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Class of ’07 on Amazon Prime – will the real apocalypse be this insufferable?

During the ten-year reunion of an all-girls high school, a group of women are faced with tidal waves: both emotional and literal.

Amazon Prime Video’s new Australian comedy Class of ’07 opens with a painfully obvious homage to The Bachelor.

This version of the dating reality program commonly referred to as ‘The Bachie’ is called The Match, and features our protagonist Zoe vying for the love of her ‘match’ (an ordinary looking white dude). But the fantasy doesn’t last long. After gearing up for her primetime happily-ever-after, Zoe is promptly broken up with, insulted by the producers, and shat on by a white ceremonial dove.

This aptly sets the tone for Class of ’07: a show that revolves around perfectionist fantasies being shattered in disastrous ways.

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Years after the Match incident, Zoe is hiding out like a hermit when an unfortunate incident (read: the imminent flooding of the world) draws her out of her hovel and into her ten-year high-school reunion. Now, she needs to navigate the apocalypse with her cohort of former classmates – the one group of people she hoped never to see again.

Led by Emily Browning (American Gods, A Series of Unfortunate Events), this story of a reunion gone so very, very wrong brings together a tight cast, snappy dialogue, and a sizeable budget in the hopes of making a comedy hit. But will it sink or swim?

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Gasping for air

What’s immediately noticeable about Class of ’07 is its narrow appeal. Littered with jokes about 2007-era pop culture and full of references to all-girls private schools, this series will be difficult to get into for anyone not situated squarely in the demographic of ‘female, elder millennial, private-school attendee’.

It’s very likely then that due to me being a ‘non-binary elder millennial who went to a mixed public school’, I found this show to be rather insufferable. My school didn’t even bother to organise a reunion, so the whole concept seems completely alien to me. I just want to get that admission out of the way, because it’s quite possible this show will become a favourite of certain audiences craving some easy watching.

Emily Browning as Zoe and Megan Smart as Amelia. Image: Prime Video

Class of ’07 has some unexpected influences thrown in with its 2000s references (Mean Girls, Veronica Mars etc.) – the one the stood out to me was The White Lotus. While the girls are stranded inside their old high school, things turn hostile quickly, and class disparity becomes obvious, informing their ongoing survival dynamic. That’s not the most obvious Lotus comparison though: the score is almost a direct rip of the HBO show, complete with an echoing chorus vocalising over minimalist orchestration.

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When the show tries to be funny, which is often, the jokes are too obvious, and often sound like quotes you can get custom-printed on activewear for wine mums. Most of the lead characters still act like teenagers, despite being 28, which has no legitimate explanation. And the emotional beats rely heavily on collective nostalgia for the early 2000s, which is risky.

But Class of ’07 has a few good things going for it: namely in the form of no-nonsense, whip-smart Phoebe (Steph Tisdell), the quotable stoner girls Megan (Chi Nguyen) and Tegan (Bernie Van Tiel), and a banger soundtrack full of Aussie bands.

Around episode three the show finally hits its emotional core and starts focusing on the central relationship between (former) best friends Zoe and Amelia. With this turning point there is plenty of potential for a better, more relatable story – perhaps even an Australian feminist classic that people will actually care about.

Class of ’07 premieres on Prime Video on 17 March.

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2 out of 5 stars

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Silvi Vann-Wall is a journalist, podcaster, and filmmaker. They joined ScreenHub as Film Content Lead in 2022. Twitter: @SilviReports