If you don’t know Australian comedic jack-of-all-trades Chris Lilley, then get your Netflix/HBO.com/illegal download on and check out his work in We Can Be Heroes, Summer Heights High and Angry Boys (10 p.m. Sunday, HBO). Each of Lilley’s mockumentary-style shows features his uncanny ability to portray any person — regardless of age, race, gender or sexuality.
Centered around Australian twins Daniel and Nathan, Lilley’s latest effort follows their family and the celebrities on Nath’s “Wall of Legends.” When hearing-impaired Nath must go away to a school for deaf boys, Daniel tracks down his legends for an epic going away party. With the help of their Gran, the boys try to get an African-American rapper, an Australian surfer and a Japanese-American skateboarder to their farm.
Oh yeah, and Lilley plays all of those characters (except the skateboarder — here Lilley portrays Tim’s mother).
Daniel and Nathan Sims were first introduced in We Can Be Heroes — they’re your typical working-class boys who spend their time driving around town, peeing on things and, uh, “wanking.”
Ruth Sims is the twins’ grandmother, but even the boys in the juvenile detention center where she works as a guard call her “Gran.” Tough and completely un-PC, Gran shows her soft side by sewing the inmates pajamas and introducing the boys to some of her 23 beloved guinea pigs, which she keeps in a giant coop.
Shwayne Jr., better known as rapper S.mouse, is in the process of revamping his image while on house arrest. However, going for tough, from-the-hood street-cred is kind of hard when you’re living with your rich dad in a Los Angeles suburb.
Blake Oakfield is a champion surfer and founder of surf gang The Mucca Mad Boys. He’s retired from his sport after getting his balls shot off in a gang fight. He now dedicates his time to recruiting and training new young, overweight boys into gangtastic surfers.
Jen Okazaki has been prepping her now-teenage son Tim to become a skateboarding pro since early childhood. She serves as his manager and with the success of Tim’s skating skills, she founded GayStyle Enterprises, propelling the sale of everything from penis-shaped water bottles to flavored sneakers.
Sure, they sound ridiculous and possibly controversial, but Lilly portrays each of these people with such genuity, making Angry Boys as true-to-life as it is over-the-top, as hilarious as it is heartwrenching.
But, there are other shows on TV. Here are some of them:
WEDNESDAY JAN. 18
American Idol, 8 p.m., Fox – More than a decade later, this show still exists. Audition episodes premiere Wednesday and Thursday. Drinking game suggestion: Take a swig every time Steven Tyler tries to guise his creepy flirtation with musical critique.
Modern Family, 9 p.m., ABC – This 2012 Golden Globe winner goes where no comedy series has gone before: 2-year old Lily learns the F-word.
THURSDAY JAN. 19
30 Rock, 8 p.m., NBC – Tracy’s nasty onstage rant leaks online, leaving Liz with a PR nightmare. It’s funny because it’s true!
Parks and Recreation, 8:30 p.m., NBC – Leslie works on her first campaign ad. #Knope2012!
Archer, 10 p.m., FX – If Don Draper traded advertising for the International Secret Intelligence Service, and his suit for a cashmere turtleneck, he’d be Sterling Malory Archer. Burt F-ing Reynolds guest stars in this season premiere.
Watch What Happens: Live, 11 p.m., Bravo – Adorable Bravo homogul (just coined that) Andy Cohen’s live, boozey late-night talk show is now on Sunday-Thursday, and what better way to celebrate than a pajama party in the clubhouse with Ralph Fiennes and Holly Hunter?
FRIDAY JAN. 20
Real Time with Bill Maher, 10 p.m., HBO – “In Case You Missed It: 2012’s New Rules” involve pointing politicians, Iranian boats, North Korean hyperboles and Justin Bieber’s Jesus tat.
Portlandia, 10 p.m., IFC – Gauged-eared bike messenger Spyke plans an “alternative” wedding; Jack MacBrayer cameos as a grocery shopper who tragically forgets his reusable bags.
SUNDAY JAN. 22
Shameless, 9 p.m., Showtime – When Fiona ditches Jasmine’s mistress-seeking men for her married high school crush, we’re left with one question: Is Fiona going to become a kept woman?
House of Lies, 10 p.m., Showtime – Kind of like Showtime’s answer to Entourage, with management consultants instead of Hollywood stars.
CONTACT JAC KERN: [email protected]