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The Five Spot: Entertainment to Put in Your Brain This Week

The Five Spot: Entertainment to Put in Your Brain This Week: Bill Hader and Fred Armisen in 'Documentary Now!'

Bill Hader and Fred Armisen in 'Documentary Now!'

Within days of a documentary that’s stranger than fiction, we’re getting a fictional “documentary” series. So it’s a good week to assume that all entertainment is in fact a depiction of reality: that Jesse Eisenberg really is a secret agent, that Doreen Green really does talk to squirrels, and that it was actually Method Man who brought down Walter White.

Bill Hader and Fred Armisen’s new IFC miniseries is pretty high-concept: an American Masters-style anthology program, hosted by Helen Mirren, devoted to classic documentaries — or, rather, Armisen and Hader’s parodies of classic documentaries (including Grey Gardens and Nanook of the North). Fittingly, the trailer above isn’t exactly an ad for the series itself. (August 20)

In the early ‘60s, the young filmmakers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp decided to make a movie about the British underground rock scene. That documentary never got made; this one (newly released on DVD) is about what happened instead — they ended up becoming the Who’s managers, releasing Jimi Hendrix’s earliest records, and making rock history themselves. (August 18)

squirrel girl vs galactus

Ryan North and Erica Henderson’s gloriously goofy comic book series concerns a spunky teenage superheroine whose main power is the ability to talk to squirrels, and who somehow manages to conquer villains way out of her weight class. “Well, gosh, that wasn’t so hard after all!,” she says as she takes a selfie on the moon, sitting atop the fallen Galactus. (August 19)

The Wu-Tang diaspora continues. It’s been almost exactly nine years since Method Man’s last solo album, and Breaking Bad happened since then — hence the it-was-waiting-to-happen trailer (above) for the new one. The lineup of guest MCs alongside Meth draws heavily on Staten Island talent; executive producer Hanz On appears on 10 of its 19 tracks. (August 21)

The “stoner action comedies” category on DVD racks is remarkably sparse — Pineapple Express didn’t spawn the genre it might have — but director Nima Nourizadeh (Project X) has come up with a promising one. Jesse Eisenberg plays a pothead convenience-store clerk who discovers that he’s a sleeper agent; Kristen Stewart and Topher Grace co-star. (August 21)

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