Friday, December 2, 2016

Pilot Review: Search Party

Search Party (TBS)
Premiered November 21 at 10pm

This show is certainly unique. I’m not quite sure how to describe it, a comedy of sorts with an odd, semi-supernatural dramatic undercurrent. I couldn’t imagine anyone more perfect for this role than Alia Shawkat, who got her start on “Arrested Development” and has made it her business to play those who don’t quite fit in with society, often in supporting roles in films like “Cedar Rapids” and “Whip It.” Giving her this lead part is a great choice, and she responds ably by committing to it wholeheartedly, portraying someone who just isn’t able to put in any effort and gets a harsh and unforgiving response from some, like her would-be employer, as a result. She’s engaged in a dead-end relationship with a guy who accidentally brought two milkshakes to a confrontation with her ex-boyfriend, and she has friends who don’t really understand her and who aren’t inclined to believe her when she says that she saw Chantal. It took me a few minutes to figure out where I recognized Portia, who is portrayed by Meredith Hagner, but then I placed her as the star of the unique comedy with a twist, “Hits,” that I saw at Sundance a few years ago. It’s hard to figure out how to describe this show other than singular and intriguing, and the way that it ended makes me interested in seeing more. With how far behind I am on all my shows right now, I can’t commit to watching ten episodes of this show in just one week, but I think that I’ll experience as I do with Netflix and Amazon shows, with two episodes per week rather than per night.

How will it work as a series? It’s hard to know exactly what’s going on and how this is all going to play out, and the novelty of airing all ten episodes in the span of a week probably means that it’s very story-driven and meant to be watched all together. I look forward to seeing it a different way and appreciating it over a longer period of time.
How long will it last? I have no idea. I assume that it's supposed to be a closed loop given its premise, but I won't finish the show for at least another month, so who knows? The ratings seem like they were nothing spectacular but the show did get great reviews, so a second season is certainly possible.


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