TBS’ new mystery-comedy Search Party examines a group of self-absorbed millennials who find themselves drawn down a dangerous rabbit hole when a former acquaintance goes missing. At today’s TCA panel on the show, executive producers Lilly Burns, Sarah-Violet Bliss, Charles Rogers and Michael Showalter attempted to explain how funny and scary can exist in one show.
“The balance between the two heightens both,” said Burns. She said the mystery is more compelling because it involves ordinary “people you would know,” and the comedy “is heightened in scary situations. It’s a very binge-intense show that you want to see what happens next.”
Rogers also struggled to define the blended genre: “The more they get involved in the mystery, it affects the relationships…there are moments that are more relationship-y, and some more genre and mystery and go to a more dark place.”
The EPs were joined on today’s panel by cast members Alia Shawkat, John Early, John Reynolds, Meredith Hagner and Brandon Michael Hall. And without being prompted, Shawkat threw her hat in the ring with another nagging point: Can self-absorbed twentysomethings ever be, like, likeable?
Shawkat admitted when she first encountered the characters she thought: “I don’t care what happens to these people.” But she changed her mind as she saw the characters change and grow when faced with the challenge of solving a mystery. “It’s about them searching for their own identities, whether it’s inside themselves or outside themselves.”
EP Showalter pointed out that he is a Gen X-er, not a millennial. He said that even though the show has some fun with addiction to social media and other millennial stereotypes, he says that all generations of young people “defend themselves by not caring.”
“It’s not necessarily the most rosy view of being young, but there is something very raw and kind of exciting about it,” Showalter said. “I think that’s been captured in this show. “