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When Kevin Reilly took the reins of the Turner networks in late 2014, he promised a transformation at TBS and TNT.
Part of that reinvention includes Search Party, a dark comedy about a group of four self-absorbed twentysomethings who come together when a former college acquaintance mysteriously disappears. Starring Arrested Development alum Ali Shawkat and a medley of young comic actors, it is TBS’ attempt to capture millennial eyeballs.
“It’s not necessarily the most ‘rosy’ view of being young,” executive producer Mike Showalter (Wet Hot American Summer), on hand at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour on Sunday, said of Search Party‘s young tone. “But there’s something very raw and kind of exciting about it.”
The cast was quick to point out, however, that the character’s pessimistic outlooks on life are tested during the season. “It’s about characters who are changing so much. It’s like showing a snap judgment of people and then explaining why,” said Shawkat.
Added castmember John Early: “There’s something about these people who become very sedentary in their classic millennial cynicism and banter. But when they’re thrust into dangerous situations, it’s so funny how quickly they just drop it. Then you seem them as very panicked … people who need each other.”
Then the question becomes whether or not they are good people. “It’s part of what I think is challenging in a good way about the show: what defines a good person and what kind of people we want to be and what is that journey like,” said Showalter. “How will they turn out? How will they change over the course of the season? Because they do change, and it’s interesting to watch them change over the course of looking through this missing girl.”
TBS, for its part, will roll out the comedy in a unconventional way in an attempt to “captivate a young audience.” The network plans to make the first season available over Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 21-25), with two episodes each night from 11 p.m. to midnight.
The cabler will then encore the first season during the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s, and also make all 10 episodes available on demand the night of thw premiere — all in an effort to encourage bingeing.
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