Kenan Thompson


HBO knows what it’s getting you this Thanksgivukkah season: the premiere of Australian comedian Chris Lilley‘s new series, Ja’mie: Private School Girl. On November 24th, Lilley returns as Ja’mie King, the shallow, spoiled, just-smart-enough-to-know-where-to-cut rich bitch from Down Under, back in front of the (mockumentary) cameras as she’s about to graduate from her fancypants private high school. Ja’mie – pronounced “ja-may” – is a familiar sight to viewers of HBO’s eight-episode sitcom Summer Heights High and Lilley’s earlier We Can Be Heroes, which originally aired on the Sundance Channel. Lilley has delicate-enough features that, for seconds at a time, provided the lighting is right – that is, when you can’t see his five o’clock shadow – he could pass for an attractive 30-year-old woman playing at 16. He’s certainly nailed the prissy-horsey mannerisms of one. In Summer Heights High, Lilley’s absolutely fantastic in the role: Ja’mie is a hair-flipping meanness machine, a queen bee so skillfully manipulative she could teach Regina George a thing or two. Yet there’s something a little off about the premise of Ja’mie: Private School Girl – a niggling sense of unfairness and lost opportunities. And that feeling of not-quite-rightness are bolstered by SNL‘s Kenan Thompson declaring last week that neither he nor castmember Jay Pharoah will appear in drag anymore, as well as the ongoing debate about what male comedians in dresses mean.



Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema. What we do here, besides significantly skew the national cholesterol averages, is to blur the line between the worlds of bad movies and worse food. Like junk food, we recognize the lack of substantial value in these movies as far as film school dieticians are concerned, but we will still happily and lovingly scarf down box after box of sweet, frosted VHS tape… (Our metaphors have mixed like as similes allusion parable — sorry, third sugar stroke today). Where this approach becomes fuzzy, like gravy-left-on-the-counter-for-eight-days fuzzy, is when a bad restaurant is at the center of a bad movie. As devoid of taste as either the restaurant or movie (or both) may be, we can’t help but find ourselves wishing we could slip the surly bonds of reality and cross through the screen. We also wish the bonds of Fazoli’s hours of operation weren’t so surly, to say nothing of its night security guard. Such is the case with Nickelodeon’s 1997 fatsterpiece Good Burger. It began life as a sketch on the comedy/variety show All That, and then someone decided this marvel of noncomedy was worthy of a filmic adaptation. I guess that sketch where Amanda Bynes screams at people didn’t quite have the legs as did a sketch that boldly draws attention to the … ineptitude of fast food employees. Inspired by a recent article in the New York Times, in which restaurant reviewer Pete Wells eviscerates Guy Fieri’s Times Square cafe by simply […]

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published: 01.29.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015

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