Hit or Sh**: TBS’s SEARCH PARTY

In this Crossfader series, our intricate and complex rating system will tell you definitively whether new television pilots are worth your valuable time. We call it: HIT OR SH**.

search party

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Eat your heart out, Netflix. TBS steps up to the plate with SEARCH PARTY, a dark mystery comedy that rightly earns its advertised “binge-status.” It was almost like TBS wanted their audience to stream it instead, leaving all ten episodes of the first season available for streaming the day it released, while also airing two episodes a day on cable. With the quirky characters and subdued comedy, along with the clever mystery, SEARCH PARTY doesn’t feel like the typical half-hour comedy you can find in your TV guide.

It’s obvious that TBS is shooting for the young, cable-cutting generation of television viewers, mentioning the streamable quality of the show in nearly every advertisement. SEARCH PARTY does a fair job of portraying these same millennials they’re trying so desperately to reach.

SEARCH PARTY follows young woman Dory’s discovery that an old acquaintance from college, Chantal, is missing. This takes her on a journey that consumes her as she escapes from the disappointment she finds in her current state. She’s  a refreshing heroine: young, confused, and brutally honest. Maybe it’s her short curly bob, but she feels like a natural fit, a person you would want to get to know.

search party uk

Microwave dinner. Boyfriend with Ukelele. Quintessential for a perfect, young adult life

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Throughout the show, Dory remains perplexedly fascinated with the disappearance of a girl she barely knew. Which leaves one with many questions: What meaning does Chantal have to Dory? Is there more to their acquaintanceship that meets the eye? Does she see herself in Chantal? Is this case just an escape for her as she feels lost in her own life?

The correlation between Dory’s state of being and Chantal is yet to be set in stone, but is the key hook in Search Party, aside from the mystery of the case itself. Though one already feels close to Dory as the protagonist, there is still so much to learn about her as she goes through the case. Although a part of her does understand how crazy it is for her to be so involved, she doesn’t pay too much attention to it. Maybe she doesn’t want to face the real issues in her life, which is what everyone watching the show can connect to in one way or another.

search party generation

Yeah, this is our generation

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The cast paints a beautiful picture of young 20-somethings with all the style and energy to make it in the world, struggling to become something better than themselves while hiding behind their flawless exteriors. It’s like the show was created by and for millennials. And like many of the other relevant shows of this age, they’ve also gotten it right. We all try too hard sometimes.

The title is also clever in and of itself. Everyone is looking for something, and it really creates a party with the variance of character. The show is fast-moving and captivating. It has the appeal and gravity of an hour-long drama, but the snappy snark and humor that makes half-hour shows quick and fun. It is a show both bingers and cable watchers can agree on. Well-played, TBS, well-played.

Verdict: Hit

SEARCH PARTY airs on Mondays on TBS

Michelle Vera

Michelle is a guest contributor for Crossfader Magazine. She self-published a book about fairies when she was eight. It sold two copies.

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1 Response

  1. October 14, 2018

    […] could have been SO easy to phone in season two of SEARCH PARTY, but yet again Michael Showalter and co. delivered some Grade A television. Season two finds Dory […]

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