After waiting years to see Chris Lilley on our screens again, the day is finally here.
His Netflix show Lunatics arrived on the streaming service from today, meaning you can binge all through the Easter long weekend until your heart is content.
In the 10 episodes, we’ll get to see Lilly take on a bunch of characters including a pet psychologist to the stars, a real estate entrepreneur with a big bum, a cutting edge fashion designer, a budding museum owner, an arts and crafts influencer, and the future Earl of Gayhurst.
Yeah – sounds like a wild ride.
The official synopsis reads: “Lunatics: the story of six characters coming to terms with themselves and the world around them – be it a haunting past or a pressurising future, finding love or chasing dreams. Starring Chris Lilley, Chris Lilley, Chris Lilley, Chris Lilley, Chris Lilley, and Chris Lilley.”
It’ll be interesting to see whether concerns about him potentially doing blackface are unfounded or not
One of his characters, Jana, the pet psychologist to the stars, sports an Afro wig and is from South Africa, leading many to worry that Lilley had ignored previous criticisms and played a different race.
He was slammed over other characters like S.Mouse and Jonah because they negative stereotypes or just straight up blackface.
The Summer Height High spin-off for Jonah was condemned by a swath of organisations representing minorities, including the NAACP, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, the American Indians in Film/TV, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities and The Asian Pacific American Media Coalition.
Morgan Godfery’s review in the Guardian said: “No matter how worthy the satire, Jonah’s brownface is never neutral. No matter how funny Ja’mie can be, it is still a white bloke acting out problems he’s never had.
“Is it really necessary to dress in brownface to make the point that “the Island boys”, to quote one of Jonah’s teachers, have a hard time at school?
“The danger here is that instead of critiquing stereotypes, his character risks re-inscribing them. When high schoolers tell their teacher to ‘puck off’, are they critiquing ‘Island’ stereotypes or indulging in something that’s only acceptable when impersonating a brown body?”
Hopefully Lunatics has learned from those mistakes and performs just as well as Lilley’s classics like Summer Heights High and We Can Be Heroes.