Ja’mie: Private School Girl (Episode 2)

Chris Lilley in Ja'mie: Private School Girl

Tonight’s episode of Ja’mie: Private School Girl has to shoulder the burden of being a second episode, moving the plot along while ensuring viewers who missed the pilot won’t miss any key details. It does a decent job, but it’s a step down from the premiere, spending a lot of its time laying out what will be the focus of the series (the Hillford medal, Ja’mie’s conflict with her sister and impending boy problems). It’s not as funny as the first episode, either, but this isn’t surprising – Lilley’s best series start as comedies before morphing inevitably into drama.

The highlight of the episode falls around the middle, where Ja’mie performs a dance about African aid and, like, being a model and stuff. It introduces some fresh plotlines – the introduction of another antagonist for Ja’mie, for one (calling it, the helping-out-in-floods girl wins the Hillford medal) – and it smartly satirizes the tendency for self-involved teenagers to espouse a devotion to charitable endeavours. It also presents an opportunity for Lilley to demonstrate his impressive physicality: the main reason you (mostly) buy him as a teenage girl. Not a spectacular episode of television on the whole, but enjoyable enough to keep me watching.

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