Starring: Alia Shawkat, John Early, John Reynolds
Networks: HBO Max, TBS
A black comedy about four self-centered people in their twenties who come together in the aftermath of the disappearance of a fellow student. The fourth season of Search Party premiered on HBO Max on January 14, 2021. After the switch from TBS, this was the first season to be created entirely by the streaming service.
The disappearance of a young woman named Chantal Winterbottom sparked the development of the Search Party (Clare McNulty). However, as the show progresses, it turns into something much more intelligent: a biting drama about millennial boredom and self-exploration, with cynical hipster culture references thrown in for good measure.
Identity questions, as well as what our life goals are, are often asked, often in a light-hearted way, and sometimes in a serious and poignant way. Season 4 (which premiered on HBO Max on Thursday) continues the show’s legacy of excellence by delving deeper and deeper into the show’s darkest area, despite a shaky start.
The chemistry between the four core characters is one of the most fun aspects of watching Search Party, but the show struggles to recapture the magic in the first few episodes of Season 4.
Indeed, so much of what happens in the season happens on its own; it seems the show wants to see what happens when these four spoiled millennials are free of the toxicity that has bound them for so long.
While this may seem like a fascinating topic to discuss, unfortunately the film doesn’t draw any deeper meaning from it. After the trial, we really don’t know what Drew, Elliott and Portia think of Dory. After the trial, we really don’t know what Drew, Elliott and Portia think of Dory.
We are also baffled why Drew remains so devoted to Dory, despite being wronged by her several times. And the first half of the season is uneven due to both narrative weaknesses.
Fortunately, the season begins to improve in the fifth episode, when Drew discovers that Dory’s absence may be due to something sinister, and decides to reunite with Elliott and Portia to find out the truth.
In that sense, the season returns to where it all started, but with the script flipped. The seeker has gone missing and her three similar narcissistic friends are tasked with finding her.
It’s a fun way to keep track of the characters’ development and compare where they are now and where they were when the show first aired. The mechanics of the quest, as well as the paranoia that comes with it, are secondary to the characters’ relationship, just like in the first season.
The season received mostly favorable reviews and ranks perfectly on Rotten Tomatoes.