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First Look: Summer Heights High


Summer Heights High, an Australian series that premieres on HBO in a couple of weeks, seems like my kind of comedy. The mockumentary about a public high school looks devastatingly awkward — almost like what would happen if Michael Scott of The Office returned to high school as a teacher or a student.

The cringeworthy moments come courtesy of Chris Lilley, an Australian comic who's been described as "his country's Peter Sellers." Lilley plays all three of Summer Heights High's main characters: Mr. G, a touchy-feely drama teacher with an unusual style and a big ego; Ja'mie (that would be "zha-may"), a transfer student from a posh private school whose blunt comments are almost always socially inappropriate; and Jonah, a troublemaker who says as few words as possible (except when he's cursing).

Of the clips I've seen so far, it's the Mr. G scenes that slay me most; the one below the jump, in which he sings a little ditty to welcome his students into his classroom and then entertains them with his professional performing skills, makes my stomach ache from all the belly-laughing. Summer Heights High premieres Nov. 9 at 10:30 p.m., but until then, you can check out that Mr. G clip and one from Ja'mie if you read more.

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