Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Search Party returns in January with Busy Phillips, Ann Dowd, an R.L. Stine cameo, and more fun guests

Illustration for article titled Search Party returns in January with Busy Phillips, Ann Dowd, an R.L. Stine cameo, and more fun guests
Photo: Courtesy of HBO Max

Thank the digital heavens for small favors, like the swift return of Search Party, the mercilessly hilarious dark comedy that migrated from TBS to its new (and hopefully more visible) home at HBO Max. Following the debut of its third season back in June, the series returns to HBO Max in January 2021—like a lil post-inauguration treat, perhaps—with several exciting guest stars, including Ann Dowd, Griffin Dunne, renowned actress and Broadway star Lillias White, Busy Phillips, Susan Sarandon (please note the begrudging tone), and a cameo from iconic Fear Street and Goosebumps author R.L. Stine. Several of these guests were revealed on the official Search Party Twitter account:

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SNL’s Chloe Fineman will reprise her role Charlie Reeny, the obnoxious TV personality that John Early’s Elliott Goss teamed up with at the end of season three. Also worth noting from those pics: Meredith Hagner’s Portia is dressed up as Alia Shawkat’s Dory, who—as you’ll recall from last season—has been taken hostage by a deranged stalker named Chip (played by the amazing Cole Escola) who shaved her head. Sarandon will play Lylah, Chip’s aunt.

As for Portia, she’s playing Dory in a film about the trial, with Phillips playing Donna DiMarco, a former teen star cast as Portia in that same film. Here’s the rundown on season four from HBO Max:

In the new season, “Dory” (Alia Shawkat) is held prisoner by her psychotic stalker “Chip” (Cole Escola), who is determined to make Dory believe that they are best friends. Meanwhile, “Portia” (Meredith Hagner) is starring in a film about the trial, although not as herself; “Elliott” (John Early) has switched party lines to become a far-right conservative talk show host; and “Drew” (John Reynolds) is trying to escape his dark past by working as a costumed cast member in a theme park. As the friends begin to connect the dots that Dory might not be touring Europe as her faked social media posts suggest, they must decide whether or not to put their traumatic pasts behind them and once again become a search party – but this time, for Dory.