Monday, January 05, 2009

Summer Heights High

What's that you ask, Alanna? What did I watch over the Holidays? I WILL TELL YOU.

I give an incredibly hearty endorsement to SUMMER HEIGHTS HIGH, and encourage all with HBO on demand to watch all 8 episodes. (You can do it in one day. It's like, the same amount of time as seeing BENJAMIN BUTTON.)

I had never seen any of Chris Lilley's work before, but am now itching to see it all. Chris writes and stars in SUMMER, playing 3 characters over the course of one term in an Australian public school. There is Jamie (pronounced Jah-MAY), a privileged private school "year 11" visiting for the term, Jonah, a behaviorally challenged "year 8" and "Poly" (Polynesian), and Mr. G., the school's stereotypical drama teacher.

Chris' portrayals are absurdly humorous in appearance, as he is an average sized thirty something SEAMLESSLY pulling off a 16 year old girl and 13 year old boy in school uniforms. But once you look past the wolf in obvious sheep's clothing aspect, what makes the show equal parts hilarious and poignant is the seemingly real people casting of the teachers and students surrounding the 3 main players. They make Jonah's plights with discipline in particular borderline tear jerking come the last episode.

Australia is the new Britain when it comes to comedy exports for sure. Chris Lilley and Tim Minchin are both national treasures of epic proportions.

No comments: