7 episodes | IFC, available this month of Netflix | 20- 25 mins ea
I pretty much only watch documentaries to make myself seem smarter. But I do genuinely enjoy documentary’s spinoff genre: the mockumentary.
If you’re like me, and even if you like documentaries, you’ll appreciate Documentary Now!. SNL alums Bill Hader (Trainwreck) Fred Armison (Portlandia) and Seth Meyers (Late Night with Seth Meyers) combine forces to farce 6 famous documentaries.
- Sandy Passage (Grey Gardens): Two hideous women live as recluses in a rundown New England house.
- DRONEZ: The Hunt for El Chingon (VICE News Documentaries). Guest Starring Jack Black, indie news conglomorate DRONEZ sends clueless hipster journalists to investigate an El Chapo- esque drug lord in Juarez.
- Kunuk Uncovered (Nanook Revisited). The surviving members of a film crew sent to capture Eskimo life in the 20’s reflect on the antics of its star, Pipilock.
- The Eye Doesn’t Lie (The Thin Blue Line) An innocent man is wrongfully accused of murder and sentenced to death because he’s just so annoying.
- A Town, A Gangster, A Festival (original). Starring almost entirely native Icelanders, this doc follows a small Icelandic town as it prepares for its annual Al Capone festival.
- & 7. “Gentle and Soft: The Story of the Blue Jean Committee, Parts 1 & 2” (History of the Eagles): A Chicago band becomes pioneers of the California sound. Guest starring Cameron Crowe, Daryl Hall, Kenny Loggins, HAIM, and more.
I adored Kunuk Uncovered. The makeup artists did such a great job on Bill Hader that I actually thought he was a different actor.
At only 20 minutes an episode, Documentary Now! feels smart enough for the highbrows but silly enough for the smallminds. I hadn’t seen any of the original documentaries and I still found the episodes hilarious and cutting. Once I researched their source material, they only seemed wittier.
Watch Documentary Now! for your daily dose of culture.
If You Like: Saturday Night Live, Christopher Guest, tongue- in- cheek humor, documentaries