What About Ja’mie – It Isn’t Fair

Week four of Ja’mie: Private School Girl, and what have we learnt? Seriously, what have we learnt? Private schools create monsters? Well no, as Ja’mie’s sister seems kind of un-monstrous – as do a bunch of Ja’mie’s fellow students – and they all go to a private school. Teen girls fabricate relationships where little more than friendship exists? So… like everyone else then? Chris Lilley thinks that treating a bitchy cartoon character’s superficial heartbreak as a serious matter is something people would like to watch? Now you’re talking.

When people write things like this:

Ja’mie: Private School Girl is terrifyingly akin to watching a documentary.

Or this:

The portrait he paints of what it’s like to be a girl growing up in this impossible, contradictory world is disarmingly honest

It’s important to realise that they’re full of shit. How is this like a documentary? Ja’mie is not like a real teenage girl. Oh sure, she has elements that real teenage girls have, but even if she was a “real teenage girl” and not a forty year old man in a dress, the show he’s created around her only shows an extremely limited range of her behaviours.

C’mon: would a real teenage girl be a bitch to everyone all the time? Would she be so consistently vapid that she would say half the things Ja’mie said about suicide this week? Would she be so totally unaware that teen boys are, you know, somewhat interested in having sex with their girlfriends when she spent half of an earlier episode talking about how boys are really into tits?

There’s always been a strong element of “it’s funny because it’s true, even if it’s not actually funny” in Lilley’s fanbase. Back during Summer Heights High people were claiming that Mr G was spot on as far as high school drama teachers go. Were they still saying that after he tried to make it look like a special needs student had taken a shit on the floor of a classroom? Ask your friends.

But with Ja’mie, that seems to be the only basis on which anyone is defending it: “teenage girls are just like that!”. Only if you watch the show for more than a minute it’s clear the show itself is completely unrealistic on every level. For example, last week’s party: did anyone else think for something with a three episode build up what we saw was extremely watered down and fake, especially for 17-18 year olds? Didn’t we just get three minutes of Ja’mie talking about dick pics? Would they really jump into the pool in their party gear? Wouldn’t they have to have been drinking to make looking like shit for the rest of the night seem like a good idea?

Meanwhile, why did the boarders even show up dressed to party at a party held by their arch-enemy at her own home? Why has Ja’mie been allowed to take a black teenager away from his family to live at her place? Why hasn’t someone taken Ja’mie aside and said “you know, you’re coming off as a bit of a bitch”? Why haven’t the teachers noticed that Ja’mie a): is the biggest bully in the schoolyard, b): abuses her detention powers like mad c): never seems to go to any class that doesn’t involve her singing terribly or dancing horribly and d): seems to have some kind of deep-seated sexual issues considering the number of times she’s started taking her gear off in public?

If you think the show is actually funny, fine. But if you’re claiming it’s basically a documentary, then you should examine it as such and not just base your verdict on “yeah, teenage girls are such bitches” or “teenagers are so random, nothing they do makes any sense!” And if your reply to that is “you’re not meant to take it seriously”? So you’re going to defend it on the basis that it’s packed with jokes? This should be good.


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  • urinal cake says:

    My opinion is that most of the people who say ‘Ja’mie is real’ are/where the nerds on the outer as teenagers and possible bullying victims. Reviled and admiring of the public persona of ‘biggest bitch’ in school but ultimately clueless of the minutiae that goes on in such circles.

    The one clue about Ja’mie reluctance to have sex despite being sexual provocative was that she has body image issues which makes sense.

    Also for a show which is so ‘realistic’ isn’t hooking up = sex, making out = kissing, petting, going out = in a relationship etc Or is it different in Sydney?

  • Tony Tea says:

    DIANNE BUTLER is little more than a press release stenographer.

  • Tony Tea says:

    “If Angry Boys had been the hit it should’ve been” – I mean, come on. Can a proper tv critic really be that stupid?

  • er says:

    Worth pointing out that the article you link to has some good points about Lilley’s career path. Just ignore all the positive bits about it being good.

  • Andrew says:

    You’re quoting Dianne Butler… enough said.

  • Billy C says:

    Did you see that the ABC is up to it’s old tricks. When a Chris Lilley show tanks in the ratings release the iview figures for the first few eps to make it look successful. No context at all to compare it to other shows. 575,000 last night. It’s getting close to Tractor Monkey numbers. It could drop out of the top 20 but it’s got such little competition it will probably even out at 550k. Angry Boys was at one point outrated by the show that followed it. Could happen again.

  • 13 schoolyards says:

    Yeah, someone passed along the press release. We might do a new post on it…

  • Truth says:

    Hitler > Chris Lilley

  • 13 schoolyards says:

    Our money’s on Ja’mie’s “reluctance to have sex” with a dude and her constant use of homophobic insults will end up being connected. Because Lilley’s just that bad at plotting out his story.