TV Club: Humor and musical genius converge in Doc Now!’s “Final Transmission”

No two episodes of Documentary Now! are truly alike, but “Final Transmission” especially stands on its own in terms of style and process, the only Documentary Now! installment that was predominantly filmed in front of a live audience. To really understand the amount of detail and precision that went into getting this fake doc right, you should read our own Erik Adams’ account of how this Talking Heads parody was made. Test Pattern, the fictional band at the center of “Final Transmission,” had a real concert in San Gabriel, California. Directors Rhys Thomas and Alex Buono expected a modest turnout for the event, but when a thousand people showed up in 1980s garb, as instructed, the show had to go on despite their hesitations over whether or not this would all work.

It worked. The pressure to move forward with the live show plan was ultimately a blessing, because a …

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