Thursday, August 18, 2011

Angry Boys!

This Australian comedy series, just screened in Australia and released immediately to DVD, is a masterwork.

Creator/writer/star Chris Lilley is already famous (or infamous) for We Can Be Heroes and Summer Heights High (screened recently on HBO in the US), and this will make him moreso. 

Someone's noticed Lilley's work because Angry Boys has co-financing from HBO and will screen on that premium cabler shortly. It's the perfect US home for the series because it would never survive uncut on a regular American network. Unbelievably, it is screened without language or content cuts on Australia's ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission), the free and commercial-free, government-funded broadcaster. 

What Lilley does best is satirize both his own culture (Australia) and its adjoining pop culture.

The series is profane, irreverent, as non-PC as you can possibly get, and extremely well produced and written.

If you want a pin-sharp snapshot of a particular side of Australia, Angry Boys will give it to you. More accurately than anything I can think of, it portrays the angst of being a young Australian male in a culture where machismo is prized and venting your emotions is irritating. For me, watching this was like looking back and watching my teenage self implode.

Structurally, it intercuts between several characters, all played by Lilley, who are trying to make their way in the big, wide, wonderful world. Two twin brothers (Daniel and Nathan Sims), one deaf, one a twisted pervert, engage in hilarious, testosterone-fueled domestic disputes involving girls, parents, school, and visiting relatives. It's a challenge to pick one example from a great bunch to illustrate the comedic brilliance on display, but consider a middle episode in which Daniel is castigated by his mother for continually calling everybody he meets a "fag". As punishment, his mother calls the mother of the local "fag" and arranges for Daniel to spend an afternoon with the boy. What ensues is both hilarious and dark.

Another amazing storyline involves a very young Asian skateboarder (barely a teenager) whose monstrous Japanese mother, Jen Okazaki (played by Lilley in drag), is ferociously marketing him as the face of 'Gaystyle Enterprises', a vertically-integrated clothing and apparel company for young gayboys (i.e. "poofters").


When the unfortunate lad protests that he's not gay and likes girls, Jen shows him cheesecake shots of young men and determines to beat the hetero out of him.

This show is gold! I'm sure John Waters would be a fan.

Perhaps the most controversial character in this series is U.S. rapper S. Mouse. Played in blackface (!) by Lilley, the hideously untalented rapper has become the subject of house arrest after he took a shit on a police car and composed a song about it. Recently, Melbourne's 'The Age' newspaper took the strange step of sending copies of Angry Boys to black rappers to get their take on S. Mouse and his shenanigans.


Predictably, the blackface aspect didn't go down too well with some, while others criticized the rapper's terribly songs. Talk about missing the fucking point!  Still, the intelligent ones got the joke.

No doubt about this, this is Lilley's sharpest, funniest, and most vicious satire yet.  For me, it's right up there with my other favorite comedy shows such as Curb Your Enthusiasm (the latest season is gold!), South Park, and Family Guy.

Do what you can to get your hands on this magic. Just as The Adventures of Barry McKenzie said much about Australia in the 70's, this says equal amounts about the country now.


9 comments:

  1. Nice! I will defo give these shows a gander when I see 'em on HBO. I'm an In-Betweeners fan but it's annoying that BBCA cuts them to shit when they air, plus they have only aired two seasons so far. The premium channels are where it's at for the edgier material.

    Having said that, I'm becoming a real fan of FX's version of Wilfred also. Ever seen the original series?

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  2. Sounds excellent, I've just checked and these have been shown here in England on the BBC. The last few are currently available on BBC I-player.

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  3. jervaise brooke hamsterAugust 18, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    He looks like a faggot, "DEATH TO ALL PANSY QUEER BASTARDS" w-heather they are Australian or not, and death to all fag-enablers, they are pure filth as well.

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  4. jervaise brooke hamsterAugust 18, 2011 at 11:37 AM

    Exactly, Australia and Australian's are all fucking worthless piles of dog-shit, but we didn`t need to be told that, everybody knew it already ! ! !.

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  5. jervaise brooke hamsterAugust 18, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    Let me put into perspective what a fucking pathetic abomination Australia is: In 1945 American saved them from a Japanese invasion and they never even appreciated it, the fucking worthless ingrate, inbred, mongrel, fucking wankers.

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  6. Can't agree more! ANGRY BOYS was the funniest Aussie TV show since FAT PIZZA, but AB was more consistent and focussed. Daniel and Nathan were my favourite. The acute characterisations of young white bogans is absolutely accurate, in fact where every piece of Australian cinema shit tries to define the Aussie 'identity' ABs just nails it without blinking. Wolrd class, I'm quite proud of this slice of Aussie comedy, I'm really sick of that 'hipster' smarty pant humour by Wil Anderson and Mirke Hardy that just isn't funny!

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  7. d -- BBC America is such crap compared to the real BBC. They cut everything! And there are so many commercial breaks.

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    Hero -- I hope you can track these down via BBC.

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    Goldblog -- you are so right in saying that his portrayal of bogans is spot-on. Scarily so. I, too, am tired of the hipster-style rantings of Anderson and Hardy, etc.

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  8. Paul Kell -- you got it! Terribly funny show (if you get its vibe).

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