Search Party 1-5 review

  • Rating: Seven out of Ten Hipster Detectives
  • When to watch: Binged after Thanksgiving Dinner when you don’t have to talk to anyone for a really long stretch of time

Search Party, the story of a Brooklyn poets disappearance manages to be a parody onto it’s self. Chantal, a young twenty something Poetry major has disappeared and Dory, a passing college acquaintance has become enamoured with finding out what’s happened.

Stories about missing people seem to have become a genre onto itself. Stranger Things, Gone Girl, that one show the missing. Are all about completely different subjects but all have the mysterious disappearance of a person central to their story. And there’s something so intriguing about the concept, a mystery that takes it’s place in the real world but manages to be an untold level of possibility and horror.

There’s a thread to Search Party which plays like a comedy, the New York trope of four best friends brunching follows throughout the season and if it wasn’t for the surrealist undertones, accidentally running into a cult in the middle of New York could have been an episode of Friends (maybe not with the same dialogue.)

The main relationship between Drew and Dory is one of the main sources of uncomfortable humour through the show. Drew’s innate niceness spiralling into doormat territory and Dory’s mental breakdown that seems to be marching along her detective work, both characters seem like they’d be a lot happier if they broke up.

And comparing Search Party again, there are elements of the comedy that are very indicative of Girls. Both shows document the comings and goings of obnoxious New York based rich kids (Drew is an unpaid business school intern he’s being bankrolled) and even though the comedy goes to the uncomfortable sometimes there are flashes of venerability that Girls doesn’t have. Whether it’s the glimmers of airhead blonde ‘ethnically ambiguous’ actress trying desperately for her mother to be proud of her or the water charity ambassador¬†Elliot who somehow lands on his feet.

As the series evolves it’s gets more comfortable in the surreal as questions of cults, creepy affairs and a bloodstained blouse. As Drew puts it, she’s putting them in danger for a Facebook friend but Dory is having too much time holidaying in other people’s misery as she makes it her mission to find the lost Chantal.

Maybe a wider look at our own fascinations with the macabre or the feeling that something like this could happen to any of us, Search Party is not without it’s lapses in story but is smart enough to not be beholden to it’s flaws.



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