In The Beginnings
The Renaissance Will Not Be Televised
Rise of the Machines
War(s) of the World(s)?
In Cunk on Earth, actress Diane Morgan poses as Philomena Cunk, a landmark documentary presenter. The audience follows her as she travels around the world explaining different bits of history—or, well, her version of it. But when Philomena interviews real-life experts and starts asking dumb questions and making strange analogies, they struggle to respond, completely dumbfounded, much to viewers’ amusement.
The reactions to Philomena’s stupidity are outright hilarious. This show has everything that a typical documentary has: actors enacting historical scenes; black and white reels; voiceovers; shots of the presenter walking and/or standing in a place of historical significance; interviews with experts; but each element has a comical twist to it.
In one particular scene, Philomena explains what might have happened in the ancient castle that she is standing in. With active dialogue, she describes a scene that might have happened in the past, involving a letter from Robin Hood, a feast, Merlin’s decapitation, and the plague, of course. The scene is complimented with added sound effects; it is utterly creative and entertaining.
This is a one-of-a-kind, unique comedic documentary. You can take just about any bit of dialogue from this show and it would be funny. For example, when referring to early humans, Philomena, documentary-style says, “One thing they did invent was fire, which allowed them to see at night and kept them warm, tragically prolonging their already tedious lives.” Or her response to learning about the death of the Soviet’s first space dog, “You’re ******* joking!” after which she requests a moment of silence for the dog, with a solemn face.
Cunk on Earth is a truly refreshing piece of entertainment. This BBC and Netflix collaboration is witty, clever, well-casted, and very well made. Diane Morgan’s ability to deliver top-notch comedy with a straight face and improvise on the spot carries the weight of the entire show.
It is not exactly family entertainment; there is a bit of language and adult humor sprinkled throughout. But overall, the concept of the show is brilliant, and the results are truly hilarious. The kind of humor displayed here is sure to appeal to many.
Verdict - 8.5/10