Why am I so late these days in discovering new shows? I swear, if I spent half the time perusing a TV Guide that I spend filling my mind with pointless celebrity drivel, I wouldn’t be having this problem. Anyineedtosetmyprioritiesstraight, yesterday, I was introduced to this new-ish Australian show called Please Like Me. The show pretty much follows the life of Josh Thomas, a sort of less-than-normal, socially awkward twenty year old who finally and suddenly comes to terms with his homosexuality after breaking up with his girlfriend of forever. In a slightly odd twist, the show was created by the star of the series, whose name really is Josh Thomas. I suppose that possibly makes it semi-autobiographical… but I’m really just guessing here.
This show seems very much to me to be a kind of gay Girls. I know a lot of people say that Looking is the gay Girls, but I’ve never seen any real similarities between those two shows – except that maybe they both follow a group of friends. But holy hell, what show doesn’t? If that’s the premise for two shows to be compared, why not call Jersey Shore the Italian Girls? However, Please Like Me reminds me of Girls for distinct reasons. For one, the creator of the show is also the star of the show… Lena Dunham, anyone? Secondly, in both cases, this creator-star is written as a highly flawed character, who sometimes comes off as charming, but is mostly so infuriatingly self-involved that they just appear as a borderline narcissistic sociopath. That being said, I actually really love both these characters: Josh Thomas of Please Like Me and Lena Dunham’s Hanna Horvath of Girls.
Newly single (and newly out) Josh Thomas soon finds “love” with the handsome Geoffrey, played by Wade Briggs. This pairing has garnered some criticism from viewers, who have called it “unrealistic” because of the physical differences of the two guys. I think that’s rubbish. I mean, hello, not all good-looking gay guys are narrow-minded arrogant pretty boys who only look for partners who are as conventionally handsome as they are! Why shouldn’t Geoffrey be interested in Josh for reasons deeper than his face? Either way, the show itself often pokes fun at this so-called “unrealism”, pointing out Geoffrey’s quintessential good looks and muscular physique in contrast to Josh’s average boy-next-door appearance. I think the real problem between the two characters is that Josh is obviously a very emotionally unavailable person, while Geoffrey is a lot more sensitive… almost too needy, to be honest.
I’ve got tons and tons of opinions on this show, but I won’t go on, because this post is going to be frustratingly long. Just take my advice that it’s a fun, quirky show, though it is able to portray more interesting complexities – example, Josh’s depressed and suicidal mother; the loveless relationship that his best friend is in; his father’s unwillingness to let go of the memory of his marriage, although he is in another relationship with a younger Thai woman with whom he is obviously in love. My greatest criticism (so far) is that the first season only has six episodes and they’re a half hour each. I mean, what the hell?! I literally went through the entire first season last night alone. However, it was recently announced that the show was picked up for a second season, so here’s hoping that the number of episodes increases. Please Like Me, there’s no need to ask… I already do.