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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
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Tragic 1 Star

PACKSHOT
Summer Heights High

BOX SET DETAILS
Released
06 October 2008
Certificate
15
Distributor

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Summer Heights High


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Review
There was a time when etiquette dictated that a new BBC Three comedy should be met with audience derision — this, after all, was the channel that saw fit to commission seven series of Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps. Recent years have, admittedly, seen a real upturn in quality with the success of Little Britain, Doctor Who-offshoot Torchwood and modern horror Being Human. But it wasn’t until the airing of the rather brilliant Australian comedy Summer Heights High earlier this year that Auntie Beeb’s younger sibling really came into its own.

Chris Lilley’s fly-on-the-wall mockumentary about life in a typical Aussie high school is the television highlight of the year and a comedy classic for the reality TV generation. Actor-comedian Lilley plays the three main characters (snobbish and mean-spirited exchange student Ja’mie; gloriously camp and theatrically militant drama teacher ‘Mr. G’; and Tongan bad boy Jonah) in a show that provokes initial comparisons with the comedy of embarrassment of The Office and the outrageous stereotyping of Little Britain. Look a little deeper, though, and you will be rewarded with a rich, nuanced and painfully accurate look at modern school life.

Whether he’s exploring the borderline-psychotic world of all-girl cliques (the hell of the Formal) or the narcissism of a nakedly ambitious teacher (the double-hell of the school musical), Lilley’s success lies in the detail — well, that and controversy-baiting gags about self-harming, teenage drug deaths and how not to touch a pupil with Down’s Syndrome. Watchable as both a comedy and an emotionally engaging docu-drama thanks to a brilliantly subtle supporting cast of “povo skanks”, “fuglies”, and “lesbos”, Lilley’s genius creation should be essential viewing on every teacher-training course.


Reviewed by Glen Ferris


Extras

Summer Heights High Summer Heights High
Released: 06 October 2008
Hours of character-specific deleted scenes that are just as hilarious as the main show.

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Summer Heights High
Empire Star Rating

this is a brilliant well written show which is also new and unlike anything else I've ever seen before ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by vivlitherland at 11:34, 09 May 2009 | Report This Post


Criminally tucked away in a non-primetime spot, Summer Heights High is easily the best programme on BBC Three. The best comedy in recent years and a purchase of the dvd is recommended. Bought it yesterday and have already watched every episode. Dangerously addictive. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by DouglasG at 00:05, 10 April 2009 | Report This Post


Speaking as a high school teacher myself I find this programme disturbingly accurate ......... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by carmellasoprano at 21:07, 13 February 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Summer Heights . . get high!

L: kargon Though it was shit myself, like my comedy to have a few laughs in it sp; It is easy to see why you don't like it, it's a very strange kind of humour which obviously won't appeal to everyone. However I loved it from the moment I started watching it, I think it's one of the best things on TV. ... More

Posted by Chips_Ahoy at 17:04, 13 January 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Summer Heights . . get high!

Though it was shit myself, like my comedy to have a few laughs in it ... More

Posted by kargon at 13:16, 09 January 2009 | Report This Post


Summer Heights . . get high!

I love this show, discoverd it whilst in Australia! I love Jonah, I've been to Tonga as well, the boys arnt as bad as he is. J'aime is hillarious too. has anyone seen we can be heroes? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by starjump79 at 16:41, 07 January 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Summer Heights High

The fire drill scene with Mr G was classic .... ... More

Posted by kick ass koala at 15:19, 07 January 2009 | Report This Post


RE: doorbitch

It's a fantastic show, I discovered by accident and I absolutely love it! The episode where Mr G did his shock test on the kids auditioning was hilarious, in fact anytime Mr G was on screen it was absolutely brilliant. Lilley is a genius ... More

Posted by Chips_Ahoy at 09:09, 15 December 2008 | Report This Post


doorbitch

We loved Chris Lilley's first series, We can be Heroes, but add Summer Heights High to his repertoire and Lilley proves himself to be a brilliant politically incorrect satirist, who is incapable of putting a foot wrong. The students deserve accolades for keeping straight faces, too. Brilliant. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by doorbitch at 03:31, 24 November 2008 | Report This Post


Just one word. Fantastic. I watched this when it was first on BBC 3, and to be honest I had to really watch the second episode to really know what the heck was going on. Saying that, it is quite possibly the funniest comedy in recent years. Will look forward to the next series if they decide to make one, and to be honest, if they don't, then they will be making a huge mistake!! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by robwnx at 21:05, 23 November 2008 | Report This Post


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