Well, looks like a): all our speculation was wrong apart from b): the part where we guessed Chris Lilley was completely out of ideas:
Australia’s favourite mean girl is back
Ja’mie King returns to her private schoolgirl roots for ABC TV
After months of speculation and rumour, ABC TV is pleased to confirm that Australia’s favourite bitch is back… schoolgirl Ja’mie King will return to the small screen in a new series by Australian writer and performer Chris Lilley.
Revealed on ABC TV’s social media channels today, the six-part half-hour comedy series will air later this year on both ABC and HBO.
Today’s announcement capped off a week where fans flocked to guess who they thought would be back on screen after a series of cryptic videos featuring previous identities were released online.
The series, Ja’mie: Private School Girl, follows Ja’mie in her final year of school, seeing her far removed from the hallowed grounds of Summer Heights High and back on the lush manicured lawns of Hillford Girls Grammar School.
The series, co-produced by Chris Lilley and Princess Pictures in association with ABC TV in Australia and HBO in the US, will also screen on BBC Three in the UK and follows Ja’mie as she experiences her last few weeks of school and the series of events that will change her life forever.
Creator Chris Lilley, said: “I find teenage girls endlessly funny. So being able to write for and play the meanest bitch in school has been so fun. I can’t wait to show everyone what Ja’mie’s been up to.”
ABC1 Channel Controller, Brendan Dahill, said: “Ja’mie King is easily one of the most cunning characters in a school uniform we’ve ever seen. I know viewers will enjoy keeping up with the high drama, high-pace life of a teenage girl going through the motions of finishing school.”
Keep up-to-date with Ja’mie: Private School Girl updates on Twitter and Instagram via @jamieschoolgirl and at Facebook.com/jamieschoolgirl
Seriously? The one character he’s indisputably run into the ground is the one character he’s bringing back? Well, maybe it does make some sort of sense; after the near-total failure of Angry Boys even we can’t look all that surprised that he seems to have retreated back to the safe (and popular) turf of Summer Heights High. After having Ja’mie act like a bitchy teenage girl for fourteen episodes of television, clearly there was more to say. In a bitchy voice.
Look, if we’d ever considered Lilley to have any artistic ambitions we might have been surprised that he’d decide to make three of his (to date) four television series based around a knockoff of Kylie Mole. But around these parts it’s been clear for a long time now that whatever drives him isn’t exactly a desire to make a profound statement about the human condition. Or even a desire to make people laugh.
For context, here’s a brief reminder of what we had to say about where Lilley left Ja’mie at the end of Summer Heights High back in 2007:
Ja’ime’s 180 shift in the last five seconds to suddenly loving her “povvo bogan” filled State School made no sense at all… unless Lilley got worried that he was giving a negative view of State Schools, in which case maybe he should have figured that out before he spent eight episodes depicting them as a racist-packed hellhole where the teachers care only about themselves and preening groups of bitches treat other kids like shit. Which isn’t a bad thing, by the way, especially if it’s funny, but Lilley doesn’t seem to be able to see past his characters and individual scenes they’re starring in – he really, really needs a good script editor to turn his performances into a decent long-form show and explain to him that, well, just showing people being shits isn’t funny after the first three hours.
But who cares about any of that? It seems safe to say we can assume Ja’ime will go back to being exactly the same character she’s been for the last decade: a stereotypical bitchy teenage girl who was mildly amusing in We Can Be Heroes when her bitchiness was played off against her browbeaten mother but utterly pointless in Summer Heights High (remember how her big storyline was her trying to go out with an underage boy?). Ja’mie can work as a character when she’s given other characters to play off against, but as her last appearance just involved her sitting around being bitchy with a bunch of real teenage girls (which was creepy when Lilley was five years younger; Christ knows what vibe it’ll have now), it seems a little unlikely that we’ll be getting much more here than endless predictable “I can’t believe she said that!”-type lines.
Still, fingers crossed: maybe the “the series of events that will change her life forever” involves her finding out that she’s really a 40 year old man.