There is a good chance you’ve never heard of Philomena Cunk. The typically ill-informed reporter is a fictional creation from the mind of British comedian Diane Morgan and Charlie Brooker, the creator of Black Mirror. And she’s also the star of the new Netflix show, Cunk on Earth.
Released in its native U.K. last September, the mockumentary series has just landed on Netflix in the U.S. and it doesn't appear to have made much of an impression on stateside subscribers. In fact, a week after its streaming debut and it’s not even cracked the streamer’s top 10 most-watch list.
And in an era where people are always looking for something to watch on Netflix, it's great shame. This show is genuinely laugh-out-loud funny, as I learned when I binged it all in a matter of days. So, to correct the mistakes everyone's semingly making, I’m going to explain why Cunk on Earth is the best Netflix show you’re not watching.
What is Cunk on Earth?
Cunk on Earth is a spoof documentary series that sees Philomena Cunk (Morgan) explore the history of our planet. From the earliest ancient civilizations all the way through to the rise of modern machines, Cunk gives her unique reflections on our greatest inventions and humanity’s journey through the centuries.
And Cunk's view provides something that strays far from the standard history documentary. Cunk makes deadpan comedic quips throughout giving her trademark spin on the biggest historical events including the destruction of Pompeii and the Industrial Revolution. And there are plenty of ridiculously silly gags such as Cunk asserting that the reason we know so much about the ancient Romans is because of Wikipedia.
The series also sees Cunk quiz celebrated academic experts with hard-hitting questions like “were numbers worth less back in ancient times?” and “did a Greek philosopher ever think of an idea so big it split their head open?” These wonderings are typically followed by a bemused response from the expert as they try to wrap their heads around the nonsensical query put to them.
Why you should stream Cunk on Earth on Netflix
If you enjoy deadpan comedy, then Cunk on Earth is practically essential viewing. Cunk’s dry wit and sarcastic remarks will have you laughing throughout. In fact, it’s one of the few Netflix shows in recent years that had me rewinding sections because I missed jokes as I was laughing too hard at the ones before.
Diana Morgan is note-perfect in the role of Philomena Cunk, and I’d argue the character is one of the best comedy creations of the last two decades. You don’t just have to take my word for it either. Cunk on Earth currently holds a perfect 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Granted, that score is only from nine reviews in total but it includes overwhelming positive write-ups from well-respected outlets including Rolling Stone and the Hollywood Reporter.
So, if you’re looking for something new to watch, and you have a fondness for very silly mockumentaries, then look no further than Cunk on Earth. It’s early days yet, but this show already looks primed to be one of the strongest new Netflix shows of 2023. And Netflix will need all of the good new shows it can get, as Netflix’s password sharing crackdown just expanded.