HBO's Ja'mie: Private School Girl (and other Chris Lilley projects)

I’m surprised that I couldn’t find any threads on this. In the last few months I’ve seen most of Chris Lilley’s shows — We Can Be Heroes, Summer Heights High, Angry Boys, and just recently HBO premiered Ja’mie: Private School Girl.

Just for those who don’t know—Chris Lilley is an Australian comedian and in his shows he plays almost all the major roles himself. He creates characters such as a spoiled rich teenager, a troubled Polynesian immigrant, a gay theater teacher, an elderly woman who works as a guard at a kind of jail for young offenders, an African-American rap artist, a brain-damaged farm boy, etc.

So did anyone else watch Ja’mie? What did you think?

I have one main question, and it’s a bit of a spoiler:

How the heck did Lilley get such realistic looking breasts and a young woman’s figure in the Ja’mie finale?

He’s a genius although I thought that Ja’mie fell a little flat. She was my least favorite character on Summer Heights High. I loved SHH and Angry Boys but hadn’t heard of We Can Be Heros which I will be sure to check out.

As for your spoiler, I think that it was CGI.

Australian reaction to Ja’ime was a bit mixed. More positive than Angry Boys, although having seen bits of that the second time around I think its a lot better. We were used to 6 episode series, so when it got there without a punchline it was a bit confusing.

Everyone still thinks he’s a genius, and realises that getting more of the same [Summer Heights High II] is not what he wants to do. That means risks and also playing against expectations, but I think that still coloured the way *Angry Boys *was received, with the audience expecting a short observational series about comical characters.

The answer to your spoiler is CGI, that was a real female body. I liked SHH and Angry Boys a lot more than J’amie, i think the show suffered for him only playing one character instead of several.

Loved loved loved ja’mie. But then I do have a teenager at a poncy Australian girls’ private school. The best scene? Easily the scene where ja’mie lets her act slip and tells her mother, “dad’s an idiot, we only need him for his money”… and then slides straight back into vacuous schoolgirl mode. Chris Lilley is clever.

I think Lilley is extremely good at what he does but it’s not my particular cup of tea so I tend not to watch.

When I saw the ad, I couldn’t figure out if it was a comedy or a documentary about an actual transexual teenage girl.

It was this real blending of reality and farce.

Same. White dude with a funny accent playing a teenaged girl or a little boy or a matron - funny at first, less so the second or third time. Lilley does it well, it just isn’t funny after the inital surprise. I was shocked to find that he has something like 4 or 5 shows on HBO (HBO GO to be precise.)

I only caught parts of this series, as it was on right before something else that I liked. I have to say I really hated it. Juvenile and boring to me, but that’s just personal preference.

I think something was lost in cultural translation from down under to here, because, based on what bits I saw… I didn’t get it. I didn’t know who this Chris Lilley is, so I was all “Am I supposed to know who the person is who’s playing Ja’mie? Is this a trans person, is it a man doing drag, or is this a masculine female person? And which bits are supposed to be funny? Are we making fun of masculine females or is that not even the issue?”

I don’t understand what’s supposed to be funny about some dude in drag playing a wealthy, entitled private school girl. Because I’m not Australian? Because I’m not wealthy and have no frame of reference for private school girl experience?

The only thing I know is the concept for this show flew straight over my head.

Ja’mie King was only one of several characters in two previous shows. I suppose if you hadn’t seen them, you would be missing context.