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.