Summer Heights High : Season 1

  • Network: ABC1
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 5, 2007
Season #: 1, 2, 3

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13

Where To Watch

Stream On

Critic Reviews

  1. 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. 80
    The nonfictional veneer feels authentic, and so does Lilley's talent.
  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. 80
    Lilley's script and performances are rife with recognizable personalities, neuroses and human absurdities.
  5. 80
    The only bad thing about Summer Heights High is that it makes a lot of American comedies look pathetically unoriginal and lackluster by comparison.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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."
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 58 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 25
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 25
  3. Negative: 3 out of 25
  1. Apr 22, 2011
    An exceptionally funny and clever Australian comedy series by master comedian Chris Lilley.
  2. Kellym.
    Dec 3, 2008
    So smart and funny.
  3. 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 charactersEven 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.
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