Despite it first being aired in 2008, Summer Heights High is making a bit of a comeback thanks to popular internet memes which feature some of the three main characters, all played and written by Australian comedian Chris Lilley.

TV shows with the I’m-a-terrible-person-for-laughing-at-this type of humour are few and far between and for me, they either overstep the line or don’t push it enough. Summer Heights High was the perfect balance – it was outrageously hilarious and entertaining.

The show follows three members of the same school: Ja’mie King, a spoilt and bitchy exchange student from a nearby private school, Jonah Takalua, a Tongan schoolboy who is on the verge of expulsion, and Mr G, an intense and serious drama teacher who believes that the drama department is the most important in the school. Ja’mie (who is actually called Jamie but pronounces it different to try and sound a little posher) is a parody of private school girls who believe they are better than everybody else. She constantly insults and turns her nose up at everything and everyone at Summer Heights High, calling them all “povo” and “skanks”. She befriends a group of four girls and turns them all against each other by trying to oust the Asian girl in the group. Whenever something goes wrong for her, she fakes a panic attack or has a huge tantrum until people bow down to her. The performance given by Lilley is so superb that even though Ja’mie is about a foot taller than the other kids, you forget that she isn’t played by an actual female.

Jonah Takalua was the most controversial character as Chris Lilley played him in ‘brown-face’, something that is deemed unacceptable by many people. Jonah and his group of Polynesian friends are all troublesome, illiterate delinquents who love breakdancing and graffiti. In the UK, it is hard to understand the dynamic between Aussies and Islanders but SHH gives a comedic (though probably biased) view of the rivalry between the two groups. Chris Lilley spent a while interviewing Polynesian teenagers to try and learn the accent and speech patterns of a typical Tongan boy. Jonah’s story is actually a little bit heart-breaking, especially towards the end, as we see that his bad behaviour isn’t helped by some of the Aussie students and teachers misunderstanding him and treating him unfairly.

Mr G is the colleague from hell. He’s bossy, power-happy and a bit of a bully. For example, he receives a minor promotion and begins to order the other staff around and get them to do his menial tasks such as photocopying all of his papers. Mr G thinks nothing of using other people to get himself ahead and makes the most of other people’s misery, like when he used the death of a schoolgirl to make a musical about the impact he’d had on the girl’s life despite the fact he didn’t actually know her. Mr G is the most outrageous as he’s the character that insults and offends the most people. He doesn’t hesitate to call the kids ‘ugly’ and ‘talentless’ to their faces which makes for humorous yet uncomfortable viewing.

Unless you get offended easily, you will love Summer Heights High. Chris Lilley is an amazingly talented actor who has no filter whatsoever and his writing is entertaining and hilarious.

The first series is available on BBC iPlayer for free.