• 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
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 58 Ratings

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  • Starring:
  • Summary: Chris Lilley created and stars in this Australian comedy about high school life.
  • Genre(s): Comedy

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  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. 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. 80
    The nonfictional veneer feels authentic, and so does Lilley's talent.
  4. 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. 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 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 Expand
  2. Apr 22, 2011
    10
    An exceptionally funny and clever Australian comedy series by master comedian Chris Lilley.
  3. NathanE.
    Nov 19, 2008
    10
    Most American won't get Aussy humor. I studied there and truly think this a gem.
  4. 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.
  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 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 Expand
  6. 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.
  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 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