There is nothing like a murder to juice up a television series. Just ask Search Party’s John Reynolds.
The first season of the cult comedy thriller centred on four friends — Dory (Alia Shawkat of Arrested Development fame), boyfriend Drew (Reynolds), Elliott (John Early) and Portia (Meredith Hagner) — trying to track down a former college classmate, Chantal Winterbottom (Claire McNulty), who had gone missing.
By season’s end, that mystery had been solved but then Drew impulsively killed private detective Keith (Ron Livingston) who had slept with Dory.
Covering up the murder is the driving force behind season two.
Guilt, shame and deception are all part of the mix.
“At the end of season one Drew’s world came tumbling down when he does the most horrible thing imaginable,” Reynolds says.
“That sets up season two to be such wild ride. Now the stakes are as high as they could possibly be right from the get go.
“We see all of the characters get out of their comfort zones.
“For Drew in particular, he is trying to compartmentalise emotionally but it is a case of watching him squirm through the consequences of his actions as he tries to find ways to gain confidence and take control of the situation.
“I think season two is a lot stronger in the writing and the execution because of the stakes.”
Reynolds got his start in improvisational comedy with the Second City theatre troupe. The last year has seen him nab roles in cult series Stranger Things (as Officer Callahan) and High
Maintenance (Aaron). Search Party, with its mix of drama and black humour, plays to both sides of Reynolds’acting skills.
“It (Search Party) was challenging for me because I came up in the comedy world,” Reynolds says.
“My sense of humour is much goofier than you see in the show.
“Taking four comedic actors and asking them to do drama — it is going to naturally be funny but everyone gets to show off their chops as a dramatic actor, too.” / COLIN VICKERY