Several shows could compete for the title of the best kept secret on television, but one of the chief contenders is certainly “Documentary Now!.” Airing on IFC, this mockumentary series features a who’s who of late 2000’s and 2010’s SNL talent. Created by Seth Meyers, Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, and “Saturday Night Live“ director Rhys Thomas it’s also executively produced by them along with SNL head, Lorne Michaels.
Meyers, Armisen, and Hader are also responsible for writing much of the series along with frequent collaborator, John Mulaney. The series has frequently relied on guest star talent in order to give their documentary parodies some extra punch. Season 3 had Cate Blanchett on the roster and now we know she’ll be back in season 4 as well.
“Documentary Now!” is a satirical series that parodies the documentary format with each episode specifically parodying an actual documentary. For example, season 2 has an episode written by Mulaney called “The Bunker,” which focuses on the fictional staff of an election campaign for the governorship of Ohio. It’s a deliberate take on the classic political documentary “The War Room,” which chronicled the efforts of former President Bill Clinton‘s campaign staff in the lead-up to the 1992 United States presidential election.
Season 3 really upped the ante in terms of guest stars, pulling in the likes of Michael Keaton, Michael C. Hall, Natasha Lyonne and the aforementioned Cate Blanchett. In her episode “Waiting For the Artist,” she plays Izabella Barta, an eccentric performance artist who is a parody of Marina Abramović and the documentary about her work, “Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present.” As one might expect from Blanchett, a two-time Academy Award winning actress, she’s incredible in it. Bringing the 2-time Oscar winner back for season 4 can only lead to good things ahead. The episode she’s slated to be in is titled “Two Hairdressers in Bagglyport,” a take-off of “Three Salons at the Seaside” and “The September Issue.” Presumably, she’ll be one of the two hairdressers.
Its been three years since the last season premiered, but there was a similar gap in time between seasons two and three, which didn’t bring down the quality at all. It really is a series that deserves more attention, especially given the enormity of the talent it has in front of the camera and behind it.
“Documentary Now!” season 4 it is expected to hit IFC sometime in 2022.Until then, episodes can be streamed on AMC+ or Amazon here.