List of mockumentaries

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This is a list of mockumentaries. Mockumentary or mock documentary is a genre of film and television, a parody presented as a documentary recording real life.

Film[edit]

Television[edit]

Series[edit]

  • All Aussie Adventures (AU, 2001) Follows the Australian outback adventures of Russell Coight, a man who believes he is one with the land but constantly has mishaps that could only happen to him.
  • Arrested Development (US, 2003-2013) A fly-on-the-wall series filmed in mockumentary style, this show follows the story of the dysfunctional Bluth Family, namely Michael Bluth, after his father is imprisoned.
  • Brass Eye (UK, 1997), a series of mockumentaries by Chris Morris.
  • Come Fly with Me (UK, 2010), a fly-on-the-wall comedy TV show which follows the antics of many characters on a normal day at a UK airport. Most characters are played by comedian duo David Walliams and Matt Lucas.
  • The Day Today (UK, 1994), spoof news series created by Chris Morris and Armando Iannucci which often featured documentary-style inserts, such as 'The Pool' and 'The Office'
  • Dog Bites Man, a parody of local news coverage, and follows the misadventures of a struggling news team as they travel around the country producing news segments.
  • Dorm Life (US, 2008–2009), a webseries following the fictional lives of the inhabitants of the college dorm floor 5 South.
  • The Games (Australia, 1998 and 2000), an Australian TV comedy that follows the mayhem and bureaucratic snafu faced by the organisers of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
  • Gerhard Reinke's Wanderlust (US, 2003), a travel show following the misadventures of a bumbling German backpacker as he travels the globe in search of reasonably priced culturally enriching experiences.
  • Human Remains (UK, 2000), a bleak series of fly-on-the-wall insights into dysfunctional couples.
  • Jimmy MacDonald's Canada (Canada, 2005), lost episodes of a mid-1960s public affairs show hosted by Jimmy MacDonald who was played by Richard Waugh. The show combined new segments with authentic news and human interest archive footage.
  • Les Invincibles (Canada, 2005–2009), a French Canadian TV dramedy about four thirty year-old men signing a pact that say they have to break-up with their girlfriends and embrace a common routine-free life.
  • Look Around You (UK, 2002 and 2005), a parody of educational TV (season 1) and documentary about "the world and future of science and technology" (season 2), set roughly 25 years before the actual release dates.
  • Marion and Geoff (UK series, 2000–2003), stars Rob Brydon as a cab/taxi driver.
  • Modern Family (US, 2009–Present), a series about three families living modern American family lives.
  • My Life as Liz (US, 2010–Present), a series about a seventeen-year old girl and her senior year in high school.
  • The Naked Brothers Band (US, 2007–2009), starred two real-life brothers Nat and Alex Wolff and their real life friends about a teenage fantasy of a world-famous kids' rock band, with cameras following the band members everywhere they go. The series was based around the real-life band Nat and Alex formed back in pre-school. The series was created by their real-life mother actress Polly Draper, who also wrote and directed the self-titled film, that became the pilot for the series.
  • The Office (UK/USA, 2001–2013), British satire on white-collar management, later remade for US and other audiences.
  • Operation Good Guys, a British satire of an incompetent police force (often seen as a precursor to The Office, see above).
  • Operation Repo, a fictional series depicting an automobile repossession team.
  • Parks and Recreation (US, 2009–Present), a series following Leslie Knope who is head of the Parks and Recreation department in a small town in Indiana.
  • Paths to Freedom (Ireland, 2000), spoof fly-on-the-wall documentary about two prisoners leaving prison, both from different backgrounds one an esteemed gynaecologist and the other an inner city Dublin rapper.
  • People Like Us (UK, radio from 1995 to 1997, and television series 1999 to 2001), a British radio and TV comedy, featuring an inept interviewer (played by Chris Langham), who interviews people in various jobs.
  • Prehistoric Park (UK, 2006), a six-episode mockumentary that depicts a hypothetical scenario whereby a time machine is used to create a wildlife park.
  • Pure Pwnage, an Internet-distributed show about a gamer followed around by his brother created by Geoff Lapaire, and Jarett Cale.
  • Reno 911! (US, 2003–2009), Comedy Central parody of COPS about an inept police force in Reno, Nevada.
  • Southern Fried Stings a series depicting a fictional group of mercenaries/private detectives operating in southern United States.
  • "Tandem: Bike Cops" (US, 2014), a YouTube comedy web series following two police officers Curtis Brandeen and Reggie Slater, who together make the first ever police tandem bike force.
  • We Can Be Heroes: Finding The Australian of the Year (Australia, 2005), an Australian TV mockumentary about five fictitious candidates nominated for the prestigious Australian of the Year Award.
  • Summer Heights High (Australia, 2007), an Australian mockumentary about three fictitious characters at a public high school.
  • Angry Boys (Australia, 2011), an Australian mockumentary created by Lilley.
  • Total Drama (Canada, 2007–Present), a Canadian animated TV mockumentary, which is a parody of reality shows about a group of teens competing for $1,000,000.
  • Trailer Park Boys (Canada, 2001–Present), follows Julian, Ricky, and Bubbles, as they commit crimes, and hatch crack-pot schemes to make money, most of which are illegal and often involve growing marijuana.
  • Victoria Wood As Seen On TV (UK, 1985–87), two series of sketch shows with regular five-minute mockumentaries, written by and starring Victoria Wood.
  • Wildboyz (US, 2003–2006), Jackass spin-off starring Steve-O and Chris Pontius that mocks nature style documentaries.
  • Real Husbands of Hollywood (US, 2013–Present), created by and starring Kevin Hart, is shown on BET (Black Ent TV).

