TV Review: Search Party
I so wanted this to be my show. But nothing in 2020 has gone as planned...
I mean, from this grab alone, it has my name written all over it. Source: GiPHY
I'd wanted to watch this show since I first caught wind of it in 2016. Back then in little old Oz, there was no Netflix, Stan or Amazon Prime, so unless I wanted to 2003 and Limewire it, I had to wait for a dodgy DVD from Bali or hope it would finally come to our shores.
Then finally, it appeared on Stan. Yessss, I said to my boyfriend, whoops, husband. It's Alia Shawkat, aka Arrested Development's Maeby Funke! And who doesn't love them some Maeby Funke?!
Totes would, love you Maeby! Source: GiPHY
In Search Party, baby Maeby is all grown up. I just finished my first ever round of Broad City (I know, I am SO late to the party that Nikki said I couldn't even do a review on it cos it's so old) and so watching Ilana's dopple in her late 20s-early 30s seemed like a logical television progression, like going from the Little Karen's to the full-blown Baby Sitter's Club (look, if you know, you know.)
What I thought the show was going to be: A bit Broad City, a bit Veronica Mars, like cool New York friends being funny and lit whilst solving crime in a unique and fun way.
What it actually is: The show focuses on Maeby, or her new character name, Dory (but she not a fish) and her vapid mates who are all fairly pointless, not all that nice human beings who all live fairly vacuous existences, although at least her mate Elliott makes it funny. It comes to Dory's attention that a chick she vaguely knew from college, Chantal, has gone missing. Whilst the others don't feel that much of a connection, Dory becomes obsessed with finding her. Finding Chantal is giving her a sense of purpose, of mystery, of helping.
Maeby is that you? Source: GiPHY
I was incredulous enough to get through the first season, but it's just not what I thought. I raved on about how good it would be to my husband, who after the third episode pleaded with me to turn it off, stating 'Jess...I actually hate this show, and everyone in it. I need to stop watching immediately' but this also could have been an excuse to run to the bedroom and play on Kayo for the next six hours. But to be honest, I got it. As even though the premise is cool - four college friends from New York solve a mystery of a missing acquaintance - there's no warmth. Dory herself is extremely serious, and to be honest, pretty uninteresting, and has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. So much so that when she cheats on her boyfriend and he asks for a reason, all she can muster up is an antagonistic, 'I don't know, I just did it, okay?' Like...what? Her friends kind of suck too - there's a cliched self-absorbed actress, her gay friend Elliott who is kind of funny but also the worst because he fakes a terminal illness but none of the friends seems to care, and her boyfriend Drew who is sweet, but tbh - a pansy. Like, they hear a couple fighting next door and he wants his girlfriend to handle it. Get a grip, Drew. Plus, Dory's fuck boi ex Julian pops up every now and again just to make her feel like shit, but I think we're actually meant to like him, even though he's the worst.
The only character who knows he's an asshole becomes the only one who is watchable. Source: GiPHY
While I won't spoil the ending of Season 1, all I will say is that it is fairly anti-climatic, but it does make way for a new mystery of sorts for Season 2. I don't even know if I'll watch. Like, I only finished Season 1 cos I had already started, the episodes were short enough, I was on my couch and couldn't be stuffed scrolling to find a new show in the time it would take to find a new ep. But as for another season? I don't know. I don't care enough about anyone, or what they do, or what happens to them. It's like how I felt during The Crown. I could keep watching, or I could never watch another ep again, and both options are...fine. But then, I'm also fairly lazy, and I know their character names already, so I could be swayed. Is this how people in long-term relationships with no love left feel? Like ugh. I'm bored, but can't be bothered looking, so you'll do? I mean, I get it. Life, am I right? I'll still hold a candle to Alia Shawkat in Arrested Development and Whip It. This just wasn't what I thought it would be. It's a shame, because I really wanted to love it. But I suppose the - wait for it- 'search party' is on for my next great show (dad joke ZING!)
Note: Will gives that zing 1/10.