Journey through the centre of Cunk - A review of Cunk on Earth

"Do we know if China has a roof? Is there a great roof of China? And what was the Soviet onion?"

These are just some of the questions Philomena Cunk asks various experts in her new mockumentary Cunk on Earth. In this five-part Netflix show, Philomena Cunk, played by comedian Diane Morgan, takes us on a journey from the conception of organised religion to the age of computers.

The show essentially gives you a bite-sized glimpse into the history of Earth with Philomena Cunk, an ill-informed journalist, interviewing academics on various topics ranging from the history of civilisation to the cold war. The comedic value of the show relies on Cunk's deadpan method of asking the interviewees bewildering questions such as, "In medieval times, there were lots of paintings of Jesus. How did he find the time to pose for the artists?", all the while sticking to her bit of remaining blissfully ignorant. Apart from her dim-witted queries, Cunk is also prone to mispronunciation of words such as calling the Dark Ages "Darkages" and the Renaissance "'Ren-ay-sauce".

Even though the questions themselves may be entertaining on their own, what truly catches the audience off-guard is when these supposedly dim-witted questions actually turn out to be enlightening. Some of these questions can seem dumb at first, but upon further insight, can turn out to shed light on important issues. Others can be questions that you yourself might have had but never had the courage to say out loud.

At the start of episode 2, without beating around the bush, Cunk boldly asks which one of the holy books is the best, a question atheists and theists alike have all had at some point in their lives. At times like this, one can't help but laud Cunk's valour in speaking her mind. 

A comedic masterpiece for sure, but the show is not without its issues. Due to the short length of the episodes, the show can sometimes gloss over or fully eliminate certain important bits of history. This was exemplified in the episode discussing the history of religions where Judaism was completely left out of the conversation.

At the end of the day, since the major purpose of the series was light-hearted entertainment, it was easy to forgive such content errors. And, despite having a runtime of merely 30 minutes per episode, you would have surely ended up learning something new about this planet called Earth.

Tasnim Odrika has only one personality trait and that is cats. Share ideas for new personality traits with her at [email protected]