Why Search Party is the most unexpected show on TV right now.


Search Party is the most unexpected show on TV right now.

It’s a comedy-drama-mystery that’s kind of like Broad City meets Nancy Drew meets Serial season one.

Through its very own brand of dark comedy, Search Party takes the millennial stereotype and flips it on its head.

The show centres around Dory (not the fish), a twenty-something Brooklynite and her seemingly self-obsessed group of millennial mates.

In the first episode of this dark comedy, Dory (Arrested Development’s Alia Shawkat) discovers that Chantal, a girl she barely knew in college, has gone missing.

In true millennial style, Dory decides to make the disappearance of her one-time friend all about her.

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Dory is convinced that something nefarious has happened to Chantal and she’s determined to find her – dead or alive. So she rounds up her ragtag gang of mates and they set out on a mission to track down their old college pal.

They gatecrash a memorial, get mixed up with a really suss private eye, infiltrate a cult, and take a very emotionally draining road trip to Canada.

And in the end they find out that things are definitely not what they seemed. And that ~ just quietly ~ not everything is about them.

Then something very unexpected happens, leading to an even more mind-blowing season two.

Dory’s friends are genuinely funny (even when they don’t mean to be), from her preppy boyfriend Drew, the self-involved Elliot, and the overly dramatic, narcissistic, struggling actress Portia.

Meredith Hagner, the actress who plays Portia, told Mamamia things are going to get a little darker, and even more hilarious in season two, as these millennial mates are forced to learn a whole lot more about themselves and each other.


“I am so blown away by the seasons. I was one of those people at the end of season one who thought ‘How are they going to do it?’,” she told Mamamia.

“When it came out [season two] we were all just so pleasantly surprised,” she said. “They found such an incredible tone, and the humour, I just feel like it’s a show that truly gets better.”

search party recommendation
Image via SBS On Demand.

Hagner says her character has served as a bit of a cautionary tale for her.

"I would describe her as me having gone down a slightly different path," she said.

"There are ways in which we couldn't be more different but then I also draw from some of the ridiculous experiences I've had as an actress."


Surprisingly, Hagner says Portia serves as a reminder that no one is either truly bad or truly good.

"I've never really thought that anyone was a bad person deep down," she explained. "And I've always been fascinated with people who are so presentational with their narcissism and their obsession with talking about themselves and how great they are and how great they're doing."

"I'm so curious about what those people's lives are like for real, you know, how they got that way, why they are that way."

Hagner says like many young people Portia isn't actually the shallow, narcissistic millennial she's initially made out to be.

"It's been really fun to explore how she's not a bad person at all, she's become that way through so many different things."

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If this kind of millennial naval gazing usually makes you tune out - don't - the sheer brilliance of this show lies in the fact that it's so self aware about how Dory and Portia see themselves in the world. And how this millennial self-obsession actually leads them down some very mysterious and dangerous paths.

This show is really likeable, it's FUNNY, and there are some genuine spine-tingling moments of fear.

If nothing else Search Party will make you realise that maybe - just maybe - not everything is about you. But also... it kind of is.

The complete first season of Search Party and the first two episodes of season two are available to stream on SBS On Demand now.

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