Ronny Chieng International Student

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TV Show Review

Words | Jodie Ramodien


First off if you haven’t watched this TV show before you are missing out, go watch it, it’s on Netflix. The space for this review was initially given to the Best Picture nominee Bombshell. The reasoning behind the decision to include Bombshell in the Australian themed issue was simply that it featured two blonde Australians – Margo Robbie and Nicole Kidman. Having one to two blonde Australians seems to be a favoured element in American movies and is why in this issue we’ve also reviewed Cats – featuring blonde Australian Rebel Wilson. I do actually recommend watching Bombshell in all its white feminist glory as Charlize Theron is a phenomenal actress but for this review we’ll be keeping things a little closer to home. 

Ronny Chieng International Student is a six-episode miniseries that depicts uni life with startling and hilarious accuracy. The series follows its titular character, Ronny Chieng, as he navigates the perils of undertaking a law degree at Melbourne University. Each of the episodes focuses on a different hallmark of uni life: being told in your first lecture that your degree is extremely competitive and effectively useless, missing out on borrowing the one textbook in the library assigned to a course of hundreds of people, and the long and belligerent quest of getting special consideration and an extension. The mundane struggles of uni life are looked at, laughed at, and eviscerated by a characteristically expressionless Chieng. One of the episodes solely focuses on a two-day cram session in which Ronny abuses cold and flu tablets in order to stay alert enough to study, inevitably resulting in his mental and physical breakdown. If that’s not #relatable I don’t know what is. 

To make a bold statement I’m going to go ahead and state that most home-grown Australian TV shows are shit. This one isn’t. The jokes land because they are accurate. Ronny Chieng survived undertaking a law and commerce degree and lived to tell the tale.