Search Party (TV series)

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Search Party
Search Party.png
Created by
Opening theme"Obedear" by Purity Ring
Composer(s)Brian H. Kim
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes20 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Sarah-Violet Bliss
  • Charles Rogers
  • Michael Showalter
  • Tony Herandez
  • Lilly Burns
Production location(s)New York City
CinematographyJonathan Furmanski
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time22 minutes
Production company(s)Jax Media
Quiet and Considerate Productions
Semi-Formal Productions, Inc
Studio T
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Original networkTBS
Original releaseNovember 21, 2016 (2016-11-21) –
External links

Search Party is an American satirical dark comedy television series created by Sarah-Violet Bliss, Charles Rogers, and Michael Showalter. TBS picked up the pilot to series in November 2015 and the first season premiered on November 21, 2016. The show's second season premiered on November 19, 2017.[1][2] The show was renewed for a third season on April 23, 2018.[3]


Search Party depicts the lives of New York City resident Dory Sief (Alia Shawkat) and her self-absorbed friends: passive boyfriend Drew Gardner (John Reynolds), flamboyant show-off Elliott Goss (John Early), and flighty actress Portia Davenport (Meredith Hagner). Serving as a contrast to the group is Dory's ex-boyfriend Julian (Brandon Micheal Hall), a journalist whose blunt nature frequently puts him into conflict with others.

The first season focuses on the disappearance of Dory's college acquaintance Chantal Witherbottom (Clare McNulty), whom she sets out to find, with Drew, Elliott, and Portia reluctantly joining her investigation. While her friends also deal with difficulties in their own lives, Dory focuses on her pursuit of Chantal, believing her to be in danger.

The second season focuses on the death of Keith Powell (Ron Livingston), a private investigator who is killed as a result of Dory mistakenly believing him to be a threat to Chantal. As the group struggles to return to their normal lives, they also attempt to cover up Keith's death, which affects them in various ways.

Cast and characters[edit]


  • Alia Shawkat as Dory Sief: A lifelong doormat, who is stuck as the personal assistant to a rich housewife and deeply unfulfilled by her stale relationship. When her college acquaintance Chantal goes missing, she makes it her personal mission to find her—and she brings her friends with her.[4]
  • John Reynolds as Drew Gardner: A sweet, spoon-fed doofus, who has spent his whole life a little too sheltered, Drew must grow a spine if he wants to help Dory solve the mystery of Chantal's disappearance and save their deteriorating relationship.[4]
  • John Early as Elliott Goss: Gay and hipper than thou, Elliott is a self-diagnosed narcissist, who still finds it in his heart to help find Chantal. Adept at manipulating those around him, he is particularly good at detective work.[4]
  • Meredith Hagner as Portia Davenport: A flighty, bubbly actress, Portia is swept up in the thrill of helping solve the mystery. Her desperate need for the spotlight makes her excellent at chatting up suspects and getting information – even if by accident.[4]
  • Brandon Micheal Hall as Julian Marcus: Dory's journalist ex-boyfriend.


Guest stars[edit]


In June 2015, it was announced Alia Shawkat, John Early, John Reynolds, and Meredith Hagner had all been cast in the pilot, with Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers directing and writing alongside Michael Showalter, Lilly Burns, Tony Hernadez, John Skidmore, Brittany Segal serving as executive producers and producers respectively.[5] In November 2015, TBS ordered the series.[6][7]


The shooting of the first season began in the summer of 2015 in New York.[5][8] For the filming of the second season the production returned to New York. Filming for season 3 began in September 2018 and wrapped that November.[9]


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
110November 17, 2016 (2016-11-17)November 25, 2016 (2016-11-25)
210November 19, 2017 (2017-11-19)December 17, 2017 (2017-12-17)[10]

