• Network: ABC1
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 5, 2007
Season #: 1, 2, 3
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 56 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 56
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 56
  3. Negative: 5 out of 56

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  1. Jul 23, 2014
    7
    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.
    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.
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  2. Dec 16, 2013
    10
    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 especiallySummer 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
    10
    An exceptionally funny and clever Australian comedy series by master comedian Chris Lilley.
  4. 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.
  5. Angela
    Jan 2, 2010
    10
    Jared W. gets it- it is so much more than comedy. Those who find this offensive aren't paying attention. It is easy to mistake this as over the top because Mr Lilley plays all the charaters, but again if you are paying attention you will see that it is painfully accurate which is what makes it so painful to watch at times. Jonah still breaks my heart and his literacy teacher is so Jared W. gets it- it is so much more than comedy. Those who find this offensive aren't paying attention. It is easy to mistake this as over the top because Mr Lilley plays all the charaters, but again if you are paying attention you will see that it is painfully accurate which is what makes it so painful to watch at times. Jonah still breaks my heart and his literacy teacher is so inspiring- these characters are so real Collapse
  6. 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 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
  7. 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.
  8. BillN.
    Jan 22, 2009
    3
    Bad Taste and juvenile is the best way I can describe this program. I know it was big in Australia, but their sense of humor makes Howard Stern look like Mort Sahl. And the way they treat handicapped and minorities is so offensive that it can't be viewed as humorous , especially in light of the changes that our new president is bringing to America.
  9. JaredW.
    Jan 9, 2009
    10
    Calling this show a "comedy" isn't completely accurate. Of course there are plenty of funny moments and lots of memorable quotes. But Chris LIlley takes us deep inside the psyches of each character to places that are not funny at all. We see the parts of these characters that are broken and vulnerable. Sometimes this evokes laughter, but just as often it evokes pity and sadness. Calling this show a "comedy" isn't completely accurate. Of course there are plenty of funny moments and lots of memorable quotes. But Chris LIlley takes us deep inside the psyches of each character to places that are not funny at all. We see the parts of these characters that are broken and vulnerable. Sometimes this evokes laughter, but just as often it evokes pity and sadness. Chris Lilley's talent is unmatched. This show is groundbreaking. Watch it. But don't expect Michael Scott. Expand
  10. 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.
  11. AnneS.
    Jan 5, 2009
    10
    This show is the BEST SHOW EVER!! If you dont think that this is funny you have absolutly NOO sense of humor.
  12. BJN.
    Jan 1, 2009
    9
    Very funny a welcome addition I now look forward to more of while waiting for Little Britain USA to return.
  13. Spongeee
    Dec 24, 2008
    10
    Great comedy and acting...really fresh take on teenage kids. I ge the humour and Ive never been near Australia either.
  14. JerryC
    Dec 21, 2008
    10
    I disagree that Americans will not get Aussie humor. My friends and I get together to watch with anticipation each week. While sometimes silly, the characters mirror so many in school today which makes it even more fun to watch. We can't wait for the next installment.
  15. CharlesR
    Dec 17, 2008
    10
    This is a grade A comedy performed to perfection by a brilliant lampoon artist. The main characters blend in so well with the "real" school setting, its nearly believable. For those not familiar with Australian culture, this parady is spot on. I lived in Australia for a year so I know it well. HBO, great job for bringing this show to the States. I'd love to see another season! Or This is a grade A comedy performed to perfection by a brilliant lampoon artist. The main characters blend in so well with the "real" school setting, its nearly believable. For those not familiar with Australian culture, this parady is spot on. I lived in Australia for a year so I know it well. HBO, great job for bringing this show to the States. I'd love to see another season! Or bring in some more Aussie imports... screw NBC and bring in the original Kath & Kim. Expand
  16. craigej.
    Dec 15, 2008
    10
    This aussie comedy series is exceptional on so many levels i feel it will find a hard time finding a audience in the usa but please give it a go its black comedy at its best and if you read between the lines it will bring back so many memories you will need therapy lol.
  17. 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 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
  18. Kellym.
    Dec 3, 2008
    10
    So smart and funny.
  19. NathanE.
    Nov 19, 2008
    10
    Most American won't get Aussy humor. I studied there and truly think this a gem.
  20. FrankW.
    Nov 16, 2008
    9
    Great show, perfectly NON PC, with plenty of inhouse jokes. Every Aussie GETS A KICK FROM THIS SHOW OF SUBTEXT!
  21. StuV.
    Nov 12, 2008
    10
    I'm sorry, this was a huge program in Australia. I knew that before it came to BBC3 in the UK. So I was cautious. But it was a terrific program, believable in ways the original The Office could only dream of. And since then received due recognition in the UK (DVD release got 5 stars in Empire and Total Film). Yet American critics don't get it. Shameful.
  22. 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.
  23. EricS.
    Nov 11, 2008
    3
    the bully character was amusing, however a MAN, who is OLD playing a GIRL who is YOUNG is on par with fat suit humor (looking in your direction little Britain). not funny. and the gay drama teacher has been done already in waiting for guffman. i can't wait for monty python America.
  24. ScottB.
    Nov 11, 2008
    10
    at last someone who doesn't care about being PC truly biting funny comedy, its realistic and so clever it finishes so well too, almost a little like the final of Blackadder Goes Forth
  25. RobertG.
    Nov 10, 2008
    10
    A lot better than I thought it would be. Heard a lot of happy viewers talking about it, so decided to watch...and was pleasantly surprised! As an Australian, the jokes definitely feed better to me than some of the American critics/reviewers above. Lilley's crude humor puts it out there, and it's hilarious. All three of his characters have very strong personalities, which he A lot better than I thought it would be. Heard a lot of happy viewers talking about it, so decided to watch...and was pleasantly surprised! As an Australian, the jokes definitely feed better to me than some of the American critics/reviewers above. Lilley's crude humor puts it out there, and it's hilarious. All three of his characters have very strong personalities, which he homes into something incredible; A true observationist! Expand
Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. 80
    The nonfictional veneer feels authentic, and so does Lilley's talent.
  2. 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.
  3. In the end, while its outrageous characters are often amusing, their palate of jokes runs thin.