In many ways she is on the outside what Dory and her friends are on the inside… – anyway, she’s freakin’ awesome this season so definitely keep an eye out for her.
Again – you can watch this entire show for free at the previously provided link. If you do, let us know what you think on twittah @Official_FAN