Telly Text #29: Jonah From Tonga + From Dusk Till Dawn

on Tuesday, June 03, 2014
Words: Jordan Andrew

'Jonah From Tonga'

In a previous Telly Text, I discussed Chris Lilley and his show 'Ja’mie Private School Girl'. Now don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy Ja’mie and all her antics - however, bringing back past characters felt very recycled, revisiting old jokes and making them tiresome. I also mentioned that Jonah would be next and as promised, here's my review. 'Jonah From Tonga' brings back Jonah from 'Summer Heights High' as he is sent back to Tonga after being excluded. We experience Jonah becoming (slightly) more of a man through a series of life lessons.

Unlike with Ja’mie, not every episode is based in school, which gives this show a bit of variety. If you did not get the opportunity to binge watch the whole series on BBC iPlayer then I shall not ruin it for you but let’s say that Jonah does not make life easy for himself. When Jonah is not making graffiti or swearing at people, he is being a big brother to Moses (Tama Tauali’i). Seeing him look out for Moses allows us to see a softer side to Jonah throughout the whole series. Jonah plans to take Moses to Los Angeles when he becomes rich, so Moses can pursue a career as a singer.

As well as Moses and his ‘Fobolicious’ gang, Jonah also bonds with his tutor Mr. Joseph (Doug Bowles), an old school teacher, willing to use any means necessary to put Jonah into place that sometimes even results in violence. We also have Kool Kris (Uli Latukefu) who is the total opposite - he believes in positive vibes and encourages Jonah and his Fobolicuous gang to enter a competition for anti-bullying. Which is very funny due to Jonah always picking on the gingers by calling them rangas, which becomes quite catchy after a while.

With there being talk of Chris Lilley bringing more past characters out of the closet, I do worry that he has nothing original to offer at the moment. I would love to see a new character that we don’t know. There is only so much of "quiche" and "dicktation" you can listen to before it becoming a bit predictable. The only character I would actually like Lilley to revisit is Mr. G from 'Summer Heights High'. He is older and would be up to more scandalous events, in my head. So Chris Lilley if you do read this, please take my very helpful advice.

Watch 'Jonah From Tonga' every Thursday at 10pm, or catch up on BBC iPlayer.

'From Dusk Till Dawn'

I have always praised Netflix in the past with their original shows, such as 'House Of Cards', 'Hemlock Grove', and my personal favourite 'Orange Is The New Black', just to name a few. Netflix’s latest addition 'From Dusk Till Dawn' is a television adaptation of the Robert Rodriguez film, cleverly named 'From Dusk Till Dawn'. Now I will state for the record, I have never seen the film but I really didn't want to be comparing the film and the television series until the first series had finished.

'From Dusk Till Dawn' focuses on the infamous Gecko brothers, Seth Gecko (D.J. Cotrona) and Richie Gecko (Zane Holtz), and one Texas Rangers’ (Freddie Gonzalez, played by Jesse Garcia) hunt to catch them after killing off his long-term friend and father figure in a shoot out. Getting revenge will not be easy for Agent Gonzalez, as the Gecko brothers have a boss to serve, Carlos (Wilmer Valderrama) - a powerful man who, as the series goes on, shows his true colours. The Gecko brothers also encounter a few bumps on the way mostly due to Richie and his hallucinations, some of which are helpful and some just add more heat on the Gecko brothers.

Along the way we get introduced to the Fuller family, your typical perfect Christian do-gooders who, in the beginning, you are waiting to see which one dies first and who will crack but by the end of the series you want them to stay together as a family. Jacob Fuller (Robert Patrick) and his two children Kate Fuller (Madison Davenport) and adopted son Scott Fuller (Brandon Soo Hoo) bring a small bit of normality to this somewhat over the top show.

Netflix seems to be producing hit after hit and with the latest addition 'From Dusk Till Dawn', this trend seems likely to continue. Now as I said initially that I never watched the film so I cannot compare the two - however I can see the television series being in the league of 'True Blood'. With the last series of 'True Blood' on the horizon, sci-fi lovers will be looking for something new and I believe that could be 'From Dusk Till Dawn'.

Catch 'From Dusk Till Dawn' on Netflix.

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