Welcome to Nick’s Picks, where The Guide Editor Nick Bhasin very seriously, very carefully selects an unimpeachable, high quality piece of streaming entertainment for your viewing pleasure. Love these picks? Have a problem and demand some accountability? Feel free to get in Nick’s digital face on Twitter. But please… be gentle.
Bold headline, right? A bit aggressive? Well, that’s the kind of thing you can expect from Nick’s Picks. The fact that Search Party is the second best comedy series of the last three years is just one of the many gauntlets we’re planning to throw down.
Need some evidence for such a seemingly outlandish claim?
Here is list of the best TV comedy shows of the past three years (excluding 2019), in order of best to... less best:
Mid-Morning Matters with Alan Partridge
Do you see where Search Party is? Number two. And it would be number one if Catastrophe hadn’t been so consistent over its three-year run.
As for the other shows, Veep and Silicon Valley would be higher, but they were in much later seasons and they’ve lost the edge that freshness provides. Same with MMM with AP, which started in 2010.
So how does a show that so few people know about get to the top of a list like this? Well, first off, I actually watched it. And since this is my list, that will only help. It also helps that I didn’t watch thousands of other shows.
But even if I had seen every show of the last three years, I’m still confident Search Party would be near the top.
A lot of shows try to make fun of Millennials – they’re always looking at their phones, they’re young, they’re… I don’t know… bored or whatever. But Search Party takes the self-absorption of 20-somethings to a very dark, very nasty place. It’s not afraid to make all of its characters completely horrible – but it’s smart and entertaining enough to make them irresistible to watch. We want to know what is going to happen to this group of selfish people and the missing former classmate they’re looking for.
Everyone on the show is good, but the biggest standout is John Early, who, as Elliott, has the best lines and has created a persona so casually odious that he can get away with (eventually) faking cancer and remain the most likeable of the bunch.
Meredith Hagner follows – a close second. If you listen to her character Portia speak, she sounds like a very superficial, very confident actress. But if you watch her face, you know she’s dying inside.
And if you have an appropriately dark sense of humour, it’s all very funny.
When you’re done with this, you should watch Fort Tilden, which is also written and directed by Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers, who created Search Party with Michael Showalter, who is responsible for one of the funniest movies of all time: Wet Hot American Summer.
Season 1 of Search Party is available to stream at SBS On Demand until 30 April. Season 2 is available until 19 May. So hurry up.