Mt. Ararat (sometimes known as Mt. Ararat: Life and Love at the World's Worst High School or Mt. Ararat: a Dankumentary) is a zero-budget American comedy-drama dankumentary focusing on the lives of students and teachers in and around Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham, Maine. The series has four complete seasons, one for each year of high school.
The first season of Mt. Ararat consisted of a single episode: First Day Filming. This in turn consisted of several unrelated scenes involving Brendan, Elizabeth, Mullen and Joanna, Griffin and Desmond, Meghan, and Audra. This episode was originally titled The School: episode one and was meant as a parody of NBC's The Office.
The second season of Mt. Ararat consisted of two episodes: Theater Kids and Outside With Izzi. Theater Kids followed the structure of later seasons, with an actual storyline, various locations, and personal interviews. Outside With Izzi, on the other hand, was closer to the pilot episode, in that it was made up of random scenes involving several characters — in this case, Izzi, Nathaniel, Ryan and Hudson, as well as Audra and Mullen.
Season Three began with "A Camera Taking a Picture of a Camera" — an episode much like the pilot, in its lack of a plot or discernible subjects — and ended with "Why's He Following You Around? I Don't Like it When He Does That.", which was in HD and had a much better structure than the previous thirteen episodes of the series.
However, the series did not take on the form of a professional-type documentary until the mid-season finale of Season Four. Titled Zack's Dropping Out, this episode was the first to feature background music, multiple interview segments, and a beginning-middle-end plot structure.
When the series was first conceived by Nathaniel Nelson during his freshman year, it was under the working title of The School, as it was originally meant as a parody of NBC's The Office. Later, after the show was established as a continuing documentary, it was officially titled Mt. Ararat.
Like the eponymous high school, Mt. Ararat's official title is, in fact, Mt. Ararat, and not Mount Ararat.
Sometime during the production of Season Four, Nathaniel Nelson officially subtitled the series with Life and Love at the World's Worst High School, a reference to the John Grogan novel Marley & Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog. The series is also known sometimes as Mt. Ararat: a Dankymentary.