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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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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.