• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 5, 2007
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3
Summer Heights High Image
Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 56 Ratings

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  • Summary: Chris Lilley created and stars in this Australian comedy about high school life.
  • Genre(s): Comedy
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. Reviewed by: Ari Karpel
    91
    Thank you, HBO, for airing Australia's outrageous Office-like, eight-part high school mockumentary, rather than getting a lesser comedian to do an American version.
  2. It is funny in the manner of "Best in Show" or "A Mighty Wind," but much more biting. Although that means there are some truly painful moments, the talent of Mr. Lilley, a brilliant mimic, is a divine salve.
  3. All in all, it's a rich work, full of detail and small moments, and grounded in reality by an utterly believable supporting cast partly drawn from the school where the series was shot.
  4. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    75
    A funny/sad Office-style mockumentary depicting a year in the life of an Australian public high school, this wildly talented writer-star loves making you squirm (à la Gervais) while submerging himself inside the skin of characters so diverse (à la Ullman) you can hardly believe it's the same guy.
  5. The documentary look is engaging, and Lilley's wildly over-the-top performance as three distinct characters is made all the more funny as it clashes against the reserved nature of the nonactors.
  6. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    67
    Summer Heights High is not a perfect comedy, and those offended by crossed boundaries will feel their boundaries crossed. But it's a welcome, if sometimes familiar, HBO comedy while we wait for the return of "Flight of the Conchords."
  7. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    30
    Cultural distinctions notwithstanding (will U.S. viewers double over at a Tongan accent?), Summer Heights High seldom rises above silliness and mostly proves just plain irritating.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 25
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 25
  3. Negative: 3 out of 25
  1. ChrisD.
    Nov 12, 2008
    10
    You have to understand Australian humor to totally get this. This is just an amazing mocumentary. Chris Lilley's is such an amazing observer and actor. Expand
  2. Apr 22, 2011
    10
    An exceptionally funny and clever Australian comedy series by master comedian Chris Lilley.
  3. DoniT.
    Dec 9, 2008
    10
    This series is far more than a brilliant comedy. Like Ricky Gervais, Chris Lillie has lifted his characters right out of reality, and is telling us something we should listen to. This year I was both amused and alarmed to read a US high school teacher's descriptions of life at his school: http://donaldgallinger.com/dons-blog/jack-from-missouri.html Watching this show, I see that schools in other parts of the world have similar things going on. Yes, it's funny, but it's WAY more than that. It's actually not a joke. Expand
  4. JustinK.
    Jan 7, 2009
    10
    My roommate told me to watch this show cuz it was funny. It is hilarious. Mr. G is the funniest dude in the world. Ja'mie is the dumbest (funny) thing I have ever seen, he pulls it off so well, especially with the other "young" girls. And Jonah is my idol. Expand
  5. Mar 14, 2011
    10
    This obviously tongue-in-cheek television show is the most hilarious of any show in existence. IIt is impossible to keep a straight face while watching this ingenious star (Chris Lilley) portray each character. Genius of the dramatic kind. Expand
  6. Ed
    Aug 29, 2009
    9
    I'm Aussie so I'm biased but this is GENIUS. Jamie is the best character, don't think Americans will get the Tongan one, it's too Aussie. Classic show. Expand
  7. EllaP
    Sep 17, 2009
    2
    Just for the record, this series does not typify the Australian sense of humour. I'm Australian and I rarely laughed throughout this painfully uncomfortable series. It should have been better. In the US, Arrested Development tackled awkward topics with grace and wit, and consistently cracked me up throughout three highly polished and immaculately edited seasons. 30Rock also handles race- and gender-related jokes with a light hand and an upbeat attitude (and, crucially, is laugh-out-loud funny). Summer Heights High just failed to elicit a single laugh from me. I think Chris Lilley is childish and self-absorbed; his brand of humour painfully awkward and unfunny. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater - plenty of witty, creative Australians wouldn't spit on Summer Heights High if it was on fire. Expand

See all 25 User Reviews