Based on actual documentaries, Documentary Now! is a series of 30-minute mockumentaries starring SNL alums Fred Armisen and Bill Hader. Their ability to pull off something so refreshingly inventive while parodying previously established works is fascinating. They’re like the Weird Al of television. Season 1 (now on Netflix) was my favorite new comedy of last year, so when Season 2 aired Wednesday night at 10:00pm on IFC I obviously had high hopes. Thankfully, it did not disappoint.
Season 2 of Documentary Now! kicked off in fitting fashion with the episode “The Bunker”. Based on the Oscar nominated 1993 documentary, “The War Room”, which chronicled the 1992 presidential campaign of Bill Clinton, “The Bunker” is nothing short of perfection. In it, Armisen and Hader channel their real-life counterparts George Stephanopoulos and James Carville, respectively, with sheer brilliance. Performances aside, the production value in terms of tone and technical aspects are also to be lauded as they capture the essence of the original film as well as the 90’s era.
As campaign managers of an unqualified candidate for the Ohio gubernatorial race, Armisen and Hader will do anything to win. Their smear tactics and ads are rife with bigotry, general distaste, and death threats to their competition…and it’s all hilarious! In one scene Hader attempts to redirect the media’s questions of their poor poll numbers by stating they would be better suited looking into their counterparts potential gambling addiction, seeing as how he has never openly come out against riverboat gambling between there and Kentucky.
With only seven episodes per season it won’t be difficult to get caught up. Next week’s episode is a take on Jiro Dreams of Sushi and is titled “Juan Likes Rice & Chicken”. You can’t mock this stuff up!
Macho Man impressionist. Known to drink your milkshake. Anti-dentite. Eventual Delorean owner.