When Summer Heights High first burst onto UK screens back in June 2008, I wasn't quite sure what I was watching, but what I was sure of was that it was very very funny.
The mastermind behind that and Angry Boys (which debuted on BBC3 in June 2011) is Chris Lilley, an Australian comedian known for his mockumentary shows.Well he's back, and this time getting the mockumentary treatment is Ja'mie: Private School Girl, a spin-off using one of the characters from Summer Heights High, Jamie King, who is now known as Ja'mie (note the apostrophe and change in pronunciation).
Chris has created many great characters throughout the years; Mr G, a Drama teacher from Summer Heights High, Jonah, a schoolboy from Summer Heights High, S.Mouse, a rap artist from Angry Boys - all of whom are funny enough to front their own spin-off and in fact Jonah will soon be doing just that as his spin-off is due to air later this year.
So why pick Ja'mie? When asked that very same question Chris replied with "I've always loved Ja'mie and the world around her and wanted to expand on that. I thought she deserved her own reality show and was bursting with ideas of things that could happen to her."
When we last saw her, Ja'mie was a at Summer Heights High, but now she finds herself in the final months of High School at Hillford Girls Grammar where the 'queen bee' has set her sights on winning the prestigious Hillford Medal given to the Best Girl in Year 12.
Less than two minutes into the first episode we're treated to a full-on dance routine and Ja'mie along with a group of her best gal pals tells us that the Hillford girls are the hottest girls. Sure Ja'mie. Sure.Oh and then there's the word 'quiche', which takes on a whole new meaning thanks to Ja'mie, and basically it's a word she made up which is - "A step above hot. There’s hot, and then there’s quiche. One of the main measures of quicheness is your box gap.”
Let me explain, or rather, let's let Ja'mie explain, "If you’ve got your thighs rubbing together from fat then you need to think about what you’re eating, or just maybe accept the fact that you’re never gonna be quiche." Got it? Good. Now let's move on...
So aside from trying desperately to win the Hillford medal, there's something else Ja'mie tries hard to win, and by something, I mean someone. And he goes by the name of Mitchell, who is the best-looking new guy at nearby Kelton Boys Grammar. That doesn't stop Ja'mie flirting with all the men who appear in the series thought. Far from it, she flirts with everyone from her teacher to her... wait for it... dad.
Every stereotype associated with teenage girls appears to be explored in Ja'mie: Private School Girl, and whilst for some that can be seen as boring and unimaginative, I find it anything but.
Take the longest EVER goodbye for example; which happens just 6 minutes in to the first episode, and you can't help but cringe, and then laugh at the most ridiculous goodbye between Ja'mie and her friends, complete with endless echoes of "I love you" in that screeching way it seems only teenage girls know how to do. Fair's fair though, they are going to have to spend a whole two hours apart. How will they cope? Oh that's right, Ja'mie suggests they send each other selfies.
But that's what I love about Chris Lilley. Yes it's over the top, yes it's a bit silly but perhaps the most important box to tick when watching a comedy is "Did it make you laugh?" and I have to admit that yes, yes it did.
I've always thought of Chris' comedies as a bit of a love/hate affair, but actually whoever I mention Summer Heights High or Angry Boys to, loves it. And whilst many weren't sure if a whole programme dedicated to one character would be a good idea, Chris Lilley has proved that it was a good idea, and most definitely does work.