These days on Netflix, you seem to be able to find documentaries about everything and anything, down to the most bizarre topics. However, a new documentary series released over the weekend may have just claimed the bizarre-top-spot: History of Swear Words.
Like the name implies, the show explore the origins, history and functions of swear words in the English language.
The eight-part series begins with an episode that features interviews with experts in etymology, popular culture, history and entertainment on the origin, use and cultural impact of the word f**k. The explanations are also visualised through illustration, animation and scenes from iconic films, using a combination of humour and science.
The host Nicholas Cage narrates several surprising facts, for example, the English-speaking motion picture actor who has sworn most on screen is Jonah Hill, who swore 107 times in The Wolf of Wall Street alone. The rest of the show, adopting a similar formula, delves into five other specific curse words.
Although Cage, no stranger to swearing, and all the experts curse all the way through the series, no one can doubt that the series is in fact educational. While it is so obvious that the series cannot be shown in schools, History of Swear Words has legitimate historical and etymologic compounds which explain in detail how these words are used for different purposes. While English swear words are frowned upon in many non-western countries where English is not the first or second language, the documentary series can actually show people in said countries the real meaning of the words in different contexts, which could help reduce any offence caused.
Despite all the cursing, the show is admittedly very humorous and entertaining. Most of the credit goes to the host Cage and there could not be a better person for the role. While displaying incredible comedic talent, Cage at the same time also showcases considerable charm, which has never been seen before in his roles.
The interviews with comedians and experts are also a cool part of the series, although most of the time, the formula remains the same. However, it is not every day that you can see academics swearing loudly and seeming to have fun with it.
With each episode lasting just 20 minutes, it is a good binge-watch for over the weekend, but you have to make sure that little children are not around while you are watching.
- Tags: Netflix