One of the things that has always elevated Chris Lilley’s satire is his refusal to mock his characters in character. Sure, his bit is mostly about pointing out the ridiculousness of a given type, but while you’re supposed to laugh at Ja’mie, Lilley takes her very seriously. Ja’mie: Private School Girl takes this a step further by positioning the entire series from Ja’mie’s perspective; unlike his previous series, we have one protagonist. We see what she sees and how she sees it (note the teen pop music playing between scenes, or the way Ja’mie recounts the previous episode’s events in character).
This is a choice that I’d be more comfortable with if the show included another character with a fraction of the presence of Ja’mie. There’s plenty of roles with potential – her sister, her boarder antagonist, her love interest, her parents – but they’re given minimal screen time and mostly reduced to either agreeing or disagreeing with what Ja’mie is saying. There’s no problem with Ja’mie (and Lilley!) being the centre of attention … but while tonight’s episode was enjoyable, it feels like Lilley’s taking a too much inspiration from Mr G by making sure the spotlight is on him alone.