What To Watch: 01/31/2022

For our Tuesday recs of the last week of January, we’ve got two documentaries and a fake documentary (not quite the same as a mockumentary)–represented below by very real Chuck D, mostly real Pamela Anderson, and completely fake Philomena Cunk.

Cunk on Earth [Netflix]
Philomenia Cunk reports on the world in a manner somewhere between Alan Partridge and Borat (or perhaps a Daily Show field correspondent). Played by Diane Morgan, she originated on Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker’s fake news series Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe as Cunk, an ill-informed journalist who perseveres in spite of her lack of perspicacity. This spinoff is a sort of parody of travelogues as she interviews Kumail Nanjiani, Lisa Kudrow, and others who are probably in on the joke, but we’ll never be 100% sure.

Pamela, a Love Story [Netflix]
Pamela Anderson, who notoriously (and fairly!) hated Pam & Tommy (“she was never consulted,” cries the Internet in unison) wrestles control of the narrative of her own life and image in Netflix’s documentary. The film uses diary entries and Anderson’s personal videos to tell her story. 

Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World [PBS, 9p]
This PBS documentary series examines the history of hip hop.There have been other documentaries about the history of hip hop, but this one’s on PBS so we may get a series that feels Ken Burns-esque. Hip hop is one of the most powerful drivers of culture and it deserves the PBS treatment.


  • Nashville comedian Nate Bargatze has earned a rep as a family friendly comedian, but as with Brian Regan, Jim Gaffigan (at times in his career anyway) and others, don’t let that fool you into thinking he’s not hilarious. His latest Netflix special, Nate Bargatze: Hello World debuts today.
  • Acclaimed Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn asserts that the Netflix special Copenhagen Cowboy: Nightcall with Nicolas Winding Refn is not a “making of” “but an insight on how the cowboy fell asleep and wound up in Copenhagen.” In any case, the special celebrates his offbeat (when is he not?) new 2023 thriller series.
  • Like Manifest which wound up on Netflix after the network gave up on it, NBC’s La Brea is a high-concept sci-fi drama which while it can be quite ridiculous, can also be a whole lot of fun. It’s still going on the non-streaming peacock as the folks trapped in the alternate world within an L.A. sinkhole return for a double helping tonight. And that’s all she wrote (or at leas twe wrote)…

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