By Clint Morris
About two years ago, at an after party for a film, I spent an hour or so talking to Chris Lilley – and what a frustrating, drunken conversation that wouldâ€™ve been between us â€“ if only because Iâ€™d never seen the poor guy in anything heâ€™d done.
If only I watched a little more ABC-TV, hey?
Chris proceeded to talk to me about the success of his comedy series â€œWe Can Be Heroesâ€, a satire on a bunch of characters all vying to be â€˜Australian of the Yearâ€™, and how he planned on follow it up with a similar series, again filmed in that mockumentary style, thatâ€™d probably feature some of the same characters.
It all sounded rather fun.
After I sobered up, I checked out â€œWe Can Be Heroesâ€ (Couldâ€™ve sworn it had a guy in it who to save a Cheerleader to save the world; my bad!) and have to admit, I was a dunce for not setting the timer record on my DVD recorder when it initially aired. What a fantastic series! But why did the star and creator of it have to be the first person to tell me about it!? Where was my ABC-loving mother the night this played? I can usually rely on a SMS text message from her whenever something about child-rearing or dodgy journalists is airing on the channel!
Absurd, but oh-so-clever, the series is a real showcase for Mr. Lilley â€“ who plays every main character in it! Not many actors will put on a dress, or wear some lippy, for a role â€“ but Chris Lilley is no Jack Thompson; heâ€™s brave!
Granted, the follow-up series â€œSummer Heights Highâ€ is the real winner (and the one America has picked up to air!). If â€œWe Can Be Heroesâ€ is the entrÃ©e, then â€œHeightsâ€ is the main meal. And tonight, Mumâ€™s letting us eat sweets WITH our sausages!
This tasty and strangely realistic satire centres on the students â€“ and a teacher, Mr G, the flamboyant drama coach Lilleyâ€™s played since TVs â€œBig Biteâ€ â€“ of a suburban highschool. Thereâ€™s Ja’mie King, a bitchy private schoolgirl on a student exchange, set to make her mark; and Jonah Takalua, a mischievous schoolboy from Tonga with the odds stacked against him. Again, theyâ€™re all played by Lilley â€“ but he does such a good job that by the second or third episode in youâ€™ll forget these arenâ€™t real people!
More so, by the end of the eps, youâ€™ll be creaminâ€™ for more! (or at least hoping Lilleyâ€™s planning a spin-off featuring the gut-bustingly hilarious Jonah!)
What a whopper lot of extras we have here!
In terms of â€œSummer Heights Highâ€ extras thereâ€™s 25 behind the scenes featurettes!, 5 Hours (yes, 5 hours!!) of deleted scenes and outtakes, a music video, Mr Gâ€™s Logie Awards Performance, a Game, A bit where fans recreate the scenes, and an option to play the show by character â€“ be it Jonah or Mr G, or who-have-you.
â€œWe Can Be Heroesâ€ comes with 2 hours of deleted scenes and outtakes, a lengthy doco, a play-by-character option, cast auditions and Ricky’s side-splittingly hilarious Logie Awards Performance of “Indigeridoo”