Viewers wondering if they should give the bleakly satirical TBS comedy Search Party a try can certainly be forgiven if they get the impression that the network is kicking them under the table and mouthing “don’t bother.” Modeled on indie films not only in its grimy photography and elliptical plotting but its penurious budgeting—the closest thing to a marketable star is Alia Shawkat, part of the ensemble cast of the decade-old cult favorite Arrested Development—Search Party is not so much being aired as burned off, two episodes at a time, at 11 p.m. every night during Thanksgiving week. Don’t let the lid hit you on your head as we lower your coffin into the grave, fellows.
What’s strange about this (well, okay, almost everything is strange about this, but especially strange) is that if you give it a chance, Search Party is kind of weirdly endearing, in a misanthropic, foul-mouthed sort of way. If you’ve ever wondered why all your friends are self-important sociopaths, Search Party may be the show you’ve been waiting for all your life. Television critic Glenn Garvin explains more.