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]

  • 30 minuten (NL, 1995-1997), follows a different fictional character each week, played by Arjan Ederveen.
  • All Aussie Adventures (AU, 2001), follows the Australian outback adventures of Russell Coight, who believes he is one with the land but constantly has mishaps that could only happen to him.
  • American Vandal, follows an amateur high school filmmaker who believes an expelled senior may be innocent of vandalizing the school with penis drawings.
  • Angry Boys (Australia, 2011), created by Chris Lilley.
  • Arrested Development (US, 2003–2006, 2013–present), a fly-on-the-wall series filmed in mockumentary style; follows the story of the dysfunctional Bluth family, primarily Michael, after his father is imprisoned.
  • Art Less (USA, 2016), an online web series; follows a group of teenagers who want to be famous, but don't have the drive to succeed.
  • Brass Eye (UK, 1997), series of mockumentaries by Chris Morris.
  • Come Fly with Me (UK, 2010), fly-on-the-wall comedy 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, often featuring documentary-style inserts such as 'The Pool' and 'The Office'.
  • Documentary Now! (2015–present) series on IFC, created by Saturday Night Live alumni Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Seth Meyers, and director Rhys Thomas, which spoofs celebrated documentary films by parodying the style of each documentary with a similar, but fictitious, subject.
  • Dog Bites Man, parody of local news coverage; follows the misadventures of a struggling news team as they travel around the country producing news segments.
  • Dorm Life (US, 2008–2009), webseries following the fictional lives of the inhabitants of the college dorm floor 5 South.
  • The Games (Australia, 1998 and 2000), comedy, follows the mayhem and bureaucratic snafu faced by the organisers of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
  • Gerhard Reinke's Wanderlust (US, 2003), travel show following the misadventures of a bumbling German backpacker as he travels the globe in search of reasonably priced culturally enriching experiences.
  • Hoff the Record (UK, 2015), fly-on-the wall series starring David Hasselhoff.
  • Human Remains (UK, 2000), a bleak series of fly-on-the-wall insights into dysfunctional couples.
  • In de gloria (Belgium, 2000-2001), a tragicomical sketch show parodying reality television and human interest shows.
  • Les Invincibles (Canada, 2005–2009), French Canadian dramedy about four thirty-year-old men signing a pact that says they have to break up with their girlfriends and embrace a common routine-free life.
  • Ja'mie: Private School Girl (Australia, 2013), 6 episodes about a very rich year 12 schoolgirl prefect called Ja'mie King, and her friends and enemies.
  • Jonah from Tonga (Australia, 2014), 6 episodes about a year 9 bully of Tongan descent called Jonah Takalua, and his life after he was expelled from Summer Heights High.
  • 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; combined new segments with authentic news and human interest archive footage.
  • The Life of Rock with Brian Pern (UK, 2014-2017) created by Rhys Thomas stars Simon Day as rock musician Brian Pern, frontman of the progressive rock band Thotch.
  • Little Lunch (TV series) (Australia, 2015) created by Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope on ABC Me set in a suburban primary school in Australia and follows the adventures of six Grade 5 students at recess time.
  • Look Around You (UK, 2002 and 2005), 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 driver.
  • Modern Family (US, 2009–2020), about three families living modern American lives.
  • My Generation (TV series) (US, 2010), about a group of high school classmates ten years after graduation.
  • My Life as Liz (US, 2010–2011), 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.
  • The Office (UK/USA, 2001–2013), British satire on white-collar management, later remade for US and other audiences.
  • Operation Good Guys, British satire of an incompetent police force (often seen as a precursor to The Office).
  • Parks and Recreation (US, 2009–2015), follows Leslie Knope, head of the Parks and Recreation department in a small town in Indiana.
  • Paths to Freedom (Ireland, 2000), fly-on-the-wall spoof about two prisoners leaving prison, both from different backgrounds, one an esteemed gynaecologist and the other an inner-city Dublin rapper.
  • People Just Do Nothing, BBC mockumentary following the men who run Kurupt FM, a pirate radio station broadcasting garage and drum and bass in London.
  • People Like Us (UK, radio 1995–1997, and television 1999-2001), British comedy featuring an inept interviewer (played by Chris Langham) who interviews people in various jobs.
  • Pepito Manaloto: Ang Tunay na Kuwento (Pepito Manaloto: The Real Story) (Philippines, 2010–present), a multi-awarded Filipino comedy series.
  • Prehistoric Park (UK, 2006), 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.
  • Real Husbands of Hollywood (US, 2013–2016), created by and starring Kevin Hart, shown on BET.
  • Reno 911! (US, 2003–2009), Comedy Central parody of Cops, about an inept police force in Reno, Nevada.
  • Review (US, 2014–2017), Comedy Central show starring Andy Daly as fictional professional critic Forrest MacNeil, who reviews real-life experiences.
  • Sono 'Okodawari', Watashi ni mo Kure yo!! (Japan, 2016), based on a manga series.
  • Southern Fried Stings, depicting a group of mercenaries/private detectives operating in the southern United States.
  • Summer Heights High (Australia, 2007), about three characters at a public high school.
  • Total Drama (Canada, 2007–2014), animated 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 crackpot 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.
  • We Can Be Heroes: Finding The Australian of the Year (Australia, 2005), about five fictitious candidates nominated for the prestigious Australian of the Year Award.
  • Wildboyz (US, 2003–2006), Jackass spin-off, starring Steve-O and Chris Pontius; mocks nature documentaries.
  • Yacht Rock (US, 2005-2010), Channel 101 series following the fictionalized lives and careers of American soft rock stars of the late 1970s and early 1980s.
  • Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous (US, 2013), follows a teenager who hires a camera crew to document his journey to overnight stardom, despite being completely talentless.
  • Lunatics (Australia, 2019–present), the series explores the lives of six different and eccentric characters in their own distinctive settings.
  • What We Do in the Shadows (TV series) (US, 2019–present), comedy-horror series about a group of vampires living in Staten Island.
  • This Country (UK, 2017–present), comedy series about the day-to-day lives of two young people living in a small village in the Cotswolds.

