"Search Party" originally aired on TBS from 2016-2017 to high praise for genre-bending storytelling that progresses each season. In 2018, it was renewed for two more seasons, but this time on a new network: HBO Max. After a long wait, the series premiered on the streaming service on June 25, 2020 - and it did not disappoint.
The first season stars our millennial friends Dory, Drew, Portia and Elliot, a self-absorbed group of friends who often have trouble controlling their self-destructive ways. Alia Shawkat of Arrested Development fame stars as the lost Dory who, after many failed job interviews, ropes her friends in a search for their college associate and leads them down a dangerous yet hilarious path. John Reynolds stars as the leading man in Dory’s life, who begins to question if this is the Dory he fell in love with. Then there is the hilarious duo Portia and Elliot, played by John Early and Meredith Hagner, who provide many laugh-out-loud moments throughout the series, making it so you can't help but keep watching.
In the first two seasons, Brandon Michael Hall stars as Marcus, the Sherlock Holmes-type ex-boyfriend of Dory, who always suspects that something is more than it seems and only makes guest appearances in the third season. Claire McNulty stars as the annoying Chantal Witherbottom that goes missing; she plays the character so well it’s annoying.
The first season is a comedy/mystery while, following its first season finale, the series changes the entire dynamic and becomes a comedy murder cover-up in a “How To Get Away With Murder” fashion, still somehow finding a way to be hilarious. The third season becomes an all-out murder mystery as the group of friends become famous for a murder they may have committed - but you’ll have to watch the series to find that out.
Shalita Grant comes along as a season three newbie, playing Cassidy Diamond, Dory’s less than capable lawyer who talks like a toddler. She becomes a fan favorite, as well as a favorite of mine, as she is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud in every one of her appearances.
The best thing about this series for me is the progression of the characters. The series tends to make viewers question the characters’ true intentions as it outlines the characters’ destruction. Especially suspect is Dory, as she dives into a hole of madness after the first season.
Moving to HBOMax was one of the best decisions the series could have made, now available in its entirety. Seasons 1-3 are currently available for all of your viewing pleasure. Check it out; you won’t be disappointed.
I give this series 5/5 Swoops.