In a case that can’t help but remind one of the dueling documentaries from Hulu and Netflix about Billy McFarland’s failed Fyre Festival, which both landed this past January, another duo of documentaries on the same subject are arriving this summer, albeit slightly further apart. Both YouTube’s Always Amazing and Hulu’s The Amazing Johnathan Documentary chronicle the recent years of comedy magician The Amazing Jonathan, but seemingly have done so with very, very different tones.
For an idea of what we mean, simply watch the trailer for Always Amazing first. This first of two documentaries is now available in full on YouTube.
Looks pretty by the books, right? It’s the inspirational story of a beloved performer who changed the game in stand-up comedy and stage magic, and his relationship with a young fan turned business partner. There appears to be an obvious “inspirational” element as well, documenting how Jonathan has battled a life-threatening heart condition.
Now take a look at the trailer for Hulu’s The Amazing Jonathan Documentary for what looks like a very differently framed take on some of the same material.
Uh, yeah. Much less the hero-feting documentary that was present in Always Amazing, right? The filmmakers of The Amazing Jonathan Documentary don’t even seem to be aware that there was another crew working on a separate film until they’re in the process of shooting their own. How did this happen, exactly? And what do we make of the Hulu documentary’s suspicion that Jonathan has somehow been faking his entire illness and heart condition from the very beginning?
Unfortunately, we won’t get to see The Amazing Jonathan Documentary in full until its release on Aug. 16, but it will be fascinating to see just how vocally it contrasts the material in Always Amazing.