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Ja'mie King Is Back, You Fugly Povos

By Jac Kern · November 20th, 2013 · Television
ac_tv__jamie_bentimonyPhoto: Ben Timony

The last time audiences saw queen bee-otch Ja’mie King, the Australian high school student had just finished a term as an exchange student at — gasp! — a public school in Summer Heights High. Now she’s back on her home turf, wrapping up her senior year on-camera in Ja’mie: Private School Girl (Series Premiere, 10:30 p.m. Sunday, HBO).

Ringing with similarities to teen reality series like Laguna Beach, Ja’mie will follow the fictional Ms. King during her last weeks of high school, detailing the lives of over-privileged elite youth.

Ja’mie is just one character in creator/star Chris Lilley’s roster of all-too-real personas. The Australian comic genius has previously created, written, directed and starred in three mockumentary-style series since 2005, often portraying multiple roles, from Ja’mie (who appeared in two previous series) to African-American rapper S.mouse to twin teenage South Australian boys (and their Gran). No matter the gender, race or personality of each quirky character, Lilley commits totally, resulting in a hilarious, thought-provoking finish.

All of Lilley’s works make a point about culture through satire. Ja’mie is a caricature of girls in contemporary media — beyond rude, bitterly mean and self-centered. She makes us laugh while forcing us to ponder why television glamorizes hot messes like her.  And she teaches us some fabulous infectious Aussie slang (“quiche” means “hotter than hot;” “povo” = a poor person). 

The question remains: Is she ready for her own show? My only hesitation comes from the need for more Lilley characters — it is truly astonishing to see him transform from scene to scene — but Ja’mie is sure to entertain, so you better watch, bitches.



Modern Family (9 p.m., ABC) – Cam’s family farm is finally revealed when he brings Mitchell and Lily for their first visit; Jay reluctantly attends a closet convention, where he runs into some familiar faces.

American Horror Story: Coven (10 p.m., FX) – Queenie follows her Voodoo roots; Fiona gets friendly with a dangerous new guy in town; Cordelia learns the truth about Madison.

The League (Season Finale, 10 p.m., FXX) – In back-to-back final episodes, it’s the Shiva playoffs. Ruxin and Sofia disagree on what baby Geoffrey’s religion should be; Kevin fears he’s taken Jenny for granted. Aziz Ansari and Lizzy Caplan guest-star.


Parks and Recreation (8 p.m., NBC) – Leslie embarks on her City Councilor bucket list, which includes fluoridation and the Indianapolis Colts, while Chris and Ron enjoy some dad-time building cribs for their respective babies. At 8:30 p.m., Leslie and Jamm face off and Rob asks the Parks crew to help him sell his cabin (a sad day for Swanson).

Project Runway All-Stars (9 p.m., Lifetime) – The designers look to Bonnie & Clyde — coming next month to Lifetime, A&E and History! — as they create 1930s-inspired outfits.

Parenthood (10 p.m., NBC) – It’s Election Day and Kristina is probably not going to be voted mayor because P-hood loves to make us cry. Also: Ryan and Amber question one another as she gets more involved with the band; Julia and Joel’s frustrations boil over.


Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles (10 p.m., HBO) – Sarah performs for a tiny audience in her first HBO stand-up special. The comic talks sex, religion, politics and more in Los Angeles’ intimate Largo theater.


The Walking Dead (9 p.m., AMC) – Uh oh, I’m starting to care about the Governor. How did that happen? This week the Gov — er, “One-eyed Bri” — establishes himself in Martinez’s camp.

Boardwalk Empire (Season Finale, 9 p.m., HBO) – Another finale, another chance for Richard to let his badassery shine. Eli fears for the worst when Knox’s plot against Nucky comes to a head. Torrio and Capone strike a deal in Cicero. Chalky seeks revenge.

Homeland (9 p.m., Showtime) – Brody’s back! This time, Saul is determined to remold him. Carrie’s reunion with Brody is much more difficult than expected.

Getting On (Series Premiere, 10 p.m., HBO) – From the creators of Big Love, this new comedy follows the staff and patients at a rundown hospital’s geriatric ward. Alex Borstein, Laurie Metcalf and Niecy Nash star.

CONTACT JAC KERN: jkern@citybeat.com or @jackern



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