Class of ’07

Can Mean Girls reconnect at a reunion when the apocalypse is on their doorstep?

When a flood isolates a 10 year school reunion at the top of a mountain, the young women of Ridge Heights Catholic Ladies are facing Armageddon -say what?

Yep. Australia doesn’t do too many high concept shows, let alone as dark comedy, but Prime Video’s new Class of ’07 takes a leap into the unknown.

At the centre of this most bizarre universe is Zoe (Emily Browning) who has just gone viral after her failed TV dating appearance ends in humiliation. But trying to drop out of view through a solo rural retreat, her sabbatical is disrupted by bizarre weather phenomenon.

When Zoe flees to a nearby evacuation point at her former school, she stumbles upon a 10 year reunion underway with her former classmates. What are the odds?

Amongst this mostly-Mean Girls crew are Amelia (Megan Smart), a former best friend with whom she has unresolved business, self-made start up entrepreneur Saskia (Caitlin Stasey), Renee (Emma Horn) who is faking her history as a successful doctor, self-centred US expat Sandy (Sarah Krndija) and Phoebe (Steph Tisdell) who is tied to her deadlines and the stock market.

Bernie Van Tiel and Chi Nguyen also feature as double-act observers determined to ‘slay bitches.’

Zoe’s arrival coincides with an apocalyptic moment when the school -and the horizon- are flooded and isolated. It’s as if the world as they know it is submerged leaving them as sole survivors.

Whatever the metaphor, this throng of directionless remnants are forced to come together beyond egos and baggage to survive. That’s a theme heavily tackled through storytelling, from Lord of the Flies to Lost and beyond.

Writer / Director / Producer Kacie Anning serves her perspective through the experiences of the exasperated, misunderstood Zoe, heavily judged by her peers while trying to reconnect with Amelia. And it’s a shit show for her.

Almost everybody is out for their own interests, as if still behaving as bratty schoolgirls, despite the 10 years of presumed growth. Do we all just get worse as we get older? Indeed, amid the unexplained there is hysteria, bullying, and selfish behaviour -I guess anything is possible come the end of civilisation. Even Zoe has a habit of frantically talking to herself, probably to impart necessary backstory.

Amid such mania it’s refreshing when the story changes pace with the stillness of Caitlin Stasey or drama from Megan Smart. I found these served as island respites, a bit like the surviving land mass itself.

Stranded in this odd disaster genre, there are no males to the rescue, which is an admirable approach from Anning. However the biggest challenge may well be around the likeability of the principal characters. A reunion from hell this may well be, but I struggled to care enough for these survivors to want to see how their existence pans out which is a shame when the concept is so bold. Fair point, I am probably not the target audience for that matter.

Special mention goes to Anousha Zarkesh for casting some dead ringer teen actors for flashback scenes and Director of Photography Bruce Young for creating the world of the surviving, gothic college.

Matchbox Pictures is right to shoot for the stars with wild concepts like Class of ’07. Be glad it is Zoe’s world imploding and not your own.

Class of ’07 screens Friday on Prime Video.

One Response

  1. I stumbled across this over the weekend and am finding it gets better. I’m up to episode five now. Some of the characters have developed nicely. Steph Tisdell is a treat as both an actress but also for a casting which could have been bland and white for no real reason.
    I don’t think it’s must-see TV but it’s harmless fun and the characters are all exaggerated reminders of the girls I went to private school with.

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