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

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

User Score

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
    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
    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
    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
    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. Mar 14, 2011
    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
  2. Dec 16, 2013
    Summer Height High is one of if not the best Australia comedy series in Australian television history. Chris Lilley has pulled out his best cards and because of this he has made his best series to date. Summer Heights high is a remember-able series that is highly prised with comedy fans along with everyday Australians. In 2013 this is still one of the most talked about comedy's especially with students, making it a top classic. Any comedy fan or Chris Lilley fan would be missing out if they haven't got their fix on this drop dead comedy. Summer heights High is a remarkable series setting the bench mark for coming along comedy's. Expand
  3. Apr 22, 2011
    An exceptionally funny and clever Australian comedy series by master comedian Chris Lilley.
  4. Jul 23, 2014
    Even though I liked Chris Lilley’s effort on Ja’mie’s stand-alone show, I felt like Chris Lilley needs to do a show with ensemble characters again.

    Summer Heights High was the show that launched Chris Lilley’s career outside Australia.

    First of these reasons was the sarcastic harsh humor. The humor was served well thanks to Chris Lillley’s performances as Mr. G, Jonah and Ja’mie. Sometimes, I forgot that these three characters were played by a same man.

    Second of these reasons was the school setting. This isn’t like any typical high school dramas/comedies shown right now. It’s different, realistic and over the top.

    Third of these reasons was the character driven plot. It keeps us interested on what happens next to Ja’mie’s journey as an exchange student and Mr. G’s journey to make the best musical he has ever made.

    One minor drawback was Jonah. He was very annoying and unfunny. He doesn’t have a proper plot to be honest. But Chris Lilley did a good job portraying him that I forgot it was Chris Lilley playing Jonah. So this can be easily overlooked.

    Summer Heights High was the reason why Chris Lilley’s fame has expanded outside Australia thanks to its humor, characters, plot and Chris Lilley’s performance.

See all 25 User Reviews