Faux Documentaries, or Mocumentaries, are basically documentary-styled shows that present fictional/unproven information. This is ironic as it seems that the very definition of a documentary is as below:
Movies, Television, based on or re-creating an actual event, era, life story, etc., that purports to be factually accurate and contains no fictional elements.
Now with that said, despite the disclaimers that is shown before/during/after the show, I do not believe such a documentary should be made, especially since it prioritises viewership over learning value.
I have watched “Dragons: A Fantasy Made Real” when I was in Primary Four. I am a huge fan of dragons, and I wish to find proof of its existence, or better yet, that maybe somewhere in the world, it still does.
So, when I first saw the documentary, I was ecstatic! I told my entire class about how they actually found the preserved remains of a dragon (a “fact” which was presented during the documentary). Nobody believed me. Most actually laughed at me. I told them that the show also stated that the remains are being taken cared of at a facility in a London Museum, and that a channel such as the “Animal Planet” should mean that it is credible in terms of presenting facts.
Of course, after the reaction of my classmates, I went to do some research, and to my dismay, it was all a lie. Sure, these documentaries do provoke our minds to think about possibilities, and I did find the show entertaining and engaging.
This was also true for another show called “The Lost Tapes“, a show where each episode will present evidence of mysterious, often mythical, creatures having been caught on camera. I watch this with my brother, and we had a blast!
While there was a disclaimer after each case that these reenactments are just to showcase the possibility that such creatures exists, we only knew that the ENTIRE documentary was a fake, and subsequently, our interest in the show waned.
My opinion in this entire matter can be summed up in the following statement:
Animal Planet, The History Channel, and all other of such channels should only deliver documentaries based on hard, concrete facts. If viewership is an issue, increase the content value and/or delivery in such content. But do not exploit our interest in the unknown by presenting theories and fabricated information through so called actors playing scientists and clever “movie magic”. That goes for you too, Aliens!