Mul­ti­cul­tural cam­pus capers

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television Free To Air - Ronny Chieng: In­ter­na­tional Stu­dent,

Co­me­dian Ronny Chieng of The Daily Show fame is mov­ing from the pe­riph­ery of our vi­sion to dead cen­tre with a Com­edy Cen­tral/ABC co­pro­duc­tion ti­tled Ronny Chieng: In­ter­na­tional Stu­dent, based on the Malaysian-born per­former’s ex­pe­ri­ences study­ing in Melbourne.

It emerged from last year’s ABC ini­tia­tive Com­edy Show­room, which fea­tured pi­lots for six dif­fer­ent se­ries. Chieng’s was the first to be green­lit. (The pilot, still avail­able on ABC iView, is manda­tory view­ing ahead of the se­ries.)

Play­ing a semi-fic­tion­alised ver­sion of him­self, Chieng takes us through the quirks and odd­i­ties of life on the mod­ern mul­ti­cul­tural uni­ver­sity cam­pus, from drink­ing rit­u­als to mak­ing friends and learn­ing names (com­pli­cated by the phe­nom­e­non of Asian stu­dents with in­vented Western names such as Dene­dict and Jod­er­ick), while field­ing fre­quent in­tru­sive phone calls from his tiger mother back in Sin­ga­pore. Ronny Chieng: In­ter­na­tional Stu­dent

In the pilot episode, Chieng’s first law lec­ture on con­flict res­o­lu­tion fea­tured an as­sign­ment for which there was only one text­book in the li­brary, which not sur­pris­ingly led to con­flict only re­solved by a yard glass drink­ing com­pe­ti­tion.

Episode one be­gins with a new Amer­i­can stu­dent, Craig (Patch May), who tries to di­vide a stu­dent res­i­dence into North and South; hi­lar­i­ous Viet­namese stu­dent Elvin (Hoa Xuande) is on to his “colo­nial” ways.

As Craig takes a Colonel Kurtz turn, it ap­pears the whole episode is an elab­o­rate homage to the Viet­nam War and Apoc­a­lypse Now — but it’s noth­ing Chieng can’t solve with some open­handed hit­ting.

This very funny se­ries is ex­pected to air in the US on Com­edy Cen­tral later this year. Wed­nes­day, 9pm, ABC.

Co­me­dian Ronny Chieng plays a semi-fic­tion­alised ver­sion of him­self in

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