Search Party Season 2 First Look
Eager for the Party to get started right now? Let’s start with the bad news: You’ll have to wait a while, as season 2 of TBS’ dark mystery comedy Search Party doesn’t kick off until Nov. 19. But for those of you ready to assemble a group of individuals to look for information — wish there were a phrase for that — we come bearing very good news, too. Here are 17 first-look photos from season 2, complete with inside information from star Alia Shakwat and executive producers Charles Rogers and Michael Showalter.
As you recall, in the season finale, Dory (Shawkat) and her posse — Elliott (John Early), Portia (Meredith Hagner), and Drew (John Reynolds) — finally tracked down Chantal (Clare McNulty) in Montreal, only to find out that she wasn’t so much of a missing person as someone who got dumped by her married boyfriend and went to her friend’s summer house. Worse yet, quasi-P.I. Keith (Ron Livingston) showed up at the house and, long story short, wound up dead after a struggle. (Hey, it was mostly self-defense.) What the hell are they going to do with that body? (Get rid of it, for starters.) Can they ever go back to the way things were? (Nope.) Do cats factor into the new season? (They do.) Start clicking and hypothesizing.
“When we were in the writing process for this season, the leads kept asking us if there were going to be a lot of group scenes this year because the funnest shoot days are always the ones when they’re all together,” says Rogers. “They’re too obsessed with each other, it’s unhealthy.”
Chantal with her parents, Robert (James Young) and Linda (Catherine Burns)
“At the end of the first season, the friends find the missing Chantal, though what had happened to her was actually nothing like any of Dory’s theories,” says Rogers. “This season takes the reality of ‘saving’ someone a step further, because now that they’ve found Chantal, they have to deal with her. And she’s ultimately just a really irritating brat.”
I mean, look at that shirt.
“This season starts off on a brutal note with the friends burying a body together,” says Rogers. “We wanted the actors to actually go through the full action of throwing the body in a hole and completely covering it up, which was a very realistic and unsettling thing to watch — even if Portia didn’t have the right shoes for that kind of activity.”
“That’s them hiding any evidence as best they can, and each step of the way realizing they f—ed up,” says Shawkat. “They’re like, ‘Wait, what about fingerprints?’ ‘Wait, what about this, what about that?’ It’s almost the YouTube version of ‘How do you bury a body?’”
“A lot of this season deals with the guilt Dory feels about her actions in season 1,” says Showalter. “It manifests itself in lots of different ways, and that makes her a paranoid and unstable character.”
“I’m being honored for finding Chantal, and Chappaqua is the city that she’s from,” says Shawkat. “It’s a bougie, older white people environment, and I’m very uncomfortable for being there naturally and I don’t give a very great speech. [Mary, played by J. Smith Cameron] is a huge character in this season. She’s presenting me with the award, she’s running for Senate, and she is a big part of the season. She has a lot of stuff with Julian (Brandon Micheal Hall). Julian and I end up working at her campaign.”
“The arrival of Mary alters Dory and Julian’s relationship, and poses challenges to Julian’s strict code of morality,” says Showalter. “We went through a number of changes to this storyline, and it’s become a really strong aspect to the new season.”
“I have a theory about how cruel fate can be,” says Rogers, “which is that any time a couple breaks up, it’s always like a week before one partner’s birthday, or some other life event that uncomfortably forces people back together. In Drew and Dory’s case, they broke up right before killing someone together, and having shared that trauma is an intensity that neither of them knows how to deal with alone.”
Porti and Dory with Agnes (Jennifer Kim)
Portia and her mother, Mariel (Christine Ebersole)
“Elliott is starting to have his own personal breakdown so that’s us after having a heated discussion and watching him in the new state,” says Shawkat. “I’ll keep that part a surprise because it’s very funny how he has a meltdown.”
“Elliott’s costumes this season are great,” says Showalter. “He was always a unique dresser, but events this season take his clothing choices to extremes.”
“We did a bunch of dry runs — literally — of this scene before including the water throw,” says Showalter. “It came out great!”
“That’s us on a hideout waiting for someone to leave a building that’s across the street,” says Shawkat. “We’re just pretending to be interested in cats until our mission continues.”
“A lot of truths have unveiled themselves, and we’re under a time constraint so that’s us plotting a last-minute plan,” says Shawkat, adding: “The outfits really stand out this season, especially Elliotts’.”
The Search continues…
Search Party season 2 premieres on Nov. 19 at 10 p.m. on TBS.
To celebrate Fall TV and our huge Fall TV Preview issue — hitting stands on Sept. 15 — EW is bringing you 50 scoops in 50 days, a daily dish on some of your favorite shows. Follow the hashtag #50Scoops50Days on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with the latest, and check EW.com/50-Scoops for all the news and surprises.