30-Second Synopsis: Dory (Alia Shawkat) discovers that a former college classmate, Chantal, has gone missing. Dory sets about finding her and tries to rope her friends into helping out, but they don't remember Chantal very well and don't care that much. As Chantal's family begins to fear she may be dead, Dory has a chance encounter with her in New York City. What follows is part Brooklyn send-up and part thriller, a legitimately compelling mystery populated by eccentric characters that seems to grow in urgency with each episode.
Chantal? Chantal?!? CHANTAL?!?!?
Why It's Not a Typical New York Comedy: There's a bit of Girls humor in Search Party, as the show presents the weirder, more laughable figures in New York City with remarkable satire. But just as one thinks the show might lapse into being just "quirky," Dory either has a shocking run-in with a figure related to Chantal's disappearance or witnesses something highly suspicious.
Best New York Stereotypes, Come to Life: Woman who makes popsicles from seasonal fruits and berries for a living; social justice activists who argue about whose charity is the most relevant; bespectacled boyfriend who plays ukulele and sings instead of having a serious conversation; journalist who inexplicably can afford a really nice apartment with no roommates; wealthy lady who makes her own seltzer water because she believes that's saving the environment; Brooklyn jeweler who may or may not run a cult in a repurposed warehouse.
Most Surprising Subplot: Alia Shawkat's dress and skirt game is strong in this show. Sometimes she wears a '90s floral-print dress to a rooftop party. Sometimes she wears a '50s-style house dress to a dinner party. Sometimes she wears an '80s skirt suit with enormous shoulders to an interview. Dory might be unraveling, but her fashion sense isn't.
Funniest Veteran Actor: Parker Posey as a Brooklyn jeweler: "Good day. Wait, are you an artist? You have the arms of a potter," and, "They say every time a wolf loses a tooth it is demoted in rank."
Biggest Where-Have-You-Been Actor: Ron Livingston as a private investigator hired by Chantal's family to tail Dory. Dory has a boyfriend, but she sure doesn't mind having a beer on the floor with the slightly age-inappropriate P.I.