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Review: Documentary Now!

April 5, 2016

written by Erin Diaz

Bill Hader and Fred Armisen are back at it again with a crafty series that they have co-written entitled Documentary Now! The series aired on August 20, 2015 on IFC and has recently made its way over to Netflix, where it is becoming more noticed and picking up steam. 

Documentary Now! consists of seven episodes that are only twenty minutes long. The series covers a variety of topics, and with an almost "Portlandia-n" feel Bill Hader and Fred Armisen act as different characters in each one. The premise of the show is that the season that is currently airing is the 50th. Helen Mirren hosts the show by giving an overview of the mini-documentary at the beginning of each episode.

As a major fan of the work of Hader and Armisen in the past, this show has quickly become one of my favorites in my Netflix queue. Separately, these two actors/writers are hilarious and important, but together they achieve a new level of strange humor that begs the question "What is happening on my screen right now?" through tears of laughter.

This show is definitely not one that everyone would find to be worth laughing at. When encouraging my Director Steph to watch it, my friend Jordan and I had to tell her that the show is funny, but not every sense of humor would find this to be the case. If I had to make a recipe for an episode of Documentary Now!, the ingredients would consist of a third of an episode of Portlandia (because of the changing characters and outlandish scenarios), a third of an episode of The Office (the dry humor that we all have learned to love), and a third of Blackfish (because it's a documentary, kinda).

Although the show is a bit out there, it is well worth your time. Give it a watch this week!



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