Season 1 (2016)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUS viewers
11"The Mysterious Disappearance of The Girl No One Knew"Sarah-Violet Bliss & Charles RogersStory by: Sarah-Violet Bliss & Charles Rogers and Michael Showalter
Teleplay by: Sarah-Violet Bliss & Charles Rogers
November 17, 2016 (2016-11-17) (online)
November 21, 2016 (2016-11-21) (TBS)
When her college acquaintance Chantal goes missing, Dory makes it her personal mission to find her. At the same time, she begins to doubt her relationship with boyfriend Drew. Later, Dory supposedly sees Chantal in a Chinese restaurant and when she approaches Chantal she runs away leaving a book and the search party looking for Chantal finds her blouse with blood in the forest.
22"The Woman Who Knew Too Much"Sarah-Violet Bliss & Charles RogersCharles RogersNovember 21, 2016 (2016-11-21)0.354[11]
The next day, Dory tells her friends and her boyfriend what happened the night before, but they do not believe her and Drew discovers Dory went to see her ex-boyfriend Julian. That day, Dory meets with Lorraine (Rosie Perez), a real estate agent who also saw Chantal but soon begins to suspect that Lorraine might be crazy and confirms her suspicions when she appears at the party organized by Elliot saying nonsense. Utterly crestfallen, Dory promises herself that she is going to give up this Chantal insanity. But then, as she gives one last long look at Chantal's Facebook page, she finds a bona fide clue. The sign Chantal was carrying in her Ice Bucket Challenge video has the same star-and-rainbow doodle as an underlined passage in the book Anna Karenina. The episode ends with another glimpse of Chantal, this time riding a bus out of town.
33"The Night of One Hundred Candles"Sarah-Violet Bliss & Charles RogersChristina LeeNovember 22, 2016 (2016-11-22)0.860[12]
Dory, Drew, Elliot and Portia with these last three believing she is dead, meet in the vigil with candles in the house of Chantal's family, with a captive audience watching, Chantal's college a cappella group singing a song in his honor. After this, Dory finds Chantal's mother alone in the kitchen, and decides that this is the perfect time to reveal that she saw her daughter. At first, Mrs. Witherbottom is confused, and then she gets scared and starts crying and screaming. Then Chantal's brother-in-law shouts at Dory for his insensitivity and they leave. Dory sneaks into Chantal's room and in a jewelry box, Dory finds a strip of photos of Gavin and Chantal — and a folded-up sonogram that could suggest that Chantal is pregnant.
44"The Captive Dinner Guest"Sarah-Violet Bliss & Charles RogersMichael ShowalterNovember 22, 2016 (2016-11-22)0.515[12]
Dory and Drew organize a double date with the strange ex-boyfriend of Chantal, Gavin since he is the main suspect in the disappearance of Chantal and her friend and actress Portia. After a tense dinner, Gavin goes to the bathroom and Dory takes his phone and discovers with Drew that it is filled with hundreds of emails for Chantal, which Dory quickly forwards to Drew's phone, which then begins to sound frantically, interrupting the failed seduction of Gavin with Portia. Drew runs out to get his phone, and Gavin realizes he does not have his phone and he goes crazy. Gavin throws the bookcase and kicks the furniture realizing that they snooped his phone. Dory confesses him that Chantal was pregnant but Gavin tells them that Chantal was cheating on him. While Dory takes out the garbage she sees the same guy who followed her a few hours ago wearing a dark jacket and a cap looking directly at her.
55"The Mystery of the Golden Charm"Ryan McFaulAnthony KingNovember 23, 2016 (2016-11-23)0.885[13]
At the pharmacy, Dory see and runs into the same man who watches her, the two go to a coffee shop and discover that the man is a private investigator named Keith Powell hired by the family of Chantal, and they decide to work together to find Chantal. Both go to the apartment of Chantal who shared with a girl named Penelope who hates her, Dory and Keith go to their room and find a box with their things, they want to take it but Penelope does not leave them. After leaving, Keith took a small box with wolf's tooth hanging from a chain. The little box comes from a place in Red Hook called Bellow & Hare. Dory goes to that place and meets a woman named Brick who invites her to a gathering of artists and special customers. Later, at the bar, Dory shares the news of her day. For the first time, it seems that she's the one with the interesting story to tell. But when she mentions Bellow & Hare, Elliott - freshly back from Uganda tells them that place is a cult. The episode closes on a shot of Chantal, alone in a bare room, singing to herself. She hears a noise and jumps out of her skin.
66"The Secret of the Sinister Ceremony"Ryan McFaulSarah-Violet BlissNovember 23, 2016 (2016-11-23)0.505[13]

Dory, Portia, and Elliott head to the gathering at Bellow and Hare. Drew can not come because he has to meet his enormous family at the theater. Inside, they are surprisingly high number of pregnant women. Elliott runs into an old (pregnant) friend, who keeps talking about something called "The Moment." They meet to eat and everyone is encouraged to share something called "acute intimacy." It's Dory's turn, she reveals that she's looking for Chantal, but she is interrupted by a baby monitor because "The Moment" has arrived, and everyone gets up from the table heading to another room, except for Dory and her friends who are not allowed in. Portia and Elliot go by taxi, but Dory stays and sneaks inside discovering where the cult members are in a circle surrounding a woman, who's on the floor with a wooden plank in her mouth. They all turn her way before she apologizes and dashes out.

She gets to dinner after everyone's finished and then grovels in front of Drew's family at his request. When they get home, the door is unlocked. That's when Dory sees it - her wall of obsession has been ransacked. The photos and notes and connective string were torn down, then replaced with a simple piece of white paper bearing the words: STOP LOOKING FOR CHANTAL.
77"The Riddle Within the Trash"Ryan McFaulChristina LeeNovember 24, 2016 (2016-11-24)0.145[15]
Dory makes a huge connection in the case, while Drew is tempted by the fruits of another. Elliott's big charity launch ends disastrously when his integrity is challenged, and Portia causes a stir on the set of her show.[14]
88"The Return of the Forgotten Phantom"Sarah-Violet Bliss & Charles RogersAnthony KingNovember 24, 2016 (2016-11-24)0.113[15]
The world shames Elliott for being a liar so he seeks comfort from his ex-boyfriend, Marc. Portia copes with disappointments in her career and personal life, and Dory quits the case but gets reeled back in when she makes a sinister connection.[14]
99"Password to the Shadows"Sarah-Violet Bliss & Charles RogersSarah-Violet BlissNovember 25, 2016 (2016-11-25)0.634[16]
The crew kicks into high gear sleuthing when they discover their biggest lead yet and they have no choice but to pay off an unlikely source for Chantal's possible whereabouts.[14]
1010"The House of Uncanny Truths"Sarah-Violet Bliss & Charles RogersCharles RogersNovember 25, 2016 (2016-11-25)0.357[16]
The crew heads to where they suspect Chantal may be hiding, but when Dory is floored by a terrifying threat, things take a disastrous turn.[14]

Season 2 (2017)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUS viewers
111"Murder!"Sarah-Violet Bliss & Charles RogersSarah-Violet Bliss & Charles RogersNovember 19, 2017 (2017-11-19)0.792
After finding the not-so-missing Chantal and killing the not-so-villainous Keith, the gang is faced with the horrifying task of trying to bury a body before the sun comes up.[17]
122"Conspiracy"Sarah-Violet Bliss & Charles RogersSarah-Violet Bliss & Charles RogersNovember 19, 2017 (2017-11-19)0.524
The gang goes on a mission to cover up Keith's semi-accidental murder and return Chantal to her family, with just a few major roadblocks along the way.[17]
133"Paralysis"Sarah-Violet Bliss & Charles RogersJordan Firstman and Starlee KineNovember 26, 2017 (2017-11-26)0.616
Life after murder proves to be harder than expected as the friends readjust to their superficial Brooklyn lives.[17]
144"Suspicion"Lilly BurnsAnthony KingNovember 26, 2017 (2017-11-26)0.392
The darkness creeps back in as the friends make choices fueled by paranoia. Dory is confronted by Keith's ex-wife, while Portia is cast in a play about the Manson Murders, Drew begins a long con to escape to China, Elliott breaks out into hives, and Chantal reveals a bit too much to Julian.[17]
155"Paranoia"Michael ShowalterChristina LeeDecember 3, 2017 (2017-12-03)0.695
The gang is invited to Chappaqua where they receive the key to the city for finding Chantal, while a police woman named Joy begins to uncover their tracks.[17]
166"Obsession"Michael ShowalterAndrew Fleming and Matt KrieteDecember 3, 2017 (2017-12-03)0.439
As Elliott descends into insanity, the gang turns their backs on Dory, who begins working with Julian at a political campaign.[17]
177"Denial"Michael ShowalterSarah-Violet BlissDecember 10, 2017 (2017-12-10)0.612
While the gang's distance grows, Dory drops in on Keith's funeral, Drew investigates the threatening flowers left at his work, Portia severs ties with her mother, Elliott endures group therapy at rehab, and Julian realizes Mary may be an imperfect role model.[17]
188"Hysteria"Sarah-Violet Bliss & Charles RogersCharles RogersDecember 10, 2017 (2017-12-10)0.369
Dory and Drew receive a visit from hot-on-the-trail Officer Joy Hartman, make a shocking discovery at who knows what they did, meet up with a renewed Elliott, and still make it to Portia's play on time.[17]
199"Frenzy"Sarah-Violet Bliss & Charles RogersSarah-Violet Bliss & Charles RogersDecember 17, 2017 (2017-12-17)0.671
The gang must get $60,000 to their blackmailer, leading to a day of cat food tins, mistaken identities, and tasers. On the other side of town, Joy follows Fat Franky, which does not end as anticipated.[17]
2010"Psychosis"Sarah-Violet Bliss & Charles RogersSarah-Violet Bliss & Charles RogersDecember 17, 2017 (2017-12-17)0.432
The gang ties up loose ends in their lives before facing the sobering reality that they might all go to jail by midnight, leaving it up to Dory to figure something out.[17]


