With all the talk over the last week or so about Hulu and Netflix’s Fyre Festival documentaries dropping, I figured I’d give it a shot. I’m all for the occasional schadenfruede of watching rich assholes getting some well-deserved comeuppance. (For those that need a refresher, this is the disastrous music festival in the Bahamas that landed its founder, Billy McFarland, in jail for fraud.)
The gist I got from my social media feed is that the Netflix one is the better documentary, but the Hulu one more entertaining, so I thought I’d go with the Hulu one first (ok, that wasn’t an actual decision, it just popped up after I got done watching Drunk History). I’m halfway through and not sure I want to bother with the rest. So far, it seems to have two theses:
- Millenials are a bunch of vapid dopes.
- Having Ja Rule as a business partner is inherently hilarious.
I’m about halfway through and so far, it’s pretty majorly disappointing. If you’ve seen a documentary post- The Smartest Guys in the Room, you know exactly what to expect: a bunch of people playing Captain Hindsight over fast cuts of tangentially-related archival footage and b-roll, with no indication of who’s talking or why we should care what they have to say (except Jia Tolentino, who fucking rules and I would listen to her commentary on literally anything).
The talking heads are filmed in nice, well-lit rooms. McFarland is filmed in a dark brick room with dim underlighting. It also does the thing where every time he stops talking, they keep the camera on his face for a few seconds until he starts fidgeting. From all accounts, this guy is at best a naive con artist, but I see such blatantly manipulative film-making and can’t help but think the creators don’t think the content can stand on its own.
So, has anybody else watched these? Does the Hulu one come alive in the second half? Is the Netflix one better? Any recs for good docs about rich assholes getting their comeuppance?