‘Cunk on Earth’: An excellent mockumentary from the creator of ‘Black Mirror’

‘Cunk on Earth’: An excellent mockumentary from the creator of ‘Black Mirror’

As her last name suggests, Philomena Cunk (“cunk” can be translated as “to crash” in French), the main character of this fiction stamped “BBC”, is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. This woman wonderfully embodied by Diane Morgan (who already played a bizarre and somewhat pathetic character in after life by Ricky Gervais) is, however, entrusted with the arduous task of telling the story of Humanity in a documentary series of thirty minutes in five opuses.

In form, nothing to complain about, everything is perfect. Between an infographic and a reconstruction, Philomena strolls through the most emblematic places of the globe (Florence, Rome, Athens…) sporting a serious face of circumstance, distilling a voice-over worthy of the greatest English-speaking historical docs. In front of his microphone, are linked, moreover, eminent experts: an archaeologist from the “University of London”, a philologist from the British Museum or an Egyptologist…. A panel to show to all students enrolled in journalism school.

The future of journalism?

Basically, on the other hand, it is the cata. Philomena – originally imagined by Charlie Brooker as a “cupcake blogger” – pours into the discomfort à la Raphaël Mezrahi (in a more subtle way), the anachronisms of the podcast Breaking the old newsthe naivety of an elementary school newspaper reporter, the shortcomings of Michael Scott (Office) in social intelligence. With a few drops of conspiracy, crude product placements, contempt for our ancestors, and personal anecdotes completely off the mark. Rather judge the relevance of his questions…

Why do you say there is a mystery around the pyramids when they are obviously big bricks in a triangle? Who invented civilization? Did Zeus approve the creation of the Olympic Games? Was Jesus Christ the first victim of cancel culture? Did the birth of Venus happen this way? In front of Botticelli’s painting and with the accent of Bolton (near Manchester). In short, it’s as absurd as it is tasty.

The real experts, aware of the tone of the show, but not of the questions, are impressively serene and self-deprecating when they try to respond, in the most serious way, to its questions. With, as a bonus, a recurring joke “Made in Belgium” that works all the time, around “Pump Up the Jam” by Technotronic.

Cunk on earth – Mockumentary by Charlie Brooker – Director: Christian Watt – With Diane Morgan – 5 × 30′, from 01/31 (Netflix).

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