funny as!

June 10, 2008

As part of my daily routine down under, I’ve been trying all the local productions recommended by friends and people I meet along the way, whether is theatre, music, tv or cinema. After being amazed with old Australian movies such as “Muriel’s Wedding” and “The Adventures of Priscilla – Queen of the Desert”, discovering such contemporary movies as “Two Hands” (starring Heath Ledger), “Sommersault”, and the horrifying true-story based “Wolf Creek”; this time the show which has kept me awake laughing out loud, comes from the little screen. That’s right! Despite my dislike for television, this ABC series has filled my life with joy and new quotations. I find myself constantly laughing on the streets or at work as I remember some of the lines.

I’m talking about the Australian television mockumentary series ‘Summer Heights High’, written by and starring Chris Lilley. The series is about an Australian Public High School, focusing on three main characters, all played by Lilley. The series brings up typical daily situations from the Australian society, which can easily be recognized in other societies around the globe. Chris Lilley, who was born in Sydney and lives in Melbourne, demonstrates his brilliant acting and creative skills by delivering a dark yet hysterical humour. The three protagonists are a spoiled private school exchange student, Ja’mie King; the offensive Tongan break-dancer student Jonah Takalua; as well as the flamboyant, eccentric, frustrated actor, teacher and ‘Director of Performing Arts”, Mr. G.

The show, which brings a high dose of awkward humour, can be for Australia, what ‘Little Britain’ is for the UK, or even what the American version of ‘The Office’ is for the United States. Due to its controversial themes, in addition to constant absolutely wrong statements, the series has divergent opinions amongst its audience. Nevertheless, regardless if you like it or not, Chris Lilley’s talent is something on which we can’t disagree. This outstanding production can be found on DVD somewhere near you, and as I refuse to leave Australia without my own copy in my suitcase, I’ll have one to proudly let you borrow!