Watch This: ‘Search Party’ and ‘Greenleaf’ Are Back

Watch This: ‘Search Party’ and ‘Greenleaf’ Are Back

Watch This: ‘Search Party’ and ‘Greenleaf’ Are Back

Watch This: ‘Search Party’ and ‘Greenleaf’ Are Back

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, our TV critic Margaret Lyons offers hyper-specific viewing recommendations in our Watching newsletter. Read her latest picks below, and sign up for the Watching newsletter here.

‘Pipe Dreams’

When to watch: Monday at 10 p.m., on PBS. (Check local listings.)

If you like buoyant documentaries about people from disparate backgrounds who compete in a semi-obscure but hugely demanding discipline, watch this one-off about gifted musicians vying for the top spot in the Canadian International Organ Competition. Open your heart to the magic of the pipe organ!


‘Greenleaf’

When to watch: Tuesday at 9 p.m., on OWN.

The fifth and final season of this megachurch soap starts this week, and if you like big ensemble dramas with a lot of intra-family squabbling, start at the beginning. (The previous four seasons are on Netflix.) Perhaps appropriately for a show about Christian ministry, a lot of “Greenleaf” is about forgiveness — or more often, about how destabilizing it feels when the people who have done the most wrong are not the most sorry. If you like shows in which characters save up all their resentment chips to go all-in on a pyrrhic jackpot at a catastrophic dinner party, watch this.


‘Search Party’

When to watch: Season 3 arrives Thursday, on HBO Max.

Definitely watch or rewatch the first two 10-episode seasons of this comedic thriller before starting the new one; I’d say that even if the show hadn’t been off the air for two and a half years. “Search Party” is about a dissatisfied young woman (Alia Shawkat) who becomes obsessed with a college acquaintance’s disappearance, and without spoiling anything, I’ll just say that things spiral from there. The show casts a spell of vicious cleverness, and while it could easily cross over with “High Maintenance” or “Russian Doll,” it has a more judgmental attitude than those shows have — and characters whose behaviors invite much harsher judgment.

“Search Party” has always had a retro-tinged aesthetic, a slight thrift-store defect to its world, which makes it feel surreal at times — part of reality but not identical to it. Teasing out the contrast between the weightlessness of an imagined, curated past and the cruel density of the flawed, lived past is one of the show’s most elegant tricks.



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