29 December 2016
Lasco Atkins, Ronald Hutton, Diane Morgan, Jay Rayner, Kate Williams
Philomena Cunk (Diane Morgan) is maybe best known for being part of the Screen Wipe segments along with other fictional everyman, Barry Shitpeas. This led to her having her own segments within Charlie Brooker’s shows (Moments of Wonder) and in this last year a couple of standalone shows; the first of these I saw was this Christmas Special. Within it Cunk talks with experts and wonders out loud about things such as the best food for Christmas, the history of the celebration, who is Santa, and what the best Christmas movie is.
The character herself is quite simple, and essentially the joke could be that she is ignorant and the focus then be on watching the experts trying to deal with that (in the mold of Ali G for instance); however what makes her much more than that is just how well scripted she is, whether it be great phrasing, great observations, or small moments of madness delivered with wide-eyed wonder. Taking us on a “journey right up Christmas”, there are plenty of great lines and I did laugh fairly consistently across the 30 minutes. The closing observations are a good example of the sharp edge it has too – she talks about how we are encouraged to feel sorry for those people alone at Christmas, but now that’s all of us and its brilliant.
Very enjoyable Christmas special thanks to the writing and Morgan’s delivery; it was shown paired with Charlie Brooker’s 2016 Wipe, and the humor is very much in the same area.
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