Faux Reality Shows Obvious Television Evolution

I watched an episode of the new series, Documentary Now. It is a wry look at various styles of documentaries. Helen Mirren briefly introduces each episode to add a touch of class to the proceedings. In the episode I watched on ifc.com Jack Black also starred as the leader of the Dronez rogue news reporters stupidly risking their lives for the news. Fred Armisen and Bill Hader play several different characters and it is all made funnier by the fact that they change their costumes and make-up, but they always talk in their same distinctive voices. 

In the same genre, I binge-watched season one of Family Tree with Chris O'Dowd on Amazon Prime. It is a faux reality show focused on a young irish lad who just lost his job and his girlfriend (not an obvious choice for a reality show). He inherits a trunk full of family-related junk from his great aunt and each episode follows him as he discovers more crazy relatives. The director is Christopher Guest who has made some very funny feature films that are also faux documentaries. My personal favorite is Best in Show.  Guest has a talented group of actors that he casts frequently. They are brilliant. And Guest is not afraid to take a situation and take it to an incredibly absurd place. I love this show. 

I do not watch reality television, but you cannot live in our society without absorbing something of the genre. I really enjoy this kind of satire even without much knowledge of reality tv. These shows are very quirky and I am just glad that cable television is making it possible for these shows to be made.