“Hi, my name’s Ja’mie. I used to be Jamie and then I added the apostrophe in year 8.”
This is how we are first introduced to Ja’mie (pronounced Ja-MAY) King, one of the best satires of private school students ever created.
Australian comedian Chris Lilley has played the high school girl in the TV shows Summer Heights High and Ja’mie: Private School Girl. Although played by a 35-year-old man, Ja’mie speaks and acts like a high school student. She’s all the worst things that a private school student can be: racist, classist, and horribly mean. Yet, she is thoroughly entertaining and surprisingly loveable.
She’s a brilliant anti-Jane Eyre/anti-Elizabeth Bennett character who gives us a hilarious though still somewhat realistic portrait of the upper class. She’s powerful, yet extremely flawed. And it is her flaws that make a private school student connect with her and hate her all at the same time. Yet no matter how conflicted about her any private school student feels, it must be admitted that she is one bitingly-accurate satire.