Summer Heights High—The Complete Series

9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Fun mockumentary film

Not for the thin-skinned


Welcome to Summer Heights High…it is soooo random…

A documentary crew follows three members of the public school Summer Heights High.  There, teacher Hellen “Greg” Gregson (also known as Mr. G) (Chris Lilley) struggles to become the head of the drama department.  Ja’mie King (Chris Lilley) finds herself among the “commoners” as an exchange student from her prestigious private school.  Jonah Takalua (Chris Lilley) is a Tongan student and struggling with his studies.

Summer Heights High aired in eight episodes on Australia’s ABC from September 5, 2007 to October 24, 2007.  It was released in the United States by HBO and has been collected on DVD.


Somewhat creepy, but somewhat nice…

Summer Heights High follows the format of Lilley’s previous mocumentary We Can Be Heroes:  Finding the Australian of the Year and even contained one of the characters in exchange student Ja’mie.  The show was shot in Brighton Secondary College in Australia and some of the supporting cast weren’t actors (including Mrs. Murray the principal).

Like We Can Be Heroes, Summer Heights High actually has a lot of heart mixed in with its comedy.  While Mr. G mostly appears like an ass, there is something nice about his relationship with Toby the student with Down Syndrome (though he often makes horrible jokes about him).  It is reminiscent of Sue Sylvester and Becky Jackson on Glee which I’m guessing “borrowed” from this show (of course Mr. G seems derivative of Christopher Guest’s Corky St. Clair from Waiting for Guffman so I guess it evens out).  Jonah’s story also had some sadness to it with points in the story it seems like he actually wants to learn…but his behavior also can’t be tolerated due to other students.


Don’t forget your “Dick-tation”!

The character with no heart and completely cold is of course the star of the show.  Ja’mie steals every scene…it is “sooooo random”.  It is fun to see how she developed from We Can Be Heroes and it even made her more shallow (though Mr. G’s musical does challenge it).  I look forward to her solo show which is supposed to be Lilley’s project after Angry Boys.

Summer Heights High is a great, short series.  If you are a fan of The Office (especially the UK version), you should check it out…it isn’t for the squeamish or those who believe in P.C. humor…Summer Heights High isn’t a bummer Heights High as Mr. G believes.

Summer Heights High—Complete Episode Guide:


Episode 1

Episode 1 Airdate:  09/05/07

Jonah Takalua (Chris Lilley) is dealing with his problems in school and guidance counselor Doug Peterson (David Lennie) is helping him deal with them.  Mr. G (Chris Lilley) finds himself as the assistant drama instructor and tries to deal with the performance of Anything Goes.  Ja’mie (Chris Lilley) prepares for her exchange program and introducing Summer Heights High to a different level of students.


Episode 2

Episode 2 Airdate:  09/12/07

An accident with the head performance instructor’s mother leads to a change in fortune for Mr. G and his dreams of a better musical might be recognized.  Jonah receives special for his Polynesian background and sets goals for his special learning class.  Ja’mie has her first day of class and tries a new group of friends.


Episode 3

Episode 3 Airdate:  09/19/07

Ja’mie decides to get a new boyfriend and has eyes on a Year 7 named Sebastian (Jansen Perrone).  Jonah has an “accident” at home which leads to an embarrassing change of shorts.  A tragedy in the school might give Mr. G the inspiration he needs to plan his musical.


Episode 4

Episode 4 Airdate:  09/26/07

It’s casting time for “Annabelle Dickson:  The Musical” and Mr. G is going through an intense screening program for the best cast.  Ja’mie sending of an offensive picture of her friends leads to everyone in the school hating her and an intervention by a counselor.  Jonah has a big book report coming but might not be able to do it when he reveals a big secret about his father to his teacher.


Episode 5

Episode 5 Airdate:  10/03/07

Ja’mie has decided to do a Year 11 formal for Summer Heights High and sets out to make it happen with her friends.  Jonah attempts to get breakdancing added to the Polynesian Pathways presentation but is forced to play big brother to a group of younger students.  Mr. G learns plans for the performance center are in jeopardy and that he has to add special education students to his musical.


Episode 6

Episode 6 Airdate:  10/10/07

Ja’mie and her friends prep for the formal, and Ja’mie decides to boost her popularity by bringing a lesbian.  Mr. G finds himself forced to change the play and without his lead actor…which could provide an opening for Toby.  Tensions rise between Jonah and the Year 7 students which leads to a retaliation that land Jonah in trouble.


Episode 7

Episode 7 Airdate:  10/17/07

Jonah finds that the Year 7 students are harassing him which leads to big problems with Mrs. Wheatley (Kristy Barnes-Cullen).  Ja’mie and her friends find no one can afford the $450 dance and decides to fund it with a fundraiser for A.I.D.S.  Mr. G learns that the performance director is returning which forces him to make a drastic decision about the future of the play and his plans at Summer Heights High.


Episode 8

Episode 8 Airdate:  10/24/07

Jonah’s latest blow-out with Mrs. Wheatley means trouble for Jonah and could jeopardize his future at Summer Heights High.  Ja’mie’s dance is happening, but Ja’mie finds herself without a date as the big day approaches.  Mr. G’s big night is coming and leads him to make a decision if he’ll leave Summer Heights High forever.

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Related Links:

We Can Be Heroes:  Finding the Australian of the Year—Complete Series Review and Episode Guide

Ja’mie:  Private School Girl—The Complete Series

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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