Specials and one-offs[edit]

  • The Gist, one-off arts review show parody written by John Morton; presented by Robert Webb; featuring Amelia Bulmore, Bill Nighy.
  • 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.
  • Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm, HBO Special about the making of an HBO special.
  • MyMusic (US, 2012), web series about a dysfunctional music company.
  • The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie, stars two real-life brothers Nat and Alex Wolff and their real-life friends.
  • 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, 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).
  • Oil Gobblers (Ropáci), a film by Jan Svěrák about creatures that live in underground mines and feed on oil, plastic, and rubbish.
  • Platinum Weird, a band formed by Dave Stewart and Kara DioGuardi, and the subject of a VH1 mockumentary.

Commercials[edit]

Television specials[edit]

Individual episodes[edit]

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

  • 3rd Rock from the Sun
    • "The Loud Solomon Family: a Dickumentary", season 5, an episode presented in an entirely documentary style, taking a look into the lives of the Solomon family.
  • Babylon 5
    • "And Now for a Word" (1995), framed as a documentary by the fictional news network ISN for the Babylon 5 station; every act in the episode starts with effects similar to those used by news channels, and ends with the reporter acknowledging the cut to advertisements; there is also a fake advertisement; this is the first documentary-styled episode in the science fiction genre.
    • "The Illusion of Truth" and "The Deconstruction of Falling Stars", season 4, partially employ documentary style.
  • Blue Mountain State
    • "One Week" (2011), a documentary crew follows the team on and off the field. Episode made to look like a mockumentary and presented as such.
  • 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" (2007), an episode as a mock "making of" film about Medellín, the film the characters produce.
  • ER
    • "Ambush", 1997 live episode, portrayed as a documentary.
  • Even Stevens
    • "Band on the Roof", a "rockumentary"-style episode following the band the Twitty-Steven Connection.
  • Farscape
    • "A Constellation of Doubt", Season 4, Episode 17, most of the episode comprises a fictional documentary detailing humanity's reaction to Moya's recent visit to Earth; it is occasionally seen that John Crichton is watching the documentary on a television set in his quarters on board the ship; 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 a shooting to document the road to recovery for doctors and patients.
  • House
    • "Ugly", Season 4, Episode 7, A camera follows a patient around the hospital as Dr. House treats him. Some of the episode is filmed in the standard format (such times include differentials etc.) but scenes including the patient are mostly viewed through the in-show camera. The cameras are differentiated by the official camera being in colour and the in-show camera being in grayscale.
  • Just Shoot Me!
    • "A&E Biography: Nina Van Horn", a faux A&E Biography of the character played by Wendie Malick.
  • Monk
    • "Mr. Monk’s 100th Case" (2008) 100th episode featuring a fictional TV special (mockumentary style) about Monk's 100th case including interviews with past characters on the show. Core characters are at a viewing party (standard format) for the special and Monk has second thoughts about his conclusion about the case.
  • Night Court
    • "A Closer Look", 1990 episode showing the affairs of the show from a news TV perspective.
  • The Simpsons
  • The West Wing
    • "Access" (2004), 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), episode made to look like an episode of the actual show COPS.
  • Bones
    • "The Movie in the Making" (2016), made to look like an episode of fictional documentary TV show focusing on the work of the FBI and Jeffersonian Institute, including interviews with characters.

