Less is More: We Preview HBO’s ANGRY BOYS

angry boys

You’ve seen the commercials. You’ve heard the hype. Now there’s only one thing you want to know: Which of these new midseason shows are worth watching and which should be avoided at all costs? In this continuing series, we give you the scoop on some of the most highly-anticipated shows of 2012, with today’s subject being HBO’s ANGRY BOYS.

The Plot: In a brand-new comedy series written and starring Australia’s Ricky Gervais equivalent, Lilley amps up his acutely observed, character-based comedy style – mastered in his two previous series SUMMER HEIGHTS HIGH and WE CAN BE HEROES – to a new conceptual stratosphere in ANGRY BOYS. Shot documentary-style, each taboo-crossing, half-hour episode of hilariously unconventional and impetuous, filled with endearing characters that are sure to make audiences laugh with delight.

The First Impression: Fresh off the success of SUMMER HEIGHTS HIGH, comedian Chris Lilley is back with ANGRY BOYS. More episodes (12 versus SUMMER HEIGHTS HIGH’s 8), more characters (Identical twins Daniel and Nathan Sims, a former world surfing champion, among others) and more boundary-pushing. Which is to say, no gender, sexuality or race is safe in this series whose creator has made a name for himself by shocking audiences and treading on taboos. Highlights of which this time around include Lilley’s Japanese mom (“Jen Okazaki”) who takes Tiger-parenting to an entirely new and very disturbing level, an African American rapper (“S.mouse” played by Lilley in full-on blackface) and an unorthodox prison officer at a boy’s detention centre (“Ruth ‘Gran’ Sims”).

The Concern: Despite ANGRY BOYS increasingly kooky collection of colorful characters (Oh, did we neglect to mention that Lilley’s Japanese mom character is forcing her son to pretend to be gay in an effort to make a mint off marketing him as Japan’s first ever gay teenaged skateboarder?) there is simply no escaping the unfortunate sense of deja vu we felt while watching the series. What’s more, while we’re first to give Lilley credit for the ambition and scope of ANGRY BOYS, his insistence on cramming that many new characters into the series’ 12 episodes may have backfired somewhat, resulting in less time for us to become invested in his latest set of alter-egos. None of whom reach the pinnacle of comedic brilliance that was the likes of Mr. G or Ja’mie (circa. SUMMER HEIGHTS HIGH). Which is why…

The Verdict: Has us recommending you watch the series, but via your DVR/PVR so that you can easily jump around to your favorite story-lines.

ANGRY BOYS premieres Sunday January 1st at 10PM on HBO and HBO Canada

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