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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Satire > Spoof > Impersonations > Cable TV > Australia > Jonah From Tonga (2014/HBO DVD)

Jonah From Tonga (2014/HBO DVD)

Picture: C Sound: B- Extras: C+ Film: C

There's One In Every School

HBO picked up the Australian TV show Jonah From Tonga that is a mockumentary about a rebellious 14-year-old Australian boy of Tongan descent who had been introduced in Lilley's 2007 series Summer Heights High. At the conclusion of that series, Jonah was expelled from Summer Heights High, which is where this one picks up.

This sequel series has been a ratings disaster and even had some canceled theatrical screenings. In all honestly, it didn't do much for me. Jonah is a foul-mouthed brat with no respect for anyone. Nobody really likes him except for a few friends at school that are in a way his groupies. It's pretty apparent to me that Jonah is gonna end up behind bars once he gets a little older!

In Episode 1, Banished to Tonga to live with his uncle, 14-year-old Jonah is causing more trouble than ever. His dad takes him back to Australia to start a new life but he quickly forms a new school gang and it's not long till trouble starts. In Episode 2, Jonah and the Fobba-liscious boys are forced to meet with youth worker Kool Kris after making bully videos. But when Jonah's brother is picked on, he gathers Year 7 rangas and attempts to make the ultimate bully video.

Episode 3, While grounded Jonah and the 'Fobba-liscious' boys escape and go bowling. Their counseling session with Kool Kris leads to the boys taking part in the 'Feel Da Beat' song competition. In Episode 4, After a crazy day at school, Jonah and the boys embark on their biggest, most dangerous mission yet but their plans backfire in a massive way. Episode 5, Jonah's harsh new surrounds bring new opponents and some unexpected allies. But the pressure is mounting on family, fame and friendship.

And finally Episode 6, Jonah entertains his mates with all his stories of prison life but will Jonah still find himself behind bars with other bad boys or will he prove he can be a real man? Approx running time for the six episodes are 180 minutes.

The mockumentary style leaves us with a gritty looking transfer that is a little cloudy and grainy - as if it were shot on bad video. While this was probably the intention of the filmmakers, the standard definition transfer could definitely use some more detail, which may be improved with a high def upgrade. Even if this was the look they are going for, it's still pretty yucky looking despite being anamorphically enhanced at 1.78 X 1. The sound mix is a standard, lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track.

The only extra is over an hour of deleted scenes, but you can read more about Lilley's shows Angry Boys and We Can Be Heroes, reviewed elsewhere on this site.

All in all, this is a throwaway series that isn't really that funny. It's almost as if the writers were inspired by Sacha Baron-Cohen and wanted to make a movie.

- James Harland Lockhart V



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