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REVIEW: Chris Lilley brings the lunacy with new Netflix series

Angry Boys creator continues to push the comedy envelope with LUNATICS

Picture: Netflix

Comedian Chris Lilley is back. The man who brought us Angry Boys, Summer Heights High and Ja’mie: Private School Girl is, once again, courting controversy with his usual array of politically incorrect characters.

This R18+ 10-part series, which screens on Netflix from Good Friday, is told in Lilley’s now signature mockumentary style and brings to life six new, potentially polarising characters.

Keith –a smarmy old retail veteran who dreams of building his own fashion empire. He also struggles with objective sexuality issues and his love for a cash register he fondly calls Karen.   

Becky – a seven-foot, three-inches tall teenager who moves to the USA with her non-identical twin sister Lucy to attend college.    

Gavin – a foul-mouthed 12 year old kid who believes he is a dope AF Instagram influencer wanna-be but is also the heir apparent to an English earldom.    

Jana – a South African lesbian Pet Psychic to the Stars, who is in love with her gorgeous and very straight personal assistant, Kylie.    

Quentin – a real estate agent about to inherit the family business, he dreams of being a world-renowned DJ or infamous street artist.    

Joyce – an eccentric ageing ex porn star and hoarder, who lives a reclusive life with her collection of useless things. With an impending eviction, she faces an uncertain future. 

So, is the media hype of the last few days, mostly swirling around the South African character warranted?

No, not really.

I had watched a few episodes before I was even aware of the stories accusing Lilley of once again using ‘blackface’, as he had done with his controversial 2014 Jonah from Tonga series (which was pulled from the air in New Zealand)

If I had to make a guess, I would say the character in question, Jana the South African pet psychic, was inspired by the 1970’s caftan-wearing wanna be hippies who preached ‘peace, love and mung beans, baby’ but with a heavily polished disco edge.

But that’s just me. And to be honest, I would love to know how right I am.

Should I watch?

If you like Chis Lilley, then yeah. You will get a kick out of his new characters. As always, they range from the deeply irritating to the adorable. And everything in between.

I fell in love with the very tall Becky. She has been written with such joy, such pain and such compassion that within a very few episodes, you can’t help but become #TeamBecky.

This wide-eyed girl she struggles with life in a new country, the growing distance with her sister Lucy and just life as an awkwardly sweet, loving girl who is different from everybody else.

I am a Lilley fan from way before his Angry Boys days. His deaf twin who got that way by “f**king around with fireworks” will always bring a smile to my face.

However, you should watch and decide for yourselves if Lilley is as funny as he has proven himself to be in the past or if he has pushed the envelope too far this time.

Where:  Netflix

Release Date:  April 19, 2019

Seasons: 1

Episodes: 10


I’m Sue-Ellen and I’m a writer and copywriter based in Port Stephens. My aim is to help small to medium sized businesses find their voice in the white noise of the internet, connecting in a meaningful way with their customers. So, if you like the idea of connecting with your audience and watching your business dreams come true, we should talk.

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Written by Sue Ellen

Copywriter. Writer. Reviewer. Coffee addict. Handbag tragic. Conspiracy tin hatter. Drama Queen.