Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers’ dark comedy Search Party, about a bored Brooklyn-based post-grad named Dory (Alia Shawkat) who dragged her self-absorbed friends into hunting for a missing acquaintance from school, premiered on TBS in 2016. It immediately developed a cult following, but ever since then-as the show changed in form, becoming even more of a thriller, and moved to HBO Max-the Search Party obsession has only grown among TV fans.
A long-awaited Season 3 arrived shortly after HBO Max launched in 2020, which was followed up with a fourth season just months later in early 2021. While all of Season 4 was a gripping watch, with Dory herself gone missing and her friends forced into searching for her, it all built up to a particularly shocking finale that led us to believe she had died until the very last moments revealed otherwise. It could’ve been a powerful end to the series, but something about the cliffhanger also felt as if it was begging for more in Dory’s, and her friends’, stories to be told. With the unfinished conclusion potentially setting up another season, we’re looking at everything we know about the status of the hysterical thriller so far.
Is there going to be a Season 5 of Search Party?
About a month after Season 4 hit HBO Max, Deadline reported that HBO Max ordered a fifth season. While Season 4 felt as if the showrunners were being intentionally ambiguous as to whether or not another season was in the works, it all but seemed certain that a Season 5 would be in the pipeline, considering the growing success of the show now that it’s on a new platform. Showrunner Sarah-Violet Bliss said to Deadline, “It feels like [Search Party has] received a new wave of life, and we are just so grateful for that because we spent two and a half years unsure of what the future would hold for the series,” Rogers said. With the show having been in limbo for some time, fans couldn’t be more excited either.
When will Search Party Season 5 be released?
At this point, we can only speculate as to when Search Party will be back. One thing is for sure, though, and that’s that fans of the series-particularly ones who’ve been watching it since it first aired on TBS in 2016 and 2017, and then had to wait two and a half years for Season 3 to arrive on HBO Max-know how to be patient. Hopefully we won’t have to wait that long for Season 5, but the ongoing pandemic’s affect on TV production will likely be a major factor. With the show renewed in winter 2021, it’s possible that the writers could resume working as soon as the spring, and then the series could film shortly after, if the pandemic allows. Were that timeline to work out, new episodes could arrive sometime in early 2022.
Who in the cast will be back?
Despite the surprising Season 4 finale that led us to believe Dory died until the final scene that revealed the entire episode was an imaginative dream sequence, Alia Shawkat’s complex, somewhat scary, certainly lost-in-life Dory will be back. The rest of her titular search party, Drew (John Reynolds), Portia (Meredith Hagner), and Elliot (John Early), should be back as well. The show wouldn’t be anything without their (at times toxic and confounding but heartwarming, nonetheless) friendship.
Aside from the core cast, Dory and her pals still have unfinished business with Chip (Cole Escola) after he got away with kidnapping Dory and holding her hostage, and his aunt Lyla (Susan Surrandon) helped cover it up. Aside from them, you can probably expect to see a bit more of Chantal (Clare McNulty), too, as the show has continued to follow her wayward path ever since Dory and the gang “found” her.
Will there be any new cast members?
No new additions are announced yet, but it’s possible we’ll see some more fun faces next season. Throughout its run, Search Party has not only managed to cast hysterical new talent like Shalita Grant, who played Dory’s lawyer Cassidy Diamond in Season 3, but also wrangle in a wide variety of guest stars from Rosie Perez back in Season 1 to Chloe Fineman, Busy Phillips, and even… horror author R. L Stine. With that in mind, we can only hope a few other wild additions will appear going forward, too.
What will Search Party Season 5 be about?
Search Party began as a mystery in Season 1, evolved into a full-blown thriller come Season 2, then morphed into a legal drama before Season 4 took a turn with its captive narrative-while also returning to form, as Drew, Elliot, and Portia played detective in order to find Dory. Now, since co-creator Charles Rogers told us at Thrillist that the writers are considering exploring “what it would be like on the other side of death,” Season 5 might be Dory’s own psychological thriller as she forces herself to come to terms with who she really is, and the choices she’s made and long ignored the consequences.
Throughout much of Season 5, everybody in Search Party wrestles with identity-Dory now admitting and ashamed of where her Nancy Drew cosplay took her, Drew running from his problems to a literal fantasy land, Portia playing Dory, and Elliot suspending all of his values for fame. Rogers told Varietythat the next season will focus on “this topic of what it would be like to be on the other side of death and to have had an epiphany.” He explained that not only does Dory start to go through that in Season 4 with her “white light” experience, so do her friends when they all have a breakdown about not knowing who they are when they fail to rescue her. He expounded upon this to Deadline as well, saying now that Dory is “enlightened,” her “pursuit for meaning is going to come to a head.” He added, “Would could go wrong?” With this bunch, probably a lot! Whether that will come in the form of some sort of born again religious experience, becoming a cult-like wellness influencer, attempt to reclaim her story in the media, or something different entirely is hard to say, but the self-reflection should be there (and probably to a very cringe-y extent).
In addition to that thematic development, it’s also possible that the dark comedy will turn into a bit of a cat-and-mouse game next season. Chip got away with kidnapping Dory, and he and his Aunt Lyla both nearly killed her. It’s not like our favorite Brooklynites don’t know who the culprit was or how to find him, so a hunt for him and revenge thriller could come down the line, too.
Little is known about Search Party Season 5 right now, but continue to check back, as we’ll update this post as more information becomes available. Need help finding something to watch? Sign up here for our weekly Streamail newsletter to get streaming recommendations delivered straight to your inbox.
Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.
What is special about the year of the Rabbit?
As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.
What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?
There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.
New South Wales
Darling Harbour Fireworks When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.
Dragon Boat Races When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.
Lion Dances When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.
Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.
Auntie Philter When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.
Lunar New Year Festival When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.
BriAsia Festival When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.
Chinatown Adelaide Street Party When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.
Crown Perth When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.