<!–[CDATA[Summer Heights High (DVD)
In this hilarious series set in a real Australian high school, actor/comedian Chris Lilley stars as three different characters: a vain drama teacher, a self-absorbed boy, and a haughty female exchange student. Hysterical, absurd and frequently shocking, Summer Heights High reveals a world where small issues become huge, social groups are critical, young minds are molded, hopes are shattered and dreams are realized.
Australian writer/performer Chris Lilley specializes in the comedy of narcissism. All three of his characters in the mockumentary series Summer Heights High are blindly, maddeningly self-absorbed: Mr. G, a drama teacher who writes and directs his own musicals; Ja’mie, a preening 16-year-old from a wealthy private school who views her year at public school as purgatory; and Jonah, a Tongan juvenile delinquent who’s been previously expelled from two other schools. The series’ 8 episodes follow these three as they seek to find some form of fame and adulation.Mr. G struggles to create a musical about a student who recently died of a drug overdose… only it becomes increasingly about a heroic drama teacher whose dog dies in an accident; Ja’mie desperately wants to stage a formal dance and will lie, bribe, and manipulate to do it; and Jonah wants to do breakdancing with his posse, but he’s simply incapable of keeping himself from insulting his teachers and getting into fights with other students. While Mr. G and Ja’mie are blinkered monsters, Jonah verges on tragic, as he stumbles towards increasing self-destruction. The thoroughness of Lilley’s creations is impressive, as the comedian loses himself fully in these characters. Still, some viewers may find them more aggravating than funny; just a hint of self-awareness might have made them a little easier to spend time with. But for anyone who connects with Lilley’s humor, Summer Heights High will be a feast of juicy, unfiltered, rampaging egomania. –Bret Fetzer
Stills from Summer Heights High (Click for larger image)