Search Party received critical acclaim. The first season received positive reviews from television critics. It holds a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 33 reviews, with an average rating of 8/10. The site's critical consensus reads "Search Party is an engaging, weird, dark, funny mystery elevated by exceptional performances throughout."[18] On Metacritic, the season holds a rating of 81 out of 100, based on 19 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[19]

Los Angeles Times wrote that it was "tightly made and effective on multiple levels".[20] GQ wrote that it is "a flawless oddity, a once-in-a-lifetime piece of art. It's not the weekend's best show, it's the year's best."[21]

The second season of Search Party received positive reviews from television critics. It holds a 96% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 23 reviews, with an average rating of 7/10. The site's critical consensus reads "With a never-better Alia Shawkat in the lead, Search Party's second season delves deeper into the deliciously dark dramedy that makes the show so addictively entertaining."[22] On Metacritic, the season holds a rating of 78 out of 100, based on 9 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[23]


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2017 Gotham Independent Film Awards Breakthrough Series – Long Form Search Party Nominated [24]


  1. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (December 13, 2016). "'People Of Earth' & 'Search Party' Renewed For Season 2 By TBS". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  2. ^ Webb Mitovich, Matt (July 27, 2017). "Tracy Morgan's Last O.G., Search Party Season 2 Get TBS Premiere Dates". TVLine. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  3. ^ McLennan, Cindy (April 23, 2018). "Search Party: Season Three; TBS Renews Dark Mystery Comedy Series". Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d Littleton, Cynthia (November 2, 2015). "TBS Gives Series Order to Mystery Comedy 'Search Party'". Variety. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  5. ^ a b Elise Sandberg, Bryn (June 22, 2015). "'Arrested Development' Alum Alia Shawkat to Star in Jax Media Comedy". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  6. ^ TBS press release (November 2, 2015). "TBS Greenlights Mystery Comedy Series 'Search Party'". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  7. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (November 2, 2015). "'Search Party' Comedy Starring Alia Shawkat Ordered to Series by TBS as Network Debuts New Logo". Deadline Hollywood.
  8. ^ Giannotta, Meghan (December 4, 2016). "'Search Party' in Brooklyn: Where the TBS show filmed in NYC". AmNewYork. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  9. ^ Philip, Tom (November 16, 2017). "On the Set of Search Party, the Darkest Comedy Show on TV". GQ. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  10. ^ "Search Party – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  11. ^ a b "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 11.21.2016". Showbuzz Daily.
  12. ^ a b "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 11.22.2016". Showbuzz Daily.
  13. ^ a b "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Wednesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 11.23.2016". Showbuzz Daily.
  14. ^ a b c d "Search Party, Season 1 (Uncensored) on iTunes". Retrieved June 26, 2018.
  15. ^ a b "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Thursday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 11.24.2016". Showbuzz Daily.
  16. ^ a b "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Friday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 11.25.2016". Showbuzz Daily.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Search Party, Season 2 (Uncensored) on iTunes". Retrieved June 26, 2018.
  18. ^ "Search Party". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  19. ^ "Search Party - Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  20. ^ Lloyd, Robert (November 20, 2016). "'Search Party' has fun with mystery-story twists". Los Angeles Times.
  21. ^ Philip, Tom (November 28, 2016). "'Search Party Is the Post-Thanksgiving Bingewatch You Need". Gentlemen's Quarterly.
  22. ^ "Search Party". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  23. ^ "Search Party - Season 2". Metacritic. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  24. ^ Erbland, Kate (19 October 2017). "'Get Out' Leads 2017 Gotham Awards Nominations". IndieWire. Retrieved 19 October 2017.

External links[edit]