Saturday 22 September 2007

ABC swallows a dose of ecstasy

I'm a big fan of Chris Lilley's work.

He's a cutting edge actor and a fine comic. Last year we were treated with his award-winning We Can Be Heros (as apposed to Fred Nile's doco: We can be Hetros)

Last year Chris Lilley was awarded two Logies and the first ever recipient of the Graham Kennedy Award for Outstanding New Talent.

Lilley plays all his main characters.

They are often cringingly cast and make for great edge of seat viewing. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but humour like this, locally produced, is rare. I'm a devotee.

Amongst the plethora of junk 'reality' (that isn't real) on commercial TV, humour like this is quality well-written stuff.

I'm also delighted he bought back Ja'mie from last year. She was undoubtedly the star of the Heros.

His latest dish is Summer Heights High, that is currently screening on ABC, has caused a drama down under.

A recent Ecstasy death of a young girl, Annabel Catt, (same first name as in the show) whose death mirrors a storyline, has forced the ABC to defend and apologise for the drug reference.

This is the scene that sparked the outrage.

Here's the video and the news audio from ABC's Radio PM programme last evening: ABC stands ground on 'Summer Heights High'

Humour is difficult to many often when the subject is close to home. Only a few days ago I defended this.

I applaud the ABC for maintaining such diversity and challenging programmes. For humour to work, and it's yet another method to communicate issues, like writing, news, drama, it needs to question and make you feel uncomfortable somewhat. Whilst not walking away from drug problems that some can't manage, especially young, I cannot agree that drugs, as a subject for debate, cannot be made fun of. Everything and everyone, has a tolerance level. I think that humour should be allowed to reach out on almost any subject, as it's a powerful weapon to engage an audience and engender feelings. Do not confuse that humour, merely as a medium, always ridicules the subject. I don't think Summer Heights High is doing that with drugs at all.

Humour is yet another method to debate and air subjects, just because it appears as a "joke" doesn't make the medium of humour less worthy.

Anyway, here's the Wiki on the show, which now has earn't it's title "Summer Heights High". If you've missed the first three installments, the series is pod casted here.
Here's the trailer for the series... and check it out on Wednesday's at 9.30pm on ABC TV. There are still 5 to go, so don't be late for school.


Anonymous said...

Its terrible that a family who has suffered a loss because thier daughter teenage experimented with illegal drugs had to listen to her described as a teenager who experimented with drugs.

What happened to being able to call a spade a spade in Australia ?

Anonymous said...

The even greater irony was that the show was recorded before the girl's death from experimentation and yet they must apologise for her bad decisions?

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