If you're a documentary fan, no doubt you've enjoyed the first three seasons of Documentary Now!, the mockumentary series created by Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Seth Meyers, and Rhys Thomas. Their takes on classic documentaries are just so funny and so well done—it's one of my favorite things on television. Well, Season Four recently dropped and if you haven't watched it yet, you should go do so. I've only seen the premiere two-part episode, which they've titled "Soldier of Illusion." It's a spoof of the documentary Burden of Dreams (1982), directed by Les Blank, which was a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo (1982). AMC Networks describes the episode:
The two-part, season premiere episode, "Soldier of Illusion," written by John Mulaney and starring Alexander Skarsgård (The Northman, Big Little Lies), Nicholas Braun (Succession, Zola) and August Diehl (Inglourious Basterds), was inspired by the Werner Herzog-focused documentary Burden of Dreams. In the early 1980s, a visionary German filmmaker (Skarsgård) tries to will his magnum opus into existence while working in the remote, punishing conditions of the Russian Ular mountains. Kevin Bishop (Miracle Workers, The Tracey Ullman Show), Gana Bayarsaikhan (Wonder Woman), Matthias Rimpler (Ludzie i Bogowie) and Fred Armisen will also star, with Documentary Now! ensemble alumni Deb Hiett returning as narrator.
I have to say, Alexander Skarsgård is absolutely perfect as Werner Herzog. If you've seen Burden of Dreams or any Herzog film—Soldier of Illusion also makes reference to Herzog's Aguirre, Grizzly Man, and My Best Fiend—you'll find this episode especially hilarious, but even if you haven't, it's still absurd enough to make you laugh, even if you don't get any of the allusions.