Another blonde girl has gone missing, and, because nobody can disappear anymore without there being a shady backstory, the lines between victim and villain become blurred. Thank goodness some people she vaguely knew back in college are on the case. That's not a dis. The premise of TBS' new crime comedy Search Party — premiering November 21 — may be built for laughs, but it's got a surprising Gone Girl edge. Just picture Amazing Amy as a Tolstoy-reading millennial who went to college with the cast of Girls. That cast includes Dory (Alia Shawkat), a drifting doormat who lives with her sweet but doltish boyfriend, Drew. (How they afford their spacious, Domino-spread-worthy NYC apartment on the salaries of an assistant and an intern is the real mystery of this series.) When her former college classmate Chantal Witherbottom goes missing, Dory sees it as an opportunity to find meaning in her otherwise rudderless life. Before long, Drew (John Reynolds), Dory, and their self-absorbed pals are getting in on the amateur investigation. There's Elliott (John Early), an Eric Trump lookalike with a penchant for monochrome ensembles and bitchy asides, who cruelly dismisses his boyfriend and brags about Pour, the charity he's launched to provide African children with designer water bottles. Meredith Hagner's Portia, meanwhile, is to acting what Marnie Michaels is to singing-songwriting: She and Elliott are no Bess and George, but their petty, pea-brained participation infuses the Search Party with comic brightness.
They're not the only ones in pursuit of our Westchester County damsel in distress, Chantal. As the plot thickens and the list of suspects grows, one question remains: Is Chantal the innocent victim Dory is so desperate to save? Or is she a less innocent force? And does anyone actually truly care about Chantal, or does the act of playing detective simply making them feel self-important and righteous? Without giving anything anyway, we'll let you in on this: The ending is much less predictable than the cinematic version of The Girl on the Train. Strangely, it's more satisfying too. You don't have to be Nancy Drew to detect a second season should be in the pipeline.