Please Like Me: a Review

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Please Like Me is an Australian TV show that was picked up this summer by CBC when it aired the first 2 seasons. It is the creation of Josh Thomas who is a wonderful young comedic talent. The show is based on his award-winning stand-up comedy, which mines his life for material. This TV show is sweet, romantic and very, very funny. I had read about it in Entertainment Weekly magazine, the A.V. Club’s reviews and then it got a shout out on NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. Before long, I was intrigued, but I missed it when it aired on the CBC. So I decided to buy the first episode on iTunes. I was smitten and promptly bought the first 2 seasons. It is amazing how quickly I can burn through 16 episodes (almost 7 hours) when I have a week off work. This show kept me on the treadmill and in the kitchen chopping things and cooking up meals days in advance.

 

Not only does he produce and write the show, Josh Thomas stars as Josh, a young university student who is almost 21 years old. We first meet him as he is being dumped by his long-time girlfriend because they have “drifted” and according to her, he is gay. He seeks solace from his best friend and housemate, Tom (Thomas Ward, Josh Thomas’ best friend in real life) and a new friend, Geoffrey. His divorced parents are around, but they are of little help with troubles of their own.

 

This show is aimed at an older audience. There is no laugh track. It has super funny dialogue spoken in wonderful Australian accents, plenty of visual gags and a charming cast of distinctly quirky characters. It is a coming of age story that deals with insecurity, sexuality, mental health, dysfunctional families, romance and relationships (gay and straight, young and old). Oh yes, I almost forgot, there is an underlying love of food and cooking peppered throughout. This is a show with lots of heart and I especially admire its realist depiction of mental illness. It refuses to pretend to have easy answers. I can’t wait for CBC to air the 3rd season, which is currently airing in Australia on the Australian Broadcasting Corp and in the USA on Pivot Network. In the meantime I am watching it again with my daughters. The first episode had them begging for more.

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