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, fictional version of Jackass.
  • Drawn Together, 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 in which 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 in which 16 contestants must survive in the remote Siberian territory of Tunguska for a 500,000 dollar prize; things go horribly wrong and the contestants are left stranded in a dangerous forest full of things they don't understand.

News shows[edit]

  • Countdown to Looking Glass (1984), 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 (not completely a documentary/mockumentary, as it includes dramatic interludes).
  • Ghostwatch (1992), BBC television special in which a fictitious "live" paranormal investigation goes awry.
  • Special Bulletin (1983), NBC made-for-TV movie, portrayed a live broadcast from a fictional American broadcasting network on a nuclear terrorism incident in Charleston, South Carolina as it occurred; its realism caused a minor panic in Charleston at the time of its first airing, despite disclaimers shown after each commercial break.
  • Without Warning (1994), TV film in the form of a mock newscast, produced by CBS; 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.

Found footage[edit]

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

  • Cannibal Holocaust, 1980 horror film about an anthropologist from New York University who leads a rescue team into the Amazon rainforest to locate a crew of filmmakers.
  • The Blair Witch Project, 1999 horror film about three student filmmakers who disappear while hiking to film a documentary about a local legend, the Blair Witch.
  • Be My Cat: A Film for Anne, 2015 horror movie about a young man in Romania who goes to shocking extremes to convince Hollywood actress Anne Hathaway to play in his film.[3][4][5][6]
  • Chronicle, 2012 science fiction movie about three high-school seniors who form a bond after gaining telekinetic abilities from an unknown object.
  • Cloverfield, 2008 monster thriller film following six young New Yorkers attending a going-away party on the night a gigantic monster attacks the city.
  • The Devil Inside, 2012 horror movie tracing the purported exorcism of a possessed woman convicted of a triple murder.
  • Gang Tapes, 2001 When a brutal carjacking yields a videocamera, a teenage boy decides to document his life and the lives of his fellow gangbangers.
  • The Last Exorcism, 2010 horror film about a fictional evangelical minister who participates in a documentary that films his exorcism.
  • Paranormal Activity, 2007 supernatural horror film centered on a young couple who are haunted by a supernatural presence in their home.
  • Project X, 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.
  • September Tapes, 2004 movie about a man who hunts down Osama Bin Laden.
  • The Troll Hunter, 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.
  • Zero Day, 2003 American indie film by Ben Coccio based on the Columbine High School shooting.

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.
  3. ^ "Be My cat: A Film for Anne". IMDb. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  4. ^ Pinto, Vitor. "Be My cat: A Film for Anne competing at Fantasporto". Cineuropa. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  5. ^ Millican, Josh. "Be My cat: A Film for Anne". Dread Central. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  6. ^ "Be My cat: A Film for Anne". Nashville Film Festival. Retrieved April 13, 2016.

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