Why All4’s Search Party is worth a look

search-party-800x450-800x450_051120160507Crime drama is super, mega-busy at the moment and we’re trying our best to cover as much stuff as we can here at The Killing Times. One US series that slipped under the radar was Search Party, which, I was reliably informed was an entertaining mix of comedy and thriller. I was told this by a friend and work colleague, who very kindly offered to write a little bit about the show and why he got so into it. Over to you Ben…

How would you react if someone you sort of knew went missing? How much are you really friends with someone if all you know of them is a Facebook profile? What if Scooby Doo joined the cast of Girls?

Those are the questions the first season of Search Party asks across its 10 episodes. In its wisdom All4 has made the entire show available to stream and at only 20 minutes per episode, it is almost perfectly suited to a weekend binge.

Alia Shawkat (famous for Arrested Development but most recently seen fending off Nazi Patrick Stewart in Green Room) stars as Dory, a twentysomething in New York, stuck in a nothing job with an unsatisfactory relationship, an ex she can’t quite let go of, and incredibly shitty friends. When she discovers Chantal Featherbottom, a girl from her old college, has gone missing, it provides not just excitement for Dory, but biting satire of modern life and the social media generation (one character asks “who”, while simultaneously writing a sobbing Facebook post about the disappearance)

Search Party is difficult to pigeonhole. It’s frequently, howlingly laugh-out-loud funny, with Portia and Elliot (Meredith Hagner and John Early) providing superb comic relief, and a procession of great guest stars. The show plays with the conventions of detective stories while providing a superb central mystery that takes in dangerous exes, trafficking, sex cults, and even Canada, with twists and cliffhangers that will keep you saying to yourself “just one more episode”. And as for the whodunit and whytheydunit – it’s about as fitting a denouement as you could imagine.

With so much capital-I Important TV bombarding us, Search Party provides playful relief but is a surprisingly rewarding experience. Series two is already set for next year and it’ll be fascinating to see what Dory and her barely capable crew get up to next.

Ben Duncan

Search Party is available in the UK on All4

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