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Chris Lilley's new HBO show is a technical knockout on Blu-ray, but you'll only figure that out if you can make it through more than fifteen minutes of it....
HBO / 360 Minutes / 2011 / Unrated / Street Date: December 4, 2012
Comedian Chris Lilley showcases bravura and ambition in his HBO show Angry Boys, but this low-aiming satire ends up being little more than yet another funny-ha-ha bathroom humor affair. Don't get me wrong - I'm a prime viewing candidate for any poop joke you've got - but Angry Boys gives the impression that it has esoteric things going on under its hood while it spews out its adolescent humor, and this lends the show a pretentious sheen that doesn't do it any favors.
I suppose if you love Chris Lilley, you'll get five or six times the thrill from a show like Angry Boys. In esteemed comedy skit-show tradition, Lilley not only headlines Angry Boys, but he does so as its six distinct main characters. Unwilling to flinch in the face of blackface or gender identification, Lilley plays twin boys (one of them mostly deaf), a black rapper, an Asian businesswoman, a grandma - the dude ain't afraid to go all Benny Hill on us.
But the six hours of programming on this Blu-ray set add up to nothing. Are there humorous sequences that elicit giggles? Of course - HBO's no dummy. But Angry Boys is a gamble the cable network took on that misses its mark entirely. Its setup shtick is implicitly tired - think Modern Family in Australia - and while Lilley gives his arcane characters an undeniable charm, it's not enough to buoy this sinking ship of a series.