As the new season of the satire series premieres, have a look at the resource material that inspired each episode.

You are watching: Documentary now! season 2 episode 3


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One that the under-praised services of the height TV era has actually been the recent explosion in quality documentaries. The rise of streaming platforms like Netflix and also Hulu has carried on much more venues looking to snap up new and existing docs and, in the situation of Making a Murderer, create their own. With gems favor O.J.: make in America frequently permeating the zeitgeist, it seems that Documentary Now! showed up at simply the best time.


Created by the SNL all-star trifecta of Fred Armisen, invoice Hader, and Seth Meyers–with an assist from fellow alum man Mulaney–Documentary Now! is a weekly mockumentary series on IFC. Over the food of critical year’s 7 episodes, the has regulated to single-handedly reinvigorate a satirical genre that’s shed its mojo in recent years. Regardless of highlights like Best In Show, Brass Eye, and Borat, the 2000s bore a glut the shows and films bearing the fake-doc format. The Office exhausted look to camera here.> Documentary Now!’s invention is that, instead of parodying the subject issue itself, this show targets certain documentaries. The result jokes room recontextualized and multilayered.


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In the human being of the series, a present called Documentary Now! has actually been ~ above the air for 51 seasons. Hold Helen Mirren, played by the Oscar winner herself, introduces each week’s entrance in a straightforward manner, and also what follows can be a horror movie riff top top Grey Gardens, or an incendiary send-up the Vice’s too-hip-to-survive drug-drenched escapades–both the which to be featured critical season. Currently that the present is returning to IFC tonight, below is Co.Create‘s overview to every the targets in the 2nd season the Documentary Now! (Maybe next time, Making a Murderer!)

The resource Documentary: The war RoomThe episode It Inspired: The BunkerIn the premiere episode, the standard political doc it s okay a local focus remix. The D.A. Pennebaker-directed original adhered to strategists James Carville and also George Stephanopoulos ~ above the project trail for bill Clinton in 1992. The Bunker shifts the action to a much lower stakes election, the gubernatorial choice in Ohio, with Armisen playing the Stephanopoulos function (Alvin Panagoulious) and also Hader reviving his Carville impression native SNL (although right here the character is called Teddy Redbones).


The resource Documentary: Jiro desires of SushiThe illustration It Inspired: Juan Likes Rice & ChickenBack in 2011, Jiro desires of Sushi recorded the dedication that got in operating one of the world’s peak sushi restaurants, together with the internal family tension that goes in addition to maintaining it. The Documentary Now! variation moves the activity south that the border, and also takes part funny shots at foodie culture. This episode uses one that the show’s premier pleasures: a counterbalance of sweetness with silliness that provides viewers actually care about these characters.

The resource Documentary: Swimming come CambodiaThe illustration It Inspired: Parker Gail’s place Is EverythingThe an initial of two Jonathan Demme movies parodied this season, Swimming to Cambodia is the cinematic variation of a monologue Spalding Gray provided to carry out in new York City in the ’80s. In it, the actor and writer discusses his time invested in southeast Asia, amongst other more metaphysical pursuits. Fred Armisen recreates the spare format of Gray’s stage show, but turns it into an exegesis on real estate and also his troubled marriage.

The resource Documentary: Stop do SenseThe episode It Inspired: Final TransmissionOne of the standout episodes on the very first season the Documentary Now! to be the two-part music episode, Gentle and Soft: The Story of the Blue Jean Committee. It to be a take turn off of the Eagles that uncovered sometime musician Armisen in his comfort zone. (The songs were in reality pretty great.) given that this illustration is a take turn off of the seminal talking Heads film, frequently cited together the greatest musical documentary ever, expect large things.


The source Documentary: SalesmanThe episode It Inspired: GlobesmenThe Maysles brothers aimed for a nonfiction attribute film v Salesman, hoping to carry out for movies what Truman Capote did for literary works with In Cold Blood. They may not have quite completed that lofty goal, however they did do a landmark film complying with four holy bible salesmen travel across brand-new England and also southeast Florida on the method to a big meeting in Chicago. (Think: the sadder scene in Glengarry glenn Ross.) as you deserve to probably infer from the title, in the brand-new version Hader and Armisen are marketing globes rather of Bibles.

The source Documentary: The Kid remains in the PictureThe illustration It Inspired: Mr. Jogger Up: mine Life as an Oscar BridesmaidFinally, the 2nd season end with another two-parter. This one tackles the 2002 film variation of megaproducer and also broken icon Robert Evans’s renowned memoir. Prior to the film came out, the audiobook to be a lovely cult item. Nobody might resist cackling along with Evans’s hilariously self-aggrandizing tone. Perhaps when Bill Hader bring away a stab at the role, he’ll rival that other parodic translate of Evans: Bob Odenkirk top top Mr. Show.

See more: 9 Is What Is 9 Of 200 ? 9 Percent Of What Number Is 200


About the author

Joe Berkowitz is an opinion columnist at fast Company. His recent book, American Cheese: one Indulgent Odyssey through the Artisan Cheese World, is obtainable from Harper Perennial.

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