“Completely High School”: new format, new characters, same humor

On the strength of its success over the past year, having notably taken it to Cannes and to various international festivals where it has won awards, the pastiche of the melodramatic series for teens “Complètement lycée” will be settling in January on the small screen and in a time slot of choice.

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But before going through the front door, Allie Thompson (Rosalie Vaillancourt) — whose Canadian nationality will be derided — her rival Ashley Winterbottom (Katherine Levcac), her boyfriend Brian Manson (Pierre-Yves Roy- Desmarais), gay friend Keith O’Keefe (Patrick Emmanuel Abellard), as well as Will Jones (Vincent Kim), Ryder Williams (Antoine Pilon), Neigel (Louis Girard-Bock) and the Johnson twins (Noémie and Chloé Leduc Roy ) will first resume classes at New Garden Hills Valley High School — John Abbott College, located in Montreal’s West Island — on Crave this Wednesday.

And this comeback will be in a brand new 22-minute format, which looks like a new first season, designed for TV, and not a second season for the web-series. It is therefore quite possible for the public to find themselves in this universe with offbeat humor whether or not they have followed the series, and this, without having the impression of watching something rehash.

This new season is also even more rhythmic and “punchy” as its references to films and series from the 1990s-2000s, such as “A Cinderella Story”, “Scary Movie”, “Sex Academy”, “Degrassi”, “One Tree Hill” and “The Naked Gun”, are even more frank and assumed.

The fact of having had an influence outside Quebec has also considerably contributed to the confidence of the troops. “It confirmed to us that we were on the right path,” said director and co-author Alec Pronovost on Tuesday. “It’s a nice pat on the back to have recognition. ‘Scary movie’ didn’t win any awards so for us it’s amazing and gratifying,” he added with a laugh.

A rich parody

In the transition to the small screen, authors Charles-Alex Durand, Alec Pronovost and Sandrine Viger-Beaulieu built this new version like the series it parodies – unlike its Web counterpart which was designed more like a film around of the character of Allie —, “with more ‘story line’ and more characters in parallel who experience events and who evolve”, specified the authors during a round table in which the QMI Agency took part.

“In these kinds of films [d’ados très stéréotypés], the “jokes” are often put in the foreground. In our case [avec “Complètement Lycée”], yes there are “jokes”, but we also wanted the story to follow and be catchy. There is a real dramatic curve,” said Charles-Alex Durand.

Written in French, shot in English – some actors would have opted for the British accent – ​​then dubbed by the actors in international French with frank formulations, the humorous series takes us back to 2007 this year – MSN and “flip phone” included. New faces have also joined New Garden High School, including Éric Bernier, the new Pavilion C teacher with unorthodox methods, Paul Doucet as Principal Matthews, Nahéma Ricci, Macha Limonchik and the shadowy new student Pier-Luc Lafontaine.

We can also expect quite funny “cameos” from producer Julie Snyder, Émile Bilodeau, comedian Jay Du Temple – who we will see in the guise of a rapper similar to Eminem – and Guillaume Lambert.

“Complètement Lycée” has enjoyed significant success over the past year, having been viewed more than half a million times on noovo.ca, and among other awards at the Canneseries international festival, at the Gémeaux , at the Rendez-vous Québec Cinéma and at the Marseille Web Fest.

The 10 episodes of “Completely High School” will be dropped on Crave at the taste account starting Wednesday and should all be there for the holidays. The series idealized by Rosalie Vaillancourt and Pierre-Yves Roy-Desmarais, in 2017, will then be presented on Noovo on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. from January 11.

“Completely High School”: new format, new characters, same humor