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  • Writer's pictureJessica McConnell

7 Reasons why you should watch BOTH Fyre Festival Documentaries

If you’re like me, April of 2017 was consumed with trying to figure out what “Fyre Fest” was, and why on earth someone would spend $25,000 to go there. If you’re not like me, you probably didn’t give a crap and only just now are figuring out what people are talking about because of the two simultaneous documentaries that dropped last week on Netflix and Hulu.

If you want to get caught up on the timeline of the event, try this article from Spin in 2017 that chronicles the breakdown of the festival without giving too much away.

As far as I’m concerned, both docs are different in scope and great in different ways. You should watch both and here are 7 reasons why:

1. Billy McFarland (Fyre Fraud)

The one big thing that Fyre Fraud has going for it that Fyre does not is that they scored (paid for) an interview with the guy himself, Billy McFarland. If you want to hear from the horse’s mouth what was going through his mind, you can, but you also get to hear about his first entrepreneurial efforts fixing broken crayons in elementary school. This doc is worth it for his interview, if only to relish in the awkward silences when asked pointed questions by the interviewer.

2. Production Value and Storytelling (Fyre)

Netflix has an established history of really well done documentaries, and Fyre proves to be among its best. Rather than barf out all the information in bits and pieces with interviews, they craft a well organized story that starts at the beginning of Billy’s scam empire and travels along, going deeper on points that Fyre Fraud only touches briefly on, such as the impact on employees of Fyre Media and the devastation that the festival caused Bahamian workers.

3. Hilarious 90’s cut scenes (Fyre Fraud)

Are you longing to hear the dulcet tones of a modem connection circa 1999, see clips of the AOL startup screen, and lines of “code” typed into command prompt? If so, please, please watch Fyre Fraud.

4. Andy King (Fyre)

One of the shining stars of the Netflix doc is the “wonderful gay leader” of the festival production, Andy King. He is now, and forever will be, the poster child for “Team Player”, and you need to hear it from his mouth as to why.

5. “Influencers” (Fyre Fraud)

Hulu’s offering does a great job of capturing more of the attendee side of things, interviewing several Instagram influencers that paid money to attend the festival. It is an interesting look into the culture surrounding influencers and advertising, and showcases the “positivity” that is pervasive in crafting that perfect persona.

6. fuckjerry (Fyre Fraud)

Hearing people legitimately talking about this company that is a swear word and uses the pattern from a disposable coffee cup as its logo for an instagram meme page both baffles and delights me. How did we get here? How did a meme page become a media company? Either way, the Hulu doc gives more screen time to Oren Aks, who is a former employee of Jerry Media, and who attended the event. Interestingly, Jerry Media (fuckjerry’s parent company), was a co-producer in the Netflix doc, which wasn’t made obvious.

7. Footage (Fyre)

In terms of actual footage, Netflix’s Fyre has a lot more, from the original promotional video shoot to the internal employee meetings, you get to see more of the events as they actually unfold, and also, Ja Rule’s ridiculous toast, “Here’s to living like movie stars. Partying like rock stars. And...”

Ultimately, gun to my head, I’d recommend Netflix’s Fyre, but I’d also say to just see after you finish it if you aren’t compelled to watch the other.

To hear some commentary on great TV happening right now, listen to Marshmallow Bits, our brand new TV-focused podcast from the Next Level Nerd Podcast Network. It's magically delicious.

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