What’s Worth Watching: Documentary Now! on IFC for Thursday, September 3
Documentary Now!, “Dronez: The Hunt for El Chingon” (Thursday, Sept. 3, 10/9c, IFC)
Globe-trotting journalism becomes a lethal fools’ errand in the latest inspired parody from Documentary Now!, which aims its focus this week at the fearless in-the-trenches format of HBO’s Vice. In a sly send-up of Vice host Shane Smith, Jack Black guests as Dronez founder Jamison Friend, narrating “The Hunt for El Chingon” with breathless pomposity as he charts the progress of two cluelessly crusading hipster reporters (played by Fred Armisen and Bill Hader) who head to Juarez to track down notorious Mexican drug lord El Chingon, calling attention to themselves and their dangerous mission with reckless, idiotic abandon. (Originally scheduled to air last Thursday, this was the second instance of a network pulling an episode out of sensitivity to last week’s tragic shootings in Roanoke, Va.)
While the spoof takes a few undeniably dark twists, the real target here is the self-dramatizing nature of these reporters who travel to hot spots, patronizing the locals with whom they attempt to empathize. Once these cats realize El Chingon isn’t so much feared as revered, will they continue chasing their exclusive or just join the party? What do you think?