Two of our favorite comedies are back, and that's just the tip of the iceberg for Volume 96. If you want to take a deep dive this weekend into animation, table art, or indie music, Friday Five is the place for you. Of course, there will be some laughs, too.
Documentary Now! Season 4
After a long lay-off, one of our favorite comedies is back with a brand new season. Documentary Now!, the brainchild of Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, and Seth Meyers has a new batch of parody docs ready to hit the screen. The '53rd Season' of the documentary series started off with a hilarious episode right off the bat, as comedian John Mulaney wrote a pitch-perfect imitation of the famous Burden of Dreams documentary, which followed Warner Herzog's harrowing attempt to make the film Fitzcarraldo. Outside of the incredibly talented cast of actors and crew of filmmakers behind the series, what makes it so successful is the creators' deep knowledge and appreciation of the documentaries they are parodying. It's clear that they love these docs and the form in general, because the references are so incredibly specific, from jokes to camera angles. If you haven't watched, we've got good news -- there are three seasons of ridiculous episodes back-logged for you to catch up on. Even the trailer alone for this season had us laughing out loud, as actors like Alexander Skarsgard and Nicholas Braun drop insane one-liners, or two characters throw rocks at one another. There was a long break between seasons due to how busy all the creators are on other projects that we also love, but we are definitely glad Documentary Now! has returned.
White Lotus Season 2
Speaking of weird, off-beat comedies we love, White Lotus is also back with a brand new season this weekend, and we are ready for the stunning vistas and uncomfortable sexual tension. The first season of the show began as a limited series, but people loved Mike White's creation, and HBO ordered another round. Only Jennifer Coolidge's character remains from Season 1, though, as the new installment features a brand new cast of characters at a different "White Lotus" hotel property. This time around, Aubrey Plaza headlines another talented list of actors staying at a stunning resort in Italy. The trailer alone makes us a bit uncomfortable, between the music, cuts, and tense silences that are a staple of the show. We're excited to see Plaza back in a leading TV role, and after last season, we expect plenty of breakout performances from the lesser known actors in the cast. And finally, we have to mention just being excited for Mike White's success, who was a pretty foundational figure in our childhood for writing School of Rock and playing Ned Schneebly. The only downside? We only get one episode per week to cover our White Lotus fix.
Vox Animation Explainer
Our love of the 2018 animated hit Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is well documented in this space, so we were pretty ecstatic to discover a Vox explainer video on how the film has revolutionized the animation industry. In just a quick six minutes, the video breaks down the differences between the Pixar-inspired photorealism that has dominated studio animation for the last few decades, and the shift into funkier, less-realistic animation that was brought on by the success of Spider-Verse. While the Pixar (and Pixar-derived) movies are entertaining and cool in their own right, we have loved the shift into something more textured and interesting. Beyond just describing the evolution of the shift and the reasons behind it, though, the Vox Explainer simplified animation on the whole, making it a must-watch for anyone, regardless of their technical knowledge. It breaks down the render process, frame rates, and all sorts of nitty-gritty details that separate this newer style that is growing in popularity. As cinephiles, the shift gets us excited for where movies are going. As artists, we love that a video like this makes animation more accessible to anyone who is interested.
Goth Babe - Surfing in Iceland
Our fall listening habits have been geared almost exclusively towards chilling out, and this week's music selection is no different. We discovered Goth Babe's latest single Surfing in Iceland, and have had that on repeat. We've also taken a deep dive into Goth Babe's discography on the whole, and have really enjoyed the zen while we've powered through the work week. Contrary to his stage name, Goth Babe is actually just a musician named Griff who lives on his sailboat and makes music when he's not adventuring around the world. Sounds like someone we can get behind, and who really embraces the King Penguin spirit. Plus, he donates merch and concert revenues to environmental causes he cares about, in an attempt to preserve the natural landscapes that are so instrumental to his lifestyle. We love the combo of good music and good causes, which makes it easy to support an artist like Goth Babe. And sure, while the name suggests something a bit darker, we can promise the music will have you feeling some good vibes all weekend.
For our Instagram art selection this week, we are leaving behind the digital world and heading into the land of physical art. We stumbled on the account Backyard Resin while browsing our discover feed, and it instantly made our weeks better. The company makes custom tables with incredible, intricate designs formed using different colors of resin. We are beyond impressed with the actual work being done, as the final products are remarkable. On top of that, the reels that the page posts, showing time-lapses of the work being done, are some of the most relaxing videos we have ever watched. There is something incredibly satisfying about watching the Backyard Resin process while hit music washes over you. We highly suggest taking a few minutes to dive down the rabbit-hole on their page, because we guarantee you'll come out of it feeling recharged and refreshed.