The Search Party Creators Reveal Why The Series Is Ending With Season 5

There's nothing on television quite like "Search Party." If you ever watched "Degrassi," you might be familiar with the tagline "Degrassi: It goes there," but no show goes there like "Search Party." Sure, a surreal series like "Twin Peaks" might surprise you with an alternate dimension and "The Leftovers" has their religion-on-acid thing, but the story beats and plot lines of other TV series cannot compare to the wild ride that is "Search Party." That's not to say those other shows aren't incredible works of art (yes, including "Degrassi"), but the tonal whiplash and constant genre switching of "Search Party" is something different to behold. 

It's incredible that a show that makes so many insane decisions is still able to maintain a very specific style. I think what sets it apart from other famously weird TV shows is that "Search Party" doesn't couch its strangeness in mystery. The show may start with a girl's disappearance, but that's its least important plot point. Instead, "Search Party" has spent four seasons throwing out a constant stream of questions and answers, each generating more and more bizarre circumstances. All of which will come to an end when the fifth and final season of "Search Party" hits HBO today.

Any season of "Search Party" could have been the final season of "Search Party" — the show has a sort of episodic quality that makes every season feel completely different. But in a Deadline interview, actress Alia Shawkat explained why season 4 couldn't be the end:

We thought [the Season four finale] was way too gloomy a note to end on, especially with the gang not being back together. It just didn't feel like the end. [Bliss and Rogers] talked about what the fifth season would be and the kind of arc, it just kind of made sense that this was the way to get out while the party's still going, creatively.

The After Party

But why not keep the party going? Why not have 69 seasons of "Search Party"? 420 seasons of "Search Party"? 666 seasons of "Search Party"? I'm obviously picking all of the cool numbers, but you get my point. According to showrunner Charles Rogers, the variable nature of "Search Party" made the call an especially tough one. "Search Party" could easily keep on keeping on, but they really wanted to end it the right way:

It was truly difficult because you could always argue that you could make another season with a show that leaves off in such crazy ways. Part of us was still sort of grappling with possibly making another season, but at the end of the day this show should never outstay its welcome. This show should always have something to say and this season really feels like it puts a punctuation mark on the whole series.

Fellow showrunner Sarah-Violet Bliss agreed that the end was near, saying:

"We all were sort of ready to move on. It really feels right that this is the last season and the story feels that it's complete now."

You Don't Have to Go Home, But Your Can't Stay Here

And while it's easy to mourn for the "Search Party" seasons that could have been, we are all collectively staring down the barrel of season 5 and there is so much to look forward to. From cults to Ted Talks to revolutions to 5th Dimension sing-alongs, Rogers promises season 5 will take the series to its last and final level, saying:

This season is so big and so heightened as well. If there were to be another season after this, it feels like it would shift the tone in such a dramatic way that it would no longer feel like the show. It's kind of good to leave off with a bang instead of like trying to figure out what happens after the bang.

The party might be coming to an end, but that end has only just begun.