RV: If you don’t love watching documentaries, you will probably miss most of Documentary Now!‘s humor. The comedy show comes across as a mash-up of The Spoils of Babylon and Portlandia, but if you aren’t a fan of a good documentary, such as Gray Gardens or The Thin Blue Line, this show will seem even more irrelevant than a typical work of Fred Armisen. That being said, if you are a documentary fan, then you are in for something special as Bill Hader and Fred Armisen bring humor to a genre that is rarely the target of comedy. Of course, everyone has watched at least one of the terrific Christopher Guest mockumentaries (Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, This is Spinal Tap, etc.), but Documentary Now! takes this brand of humor to the next level, which will make you question why the hell no one has done this before? Where Christopher Guest found his niche making fun of a specific type of documentary, Bill Hader and Fred Armisen attack everything from human interest pieces to Gonzo journalism, creating a variety that makes each episode of the series feel almost entirely different from one another. Not all the episodes are laugh out loud funny, but they each have their own unique charm that will have you devouring this gem on Netflix in a single afternoon.
T: There are a lot of things that define me as a nerd (see: obsessive-love over The Great Gatsby, arguing over the sanctity of Hufflepuff, hardcore crush over Conan O’Brien), but certainly one of the things that absolute guarantees my overall nerdiness is my devotion to documentaries. Not to insinuate that all I watch is high-brow entertainment (me lovey some South Park), but most Sunday afternoons are spent perusing the documentary section of Netflix. When I came across this little gem, I really didn’t know what to expect. With that said, this kind of comedy must be witnessed first-hand. I mean, how do I fully express Bill Hader’s spot-on and hilarious impression of “Little Edie” – whose emblematic scarf has been replaced with ordinary sweatpants? Or Fred Armisen’s interpretation of “Nanook of the North” as “Kanuk” – a total prima donna? Each segment captures the essence of a particular documentary or style of documentary: human interest pieces, rock and roll documentaries, VICE journalism. I don’t know how they did it, but each episode has its own unique flavor and hilarious sketch characters. I just read that IFC (the distributor of the show) has renewed Documentary Now! through season 3 and I’m not sure I can fully contain my excitement. In preparation, I will watch as many documentaries as possible for all the inevitable hilarity.
5 Red Vines – Documentary Yes!
5 Twizzlers – Documentary More!