KILLER SE­RIES

Herald Sun - Hit - - MUSIC -

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

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