Specials and one-offs[edit]

  • "Operación Palace", (Spain, 2013). Aired on La Sexta. A fake documentary about the February 23, 1981 (23-F) attempted coup d’état in Spain. 'Operación Palace' featured prominent figures from politics and the media providing, in perfect sync, invented testimony relating to the events surrounding the 1981 attempted coup, in which a group of civil guards, led by Lieutenant-Colonel Antonio Tejero, violently stormed Congress. It bothered many Spaniards because their constitution, kingdom and democracy are based mostly on these fact.
  • C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America, an alternate history in which the Confederates won the American Civil War.
  • Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm, HBO Special about the making of an HBO special.
  • MyMusic (US, 2012) Web series about a dysfunctional music company.
  • Norbert Smith - a Life, a personal project by English comedian Harry Enfield, satirising TV arts show biographies, British films of the 20th century, and the British acting fraternity. Enfield later provided two other mockumentaries with Smashie and Nicey: The End of an Era (which took us through the glory days of British radio) and Normal Ormal: A Very Political Turtle (a scatter-gun attack on politics).
  • The Gist, one-off arts review show parody written by John Morton (see People Like Us, Twenty Twelve, above). Presented by Robert Webb. Featuring Amelia Bulmore, Bill Nighy.
  • The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie, stars two real-life brothers Nat and Alex Wolff and their real life friends about a teenage fantasy of a world-famous kids' rock band, with cameras following the band members everywhere they go. The film is based around the real-life band Nat and Alex formed back in pre-school. The film was written and directed by their real-life mother actress Polly Draper, who also created the series.
  • Introducing Tony Ferrino: Who and Why?: A Quest, Steve Coogan's parody of cheap promotional videos which went alongside the arrival of his Portuguese singer character. Written with Peter Baynham, co-writer of Borat, The Day Today, who appears as an interviewer eventually killed by the sinister Ferrino.
  • Platinum Weird, a band formed by Dave Stewart and Kara DioGuardi, and the subject of a VH1 mockumentary.
  • Oil Gobblers (Ropáci), a film by Jan Svěrák about fictitious creatures that live in underground mines and feed on oil, plastic, and rubbish.
  • In Search of the Edge, a film by Scott Barrie. A trial to proof that the earth is not round, but flat.

Commercials[edit]

Television specials[edit]

Individual episodes[edit]

Sometimes an episode of an otherwise non-mockumentary series will be presented as a mockumentary.

