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HBO’s New Show Summer Heights High Actually Looks Good

Let’s look in the mirror and be honest with ourselves, HBO. Things haven’t been so great since the Sopranos ended. Even the fifth season of The Wire was butt. And do not pretend like you’ve still got some kind of foundational success with Entourage. With success like that, who needs failure, right? (It’s Not TV, It’s ZingBO.) Not to mention your new shows. True Blood is mostly a disaster, Little Britain is Lots Unfunny, and The Life and Times of Tim looks like a show MTV2 would have canceled in 1999. But chin up, little pay cable provider! Your new show Summer Heights High actually looks pretty good! Granted, it is an Australian show that you bought wholesale and are re-airing unchanged because the writer/creator/star of the show, Chris Lilley, didn’t want to make you a new one, so I don’t know how accurate it is to call it “your” show. But it looks good is the point, so, you know, baby steps.

Lilley plays three different characters on the show.

Mr. G:

Ja’mie:

Jonah:

OK! Sure, it’s mostly just Christopher Guest meets The Office meets Hamlet 2 meets Half The Comedy Of The Past 10 Years, but whatever. Laughs are laughs, right you guys? I also like how it’s taped with actual children. It’s like when TV Funhouse would have puppet dogs have sex with actual dogs, or whatever. You know, it’s like that. Also, according to a New York Times article on the show earlier this week, America will be ready for it in a way that Australia was not:

The latest example of a minitrend that might be termed comedy vérité, “Summer Heights High” was filmed and edited in a documentary style that left some Australian viewers feeling that it was perhaps too authentic. “People kept saying, ‘Oh, it’s too close to reality, and we don’t want to see this in entertainment,’ ” Mr. Lilley said by phone from Melbourne, Australia. “Well, why not? If that’s what schools are really like, I took that as a compliment.”

Wait a second, Australia doesn’t have reality TV? Oh man. Heads up, Australia. You are in for some wild times when you catch the fuck up to the rest of the world.