Parents' Guide to

Jonah from Tonga

By Kari Croop, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Edgy comedy's title character makes a terrible role model.

TV HBO Comedy 2014
Jonah from Tonga Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 1 parent review

age 17+

Funny at times but Overall Bad and not for anyone!

Jonah is a terrible role model along with his friends. He bullies others and is disrespectful of authority. There are no decent role models in this Show. Even the youth worker who doesn't take their behavior seriously and thinks Jonah is good but isn't. DON'T ACTUALLY BOTHER WITH THIS!!!!!!!!!!

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (5 ):

Although Jonah from Tonga has drawn criticism for its overblown take on Tongan culture, it's not the first time show creator Chris Lilley has courted controversy -- and it likely won't be the last. Lilley (who is white) previously portrayed the brown-skinned Jonah on his cultish comedy Summer Heights High, and he's even donned "blackface" to play African-American rapper S. Mouse on Angry Boys. But if you can look past the critical backlash, you'll see that Lilley's projects also include sharp satire designed to get viewers thinking.

As for Jonah itself, the Summer Heights spin-off isn't Lilley's most hilarious effort and has a lot less heart than the aforementioned Angry Boys. But it does take a stab at social commentary, particularly in the realm of race and the way "problem kids" are handled in the Aussie school system. That doesn't mean young viewers are mature enough to see past the show's crude surface, but there's food for thought there if they look hard enough.

TV Details

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