People who only know Charlie Brooker for his acclaimed Black Mirror series might not expect him to be the creator of one of the best mockumentaries out there, but his 2022 series Cunk on Earth definitely is one to rival even The Office in its hilarity.
Starring Diane Morgan brilliantly playing the dense and deadpan investigative reporter Philomena Cunk, all episodes of this show will have you cringing and busting a guy in equal measure. The series is available for you to binge on Netflix if you haven’t checked it out yet.
Cunk on Earth is an amazing mockumentary featuring comedian Diane Morgan as Philomena Cunk, and she’s the only one in on the joke.
Cunk on Earth is only five episodes, each around 30 minutes in length, so it’s perfect for a quick comedic binge. However, it’s definitely worth taking your time to take in each episode, as Morgan’s fictional Cunk character travels the world and interviews real (unsuspecting) experts Paul Bahn, Martin Kemp, Nigel Spivey, and Shirley Thompson about the history of the world.
Topics covered in the episodes include the development of agriculture, early civilization, the rise of regions like Christianity and Islam, the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution, the First and Second World Wars, and the Cold War and the Space Race. Morgan’s delivery is definitely a big part of the show’s success, and she was nominated for the British Academy Television Award for Best Female Comedy Performance for her role.
Her nomination is well-deserved, as Morgan is able to somehow keep a straight face in Cunk on Earth as she asks idiotic questions to real-world experts, leading them to try and answer in academic and scientific ways. This is hilarious, which is why the show became such a cult hit after hitting Netflix in 2023. If you’re a fan of mockumentaries, then you definitely owe it to yourself to add this one to your list.
Like The Office, Cunk on Earth deploys a dense main character to its benefit, creating uncomfortable and cringeworthy situations that would cause most of us to die of embarrassment but which Morgan handles with aplomb. The difference is, unlike The Office, most of the cast aren’t actors. Morgan is the only one in on the joke, and the mockumentary is all the better for it.
Although Cunk on Earth only has one season on Netflix, it would be easy to see the show getting another season if it becomes popular enough.
Fans of Charlie Brooker and BBC shows in general will likely already be familiar with Brooker and Morgan’s work from Cunk on Earth‘s predecessor, Cunk on Britain. Cunk on Britain follows the same format of Cunk talking to experts, except it focuses on British history rather than the history of the world. If you enjoy Cunk on Earth, then you should definitely consider checking out Cunk on Britain as well if you get the chance.
Of course, Diane Morgan’s Philomena Cunk character from Cunk on Earth can be traced back even further to Charlie Brooker’s British television review program, Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe. The series is a blend of Brooker’s previous Wipe shows and reviews of current television programs, news events, games, and films. Weekly Wipe would feature Al Campbell as Barry Shitpeas and Diane Morgan as Philomena Cunk and feature three seasons along with numerous specials.
Although you know that Diane Morgan’s character in Cunk on Earth isn’t real, she plays the character extremely convincingly and doesn’t let down the facade once, so you definitely get just as immersed in the mockumentary format as the experts she interviews.
Funnily enough, the experts are obviously very knowledgeable on the subjects they’re speaking about, so you actually end up learning something while you’re watching the series. Even if Cunk’s own questions hilariously threaten to derail any intelligent information that you might derive from the show.
…Diane Morgan’s Philomena Cunk character from Cunk on Earth can be traced back even further to Charlie Brooker’s British television review program, Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe.
Although Cunk on Earth only has one season on Netflix, it would be easy to see the show getting another season if it becomes popular enough. While Charlie Brooker’s previous Cunk-featuring shows have been more accessible to British audiences on BBC-owned channels, the fact that this show is on Netflix gives it a chance to reach a wider audience than ever. Those who watch it know that the show definitely deserves a second season.
So, if you haven’t checked out Cunk on Earth yet, make sure to do so as soon as possible. If you like mockumentaries or if you appreciate hilarious stuff in general, you owe it to yourself. You can stream the entire first season on Netflix now.