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Doc Your Socks Off

Documentary Now! Returns September 14th for Its 51st Season

Bill and Fred are back September 14th at 10P on IFC.

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Nobody pays homage to the weird and wonderful world of documentary filmmaking quite like the team behind Documentary Now!. In the show’s first (and 50th) season, Fred Armisen, Bill Hader and Seth Meyers offered pitch-perfect satire that nodded to everything from Grey Gardens to The Thin Blue Line. And beginning September 14th at 10P on IFC, they’re back — along with acclaimed host Helen Mirren — for another round of non-fiction tributes

The second season kicks off with “The Bunker,” inspired by the 1993 political documentary The War Room featuring James Carville and George Stephanopoulos. In the episode, Hader and Armisen play two political campaign managers scheming to get their inexperienced candidate elected as Governor of Ohio through underhanded tactics that would make Karl Rove blush.

Take a look at a sneak peek of “The Bunker” below.

Other documentaries that inspired this season’s batch of episodes include the classic Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense, popular food doc Jiro Dreams of Sushi and, in a two-part episode, the colorful Hollywood history The Kid Stays in the Picture.

Here’s a look at what’s coming this season:

The premiere episode “The Bunker” is inspired by the heart-racing 1993 political documentary The War Room, with James Carville and George Stephanopoulos. It follows two scheming and cocky campaign managers (Hader and Armisen) working on the heated race for the Governor of Ohio. Lies will be told, death threats will be made, and questionable ’90s fashion choices will surface, all in the camcorder-documented fight to get their underdog candidate to the top.

Shot in Colombia, “Juan Likes Rice & Chicken” is a colorful food-centric homage to the 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Young chef Arturo (Armisen) and his brother learn the tricks of the trade from their stern, no-nonsense father Juan who runs a highly-acclaimed restaurant that only serves one dish made with painstaking precision — chicken and buttered rice. Who wouldn’t travel thousands of miles for the world’s best plate of rice?

“Parker Gail’s Location is Everything” is inspired by the 1987 documentary Swimming to Cambodia directed by Jonathan Demme. In the episode, Hader gives a tour-de-force performance as Parker Gail (lovingly inspired by playwright Spalding Gray), a monologist who shares a riveting tale with his audience –- a story on the tragic loss of his New York City apartment –- all while sitting behind a bare desk in an intimate black box theater.

Inspired by the groundbreaking 1984 Talking Heads concert documentary Stop Making Sense, “Final Transmission” features an eponymous hit band (Armisen, Hader and Maya Rudolph) performing a riveting, high-energy final concert to an eager audience of fans. The innovative episode includes a musically-diverse set list of songs written by Armisen himself. Outside of the concert, the episode will delve deep into the musicians’ interwoven backstories and reveal the inspirations behind their ’80s classics such as “Free David Ness” and “Indeng Indeng.”

A tribute to the 1968 Maysles documentary Salesman that followed a wearied quartet of door-to-door Bible salesmen, “Globesman” shares a similar story about four hard-working business men trying their best to sell globes to a community of people who find them too expensive and ultimately prefer atlases. Feeling pressure from their regional manager, and dealing with the constant rejection from customers, the salesmen do anything they can to reinvent the globe as a need-to-have household item.

“Mr. Runner Up: My Life as an Oscar Bridesmaid, Part 1 and Part 2” is inspired by The Kid Stays in the Picture, the 2002 documentary that traces the meteoric rise, fall and rise again of legendary Hollywood producer Robert Evans. The two-part episode will follow a similar aging producer in the cutthroat movie business (Hader) giving an account of his rocky Tinsletown career and his elusive quest for Hollywood’s top prize.

Stay tuned to IFC.com for more updates about the second season of Documentary Now!. You can also join the party on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and Snapchat using ifctvsnaps.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.