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Series / Search Party

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The Search Party; from left to right, Portia, Elliott, Dory, Julian, and Drew.
Search Party is a dark comedy television series on TBS, created by Sarah-Violet Bliss, Charles Rogers, and Michael Showalter. The first season premiered on November 21, 2016. The second season premiered on November 19, 2017. The show was renewed for a third season on April 23, 2018. In addition of being renewed for a fourth season, the show will move to HBO Max starting with the third season.

When Dory Sief (Alia Shawkat) spots a missing person flier for a girl she vaguely knew in college named Chantal Witherbottom (Claire McNulty), she decides to devote herself to finding her, enlisting her boyfriend Drew Gardner (John Reynolds) and their friends Elliott Goss (John Early) and Portia Davenport (Meredith Hagner). Along the way, they come into contact with and confront people like Lorraine De Coss (Rosie Perez), an insane real estate agent who claims to know Chantal; Keith Powell (Ron Livingston), a private investigator working Chantal's case; and Julian Marcus (Brandon Michael Hall), Dory's do-gooding journalist ex-boyfriend.


Search Party contains examples of:

  • Adult Child: Chantal.
  • All for Nothing: With Chantal's benign reason for disappearing, the entire first season becomes this.
  • And Starring: Rosie Perez as Lorraine, even though she's a Guest Star.
  • Big Bad: Keith appears to be this. It turns out that this was all a misunderstanding that ends with Dory & Drew brutally murdering him.
  • Black Comedy Harassment: In the second season, Julian is sexually harassed in a racist manner by Mary Ferguson, the state Senate candidate he is working for. It's Double Standard Female On Male, and he cannot get any help from Dory, who shops the evidence to pay off her blackmailer.
  • Black Mail: Drew and Portia blackmail a sleazy businessman whom the group had met at a vigil for Chantal in order to get $5,000, so that Dory can pay someone who knows where Chantal is located.
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  • Blackmail Backfire: April gets pushed off a ferry and probably killed for blackmailing the group, but more for telling Dory she intended to torment them all about the murder forever.
  • Camp Gay: Elliott.
  • Canada, Eh?: The search eventually takes the gang to Montréal.
  • Cassandra Truth: Julian doubts Chantal's story of her disappearance when he interviews her. He is technically in the right for doubting her story since the real reason behind her "disappearance" is rather mundane. However, since Chantal's side of her fictitious story involves an abusive relationship, Julian faces backlash (particularly from women) from his accusations.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The decorative black obelisk that Drew used to kill Keith, and that Chantal finds while snooping through Drew's apartment.
    • Also the taser that Drew obtains from his downstairs neighbor, ostensibly to protect himself and Dory from someone who had broken into their apartment. (Turns out, Drew had staged the break-in as a way to deter Dory from continuing her obsessive investigation into Chantal's disappearance). Dory uses the taser to defend herself from Keith when he surprises her at the house in Montréal.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Agnes Cho.
  • Chronic Evidence Retention Syndrome: Drew suffers a bit of this when he steals the black decorative obelisk—which he used to kill Keith—from the house in Montréal.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: In the Pilot, Dory screams at Drew repeatedly to "Shut the fuck up." Later on, April gives him a "Reason You Suck" Speech that is even more vulgar.
  • Cowboy Cop: played with, since Detective Joy Hartman shot "Fat Frankie" by accident when he startled her. She may find herself an ally of Dory next season since she forged a statement that Frankie confessed to killing Keith.
  • Crazy Homeless People: Lorraine.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Keith, the supposed private investigator is obsessed with Dory.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Portia ends up finding Chantal.
  • Cult: The pregnancy-obsessed cult that operates out of a fancy art and jewelry store in Brooklyn is initially believed to be connected to Chantal’s disappearance.
  • Downer Ending:
    • Everything Dory and the rest of the group did was absolutely pointless and Keith is dead for no reason at all. The first season ends with Dory looking shell-shocked into the camera.
    • The second season ends with Dory seemingly killing April by pushing her off of a ferry, and later getting arrested at an event for being connected to the murder of Keith.
  • Driven to Suicide: Lorraine.
  • Dumb Blonde: Portia.
  • Heroic BSoD: Dory has panic attacks when she realizes her search for Chantal was ultimately pointless. She has recurring panic attacks – complete with dizzy spells, shortness of breath, and hallucinations – after killing Keith.
  • Gay Best Friend: Elliott.
  • Hipster: Dory, Drew, Elliott, and Portia are caricatures of Brooklyn hipsters. Detective Joy even lampshades this in the second season.
  • It's All About Me: Multiple characters on the show, but none more so than Elliott. At least, until the group actually finds Chantal.
  • Jerkass: Though the main cast has a lot of negative qualities, Elliot is probably the worst out of all of them by a wide margin.
    • April, Dory and Drew's neighbor, is openly hostile to literally everyone she meets.
  • Mistaken for Evidence: A lot of the "evidence" Dory gathers during the first season turns out to be completely mundane or unrelated to Chantal's disappearance.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Everyone in the gang suffers a bit of this after Dory and Drew kill Keith and they help to conceal his murder.
  • Mysterious Stranger: Dory is followed by a Mysterious Stranger during the first part of Season One. Later, it's revealed that this man is Keith, a supposed "private investigator" hired by Chantal's family in order to find her.
  • Narcissist: Elliott is self-diagnosed as such, and with good reason.
  • Nice Guy: Julian. He's smart, mature, forgiving – hell, he tutors high school kids in his spare time. He even drops off a gift for Elliott after publishing an article about how Elliott has spent his life lying about having cancer as a child.
  • Only Sane Man: Again, Julian.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: April and June.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: April delivers one to Dory about how awful and entitled she and her friends are. It seemingly costs her her life as she is thrown off of a moving ferry by Dory.
  • Red Herring: Everything about Chantal’s disappearance turns out to have a relatively benign explanation: Chantal was having an affair with a married man, and left the city to cool her nerves.
  • Sanity Slippage: Dory starts suffering from hallucinations in Season 2 in the wake of covering up Keith's death, and Elliott has an outright mental breakdown.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Everything is rendered moot when Chantal is found to have never been in any danger whatsoever.
  • Stress Vomit: Dory does this after she realizes absolutely everything was pointless since Chantal was okay all along.
  • Twist Ending: For the first season: Chantal had not been abducted or killed. Turns out, she was sleeping with a married guy, who broke up with her, so she went to Canada to stay in a friend's summer house for a while.
    • Also jokingly referenced by Chantal in the second season, when she tells Drew she wants "that twist ending" while the two are having sex on Drew's couch.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Dory with Keith, and Chantal with Farley.

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