It feels VERY weird to write about anything else right now, let alone a trailer for a TV show, but you know, life goes on, I guess. I mean, armed insurrections stormed the US capitol yesterday, Congress had to be evacuated, someone died, and now…everything is normal again? Very weird! 2021 is seven days old and already a LOT. Are we going to make it two more weeks? I don’t know! Maybe not! Even if we do make it, it sort of feels like letting armed sedition go without consequence could have serious repercussions down the line! The people in charge keep acting like our norms and procedures will save us, but I don’t know, it kind of feels like those norms and procedures keep getting whittled away and one day they won’t hold up anymore.
Anyway, Search Party is back. The cult favorite show that famously made fans wait years between the second and third seasons returns with season four, with the first episodes dropping on HBO Max on January 14 (still no word on Canadian streaming options although previous seasons are available for purchase). Search Party is one of those “best shows you’re not watching”, though it’s not a show I try to force down people’s throats. You SHOULD give it a shot, but if you don’t like the first episode, move on. Search Party is what it is from the beginning, this is not a show that “finds its rhythm” in the second season or whatever. It is a show about some of the worst people in the world doing increasingly terrible things up to and including murder. It’s hilarious, but it is a mean kind of funny. The social observations are ACUTE, and Search Party has no sympathy for its own protagonists. These are awful selfish people, and the show is not interested in portraying them as anything other than awful and selfish. Basically, Search Party is like if Breaking Bad didn’t deify Walt but instead treated him like the villain he was, and also was a comedy. It also features a SPECTACULAR performance from John Early, a comedy That Guy who gets all the spotlight he deserves here.
One interesting thing about the new season of Search Party is how HBO Max is rolling out episodes. The first three episodes will drop on January 14, with three more following on January 21, then the last four episodes will drop on January 28. This is like a hybrid binge model, which allows for batched episode consumption, but also weekly episodes. I recognize, intellectually, that the weekly model is far, far better for shows than the Netflix-style one-and-done binge model. There is no question that weekly episodes are a huge part of The Mandalorian’s success, as it keeps the show at the forefront of pop culture for at least a couple months, where even the most popular Netflix shows often fade from the moment within a week or two. But I also know that I, and many people, prefer the binge model because it’s just easier. It’s more convenient for the viewer, even if it is worse for the show. This hybrid-style release is a nice compromise between the two. The show can stretch its footprint, but the audience still gets the convenience of compacted viewing (I’ve already forgotten when new episodes of The Stand come out, so I guess I’m done watching The Stand). I love this idea and more shows should try this model. For now, I will settle for partially binging new Search Party, a show that is as surreal as 2021 is apparently going to be.
Attached- Alia Shawkat out in LA at the end of December.