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The Boston Globe


Television Review

Return of the mean girl

Of all the characters to survive Australian comedian Chris Lilley’s mockumentary “Summer Heights High” (as well as its predecessor, “We Can Be Heroes: Finding the Australian of the Year”) and land her own show, it’s no surprise that insufferable, entitled princess Ja’mie King is the one who shoved and gyrated her way to the front of the line. The spoiled 17-year-old, the girl you loved to hate (but mostly hate) has gone back to private school in a new faux reality show that picks up where “Summer Heights High” left off.

Like Tracey Ullman in “Tracy Takes on . . .” or Matt Lucas and David Walliams of “Little Britain,” Lilley excels at playing multiple characters. His rubbery smile and elastic expressions gave “Summer Heights” a cult following as he played Ja’mie with a smile and a sneer, drama teacher Mr. G (think Corky St. Clair in “Waiting for Guffman”), and complicated troublemaker Jonah. Here, however, he’s made the puzzling decision to whittle himself down to playing Ja’mie.

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