I knew I loved Chris Lilley’s work when my BEST FRIEND EVER introduced me to Summer Heights High. Ja’mie and her presentation in Assembly Hall… oh good god… golden!
Of course I loved all the characters for their own personalities, but I’ll always defect to Team Tonga (c’mon, they need the numbers).
I know what it’s like to be written off due to stereotypes, and I know how fulfilling it is to respond by being a cheeky little shit. Thus furthering the stereotype… I call it the ‘Dennis the Menace causality loop’ (but only sometimes).
(read: I will respond to being the only one punished for lateness by grabbing the wall clock as I’m being sent outside. Not to smash it, but to loosen my school tie and attach the clock -just so- as a Flavor Flav act of defiance. IF YOU’RE GONNA MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF ME, THEN I’MA SHOW ALL Y’ALL WHAT TIME IT IS. Dig?)
But what’s especially lovely is that there’s always that teacher who tries to get through to you. Even if you don’t realise it before you graduate, you’ll always remember them for their patience. And if you’re lucky, you’ll eventually figure it out next time you’re trying to be patient with someone who’s not being their most accommodating self.
fun fact: the ‘Takalua’ surname is derived from the Tongan term ‘fakatokalua’ which implies ‘the impulse towards nausea’ / ‘ad nauseam’ / ‘sickening’. Well played, Mr. Lilley. Well played…