One of the first scenes in TBS's Search Party features Dory (Alia Shawkat, Arrested Development) staring at a missing person poster on a lamp post.
The background of the shot is blurred, emphasizing Shawkat as the focus of the scene. The music playing in the scene builds the suspense, setting the pace and feel of the rest of the show. Finally, the veil of the scene is broken when a passerby says, "Girl, you standing in shit."
This comedic shattering of the tranquility of the scene sets up the comedic undertones and the satire that are present throughout the rest of the first season of Search Party.
Search Party follows a group of four New York twenty-somethings in the wake of the disappearance of Chantal Witherbottom (Clare McNulty), a girl they barely knew in college.
Each of the main characters handles the disappearance differently when Dory brings it up while they are eating lunch at a restaurant.
Portia (Meredith Hagner, Men at Work) responds by saying, "I feel like I'm about to cry," before immediately returning to her attempts to figure out if she slept with their waiter.
Elliott (John Early, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp) pretty much ignores the conversation at hand, but is later revealed to have tweeted about Chantal after they left the restaurant.
Drew (John Reynolds), Dory's boyfriend, also ignores the conversation, only muttering statements of support as he continues to try and get more ketchup from the waiter.
Dory responds in the most unique way of all. She feels such a strong connection to the situation and to this girl she barely knew that she makes it her own personal vendetta to find Chantal and bring her friends along for the ride, even though everyone else presumes her dead.
The one thing all their responses have in common is that they are caricatures of millennials: They turn to social media before anything else to express any form of emotion or opinion. And above all, millennials are narcissistic and egocentric, something that Search Party conveys expertly.
Search Party uses the premise of searching for a lost classmate to create something more. The creators of the show, Sarah-Violet Bliss, Charles Rogers and Michael Showalter (who also makes a cameo), turn a dark comedy that follows the disappearance of a girl into a satire of millennial lifestyle.
Every single character in the show does things for their own benefit. Dory does not go searching for Chantal because she wants to do a good thing — she does it because she sees herself in the situation. She knows that if she was the one missing, then no one would take action to find her.
The cast, led by Shawkat, plays their characters perfectly — at no point making it seem like they are above the things happening in the show. The actresses and actors know that they also fit the mold of people that the show is making fun of, and they convey that in their performances.
The characters in Search Party are all people whose actions ask for viewers to hate them, but instead, they are relatable. We can't hate these characters because we know that on some level we are just like them.
By creating characters and a plot that connect so well with the millennial generation, Search Party acts as a mirror for many viewers, forcing them to ask themselves, "If something like this happened in my life, what would I do?"
All 10 episodes of the first season of Search Party were released on TBS during the week of Nov. 21-25 and can now be found online.