Documentary Now! Season 1

documentary now

I love that I live in a world where a show like Documentary Now! can exist. It’s unlike just about anything else I’ve seen (aside from Christopher Guest’s work); the closest comparison I can make is to The Spoils of Babylon and The Spoils of Dying, both of which also aired on IFC.

The first episode of Documentary Now! aired last week, and followed a (fictional) documentary film crew to the house of two elderly women, played by Fred Armisen and Bill Hader. (The duo will appear in every documentary.) Bringing that kind of comedy heat to a project means that your project is going to be funny. But more importantly (and impressively) than that is how well they’ve captured the spirit of documentary filmmaking.

That’s a god-awful pretentious sentence, and I regret writing it. But I’m going to leave it there, because it’s true. The series is intro’d by Helen Mirren (!!!), who talks about the importance of documentaries and the genre’s illustrious history (complete with actual real-world examples). Seamlessly, she transitions into the story of Sandy Passage, a run-down house, and the two elderly women who live there.

Get in on the ground floor of Documentary Now! It’s polished in a way that a project like this almost has no right to be, and it’s tremendously funny to boot. The first season is only six episodes long, but there’s more on the way: IFC renewed the show for its second and third seasons before the first episode even made its way to TV. The show is worth your time, and you can be one of the cool kids who knows how great it is before everyone else jumps on board.