Review of Cunk on Earth (2022)

Moving picture, 145 minutes

Seen in 2023.

Ambitious but incompetent TV personality Philomena Cunk interviews experts on world history.

Charlie Brooker, who produced this series, wrote the 2001 episode of Brass Eye (1997/2001). The pointed viciousness of that episode is absent here. There is an element of media satire, but Cunk is primarily a character in her own right, not a parody of a real presenter. Her ignorance is a genericized comedic flaw and its premises vary from scene to scene, but it’s not there to provide a Daily Show-like spice to historical truth; you won’t learn anything from Cunk. It’s a gentle mockumentary patterned after Da Ali G Show (2000). Irving Finkel and Ashley Jackson are especially funny as experts doing their best to educate under less-than-ideal circumstances, though Brooker has said that the experts did at least know they were doing a comedy show.

moving picture non-fiction fiction series