  • Babylon 5
    • And Now for a Word is framed as a documentary by the fictional news network ISN for the Babylon 5 station. Every act in the episode start with effects similar to those used by news channels, and end with the reporter acknowledging the cut to advertisements. There's also a fake advertisement. It is the first documentary-styled episode in the science fiction genre.
    • The Illusion of Truth and The Deconstruction of Falling Stars in season 4 partially employ documentary style.
  • The Comic Strip Presents
    • "The Comic Strip Presents... Bad News Tour" and its sequel, More Bad News, following an incompetent rock group on tour.
    • The Comic Strip Presents... Eddie Monsoon: A Life?, the life story of an offensive talk show host.
  • Community
  • Entourage
    • Welcome to the Jungle, an episode as a mock "making of" film about Medellín, the film the characters produce.
  • Even Stevens
    • Band on the Roof, a "rockumentary"-style episode following the band, the Twitty-Steven Connection.
  • Farscape
    • Most of Season 4, Episode 17 A Constellation of Doubt comprises a fictional documentary detailing humanity's reaction to Moya's recent visit to Earth. It is occasionally seen that John Critchton is watching the documentary on a television set in his quarters on board the ship. The end credits of the episode include a trailer to the next episode of the fictional documentary.
  • Grey's anatomy
    • "These Arms of Mine", a documentary crew visits the hospital six months after the shooting to document the road to recovery for doctors and patients.
  • Just Shoot Me!
    • "A&E Biography: Nina Van Horn", a faux "A&E Biography" of the character Nina Van Horn, played by Wendie Malick
  • Night Court
    • A Closer Look, a 1990 episode showing the affairs of the show from a news TV perspective.
  • The Simpsons
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun
    • The Loud Solomon Family: a Dickumentary, from season 5, an episode presented in an entirely documentary style taking a look into the lives of the Solomon family.
  • ER
    • Its 1997 live episode Ambush was portrayed as a documentary.
  • The West Wing
    • Access, a fake behind-the-scenes documentary about a day in the White House of President Josiah Bartlet, supposedly released after his term in office has ended.
  • The X-Files
    • X-Cops (2000), an episode made to look like an episode of the actual show COPS.

Other mock films and television[edit]

Reality shows[edit]

  • The Comeback (US, 2005), a reality show type following the life of former "it" actress Valerie Cherish.
  • Double the Fist, a fictional version of Jackass.
  • Drawn Together, a cartoon version of The Surreal Life.
  • Series 7: The Contenders, a movie is presented as a marathon of the seventh series of an American reality television show where six people, picked at random from a national lottery, are each given a gun and forced to hunt and kill each other for the camera.
  • Siberia, a horror/drama series about a fictional reality television show where 16 contestants must survive in the remote Siberian territory of Tunguska for a 500,000 dollar prize. However, things go horribly wrong and the contestants are left stranded in a dangerous woods full of things they don't understand.

News shows[edit]

  • Special Bulletin (1983), was an NBC made-for-TV movie, which portrayed a live broadcast from a fictional American broadcasting network (Republic Broadcasting System, or RBS) on a nuclear terrorism incident in Charleston, South Carolina as they occurred. The realism of the broadcast caused a minor panic in Charleston at the time of its first airing, despite disclaimers shown after each commercial break.
  • Without Warning (1994), was another TV film in the form of a mock newscast. Produced by CBS, it covered an apocalyptic alien attack scenario as seen through the eyes of a network TV news crew. Like Special Bulletin, reports of panic were also associated with its broadcast.
  • Countdown to Looking Glass (1984), a cable-TV docu-drama presented as a series of news reports concerning an escalation in the Middle East between the US and the USSR, that eventually leads to nuclear war. (This film, however, isn't completely a documentary as it includes dramatic interludes).
  • Ghostwatch (1992), a BBC television special in which a fictitious "live" paranormal investigation goes awry.

Found footage[edit]

Main article: Found footage (genre)

Some films and shows take on the form of (fake) raw footage.[2]

  • The Blair Witch Project, a 1999 horror film about three student filmmakers who disappear while hiking to film a documentary about a local legend known as the Blair Witch.
  • September Tapes, a 2004 movie about a man who hunts down Osama Bin Laden.
  • Paranormal Activity, a 2007 supernatural horror film centered on a young couple who are haunted by a supernatural presence in their home.
  • Cloverfield, a 2008 monster thriller film following six young New Yorkers attending a going-away party on the night that a gigantic monster attacks the city.
  • The Last Exorcism, a 2010 horror film about a fictional evangelical minister who participates in a documentary that films his exorcism.
  • The Troll Hunter, a 2010 Norwegian comedy-drama film made by a team of film students, documenting the work of a troll hunter with the secret Norwegian Troll Service.
  • The Devil Inside, a 2012 horror movie tracing the purported exorcism of a possessed woman convicted of a mass murder.
  • Chronicle, a 2012 science fiction movie about three high-school seniors which form a bond after gaining telekinetic abilities from an unknown object.
  • Project X, a 2012 comedy film whose plot follows three friends who plan to gain popularity by throwing a party, a plan which quickly escalates out of their control.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Romanski, Philippe; Sy-Wonyu, Aïssatou (2002). Trompe (-)l'oeil: Imitation & Falsification. Publications de l'Université de Rouen 324. University of Le Havre Press. p. 343. ISBN 2877753344. 
  2. ^ Kang, Inkoo (May 4, 2012). "The Ten Best Mockumentaries". Boxoffice. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 

^ G. Gomez, Rosario (2014). "Fake coup documentary sparks row". El País, English version, article. Retrieved 24 February 2014.