The year in TV comedy gets off to an early, profanely brilliant start

Three years ago, HBO brought an Australian TV show—Chris Lilley’s Summer Heights High—to the States. It was a brilliant program, but for reasons we’ve never quite fathomed, it failed to find its American audience.

Happily, HBO is premiering Lilley’s new show, Angry Boys, this Sunday (January 1). Once again, Lilley—who played a number of characters in Summer Heights High—gives himself multiple roles: He’s a reform-school guard, an Asian tiger mother, an ex–surfing champion, etc. Each role lets him push a bit harder against the conventions that govern 30-minute comedy shows—and you’re certain to be offended by some of the things Lilley does (yes, that’s him in blackface). But if Angry Boys is super-irreverent, it’s also extremely funny—and, having watched the first four episodes, we can tell you that it gets better as it goes along.

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The year in TV comedy gets off to an early, profanely brilliant start