Thursday, January 16, 2014
Ja'mie Private School Girl
I first read about the HBO show Ja'mie Private School Girl (pronounced juh-may) in Elle magazine. I was intrigued by its catty comparison to Mean Girls. Honestly, who wouldn't be? That movie was hilarious. I was also looking for new, interesting shows to watch. So, what the heck? Why not?
The show revolves around Ja'mie (Chris Lilley) and her friends who attend Hilford private school in Sydney, Australia. Shot reality show style, the episodes are full of awkward camera angles and strange confessionals/narration. Designed to satirize teenage girl life, the show deals with drama on a whole new level. Frankly, I wasn't prepared for what I was about to experience.
Ja'mie is wealthy, foul-mouthed, vulgar... and completely unlikeable. First, it's important to note if you don't know who comedian Chris Lilley is... he's a dude. Yes, it's a grown man dressed as a teenage girl. That fact alone takes some reconciling while watching.
Every problem s(he) has fits fully within the category "Rich White Girl Problems", like reinventing her image to get over a break-up. S(he) decides to be a rebel by wearing a pile of bracelets, hoop earrings, knee-highs and hair extensions. Ooo, so rebellious.
Like every mean girl, s(he) has her clan of minions - known as the Prefects. They verbally assault nearly everyone who offends their senses and take it upon themselves to solve the world's problems (like people showing up to events uninvited). Worse yet - s(he) pretends it's all altruistic. Barf.
In addition to ridiculously overblown incidents, the dialogue includes some seriously offensive terms (read: racist) and foul language. The "F" word is spoken every 10 words.
I watched three 30-minute episodes. I'm surprised I made it through so many. I would love to use the "track wreck" analogy, but it was worse than that. Let's equate it to watching two dogs fight. I know it's bad for everyone involved. It was sad and painful to watch. I had the power to stop it. But I wanted to see how it would end up.
I will never get that hour and half back in my life and I so desperately want it. Maybe Chris Lilley's humor isn't for me. Maybe I don't understand why life is sooo haaard for an Australian Private School girl... who is also a man. Whatever it may have been, my hope is this saves you from making the same mistake I did.