Happy 2017, y’all! If your holidays were anything like mine, they started with grand aspirations to accomplish much shizz that inevitably turn into an endless string of bingewatches. Lucky for me, Netflix-and-far-too-chill led to my discovery of a hilarious gem in the Australian comedy Please Like Me.
Please Like Me actually started airing in 2013, so it’s like, where tf have I been? But being a latecomer to the bandwagon just means there are already several seasons to enjoy! (Although it won’t take very long to watch, since these are short seasons of half-hour episodes.)
Josh (Josh Thomas) has just gotten dumped by Claire (Caitlin Stasey, Reign). But it’s cool and they still remain best friends, along with Josh’s roommate, Tom (Thomas Ward). Josh and Claire never would have worked out anyway, because, well, Josh has only now realized that he’s gay. Not only is he figuring out his sexuality, but Josh also has to take care of his mother (Debra Lawrance) after her suicide attempt.
… yes, I did say this was a comedy, although obvi one with dramatic elements. And tackling heavy issues with a humourous touch is one of the many things Please Like Me does so well. Here are just a few more reasons why I fell in love with this show.
1. The Theme Song
Consuming as many North American pop culture as I do, TV shows with opening sequences longer than a title card are rarities. And rarer still are ones that’ll put you into a good mood with its infectious energy like Please Like Me‘s, which is impossible to hear without at least shoulder-dancing and foot-tapping. (Listen to the full song here.)
2. John the Dog
Confession: I am not an animal person. I’m partial to my friends’ pets, but that’s about as much enthusiasm as I can muster towards animals with whom I’ve accumulated a decade’s worth of incidental interactions. John the Dog, however, I LOVE. Or his TV counterpart anyway, who’s super chill and adorable. I also thought that I didn’t care for animals in costumes, but JOHN THE DOG HAS PROVED ME WRONG YET AGAIN.
3. Food Porn
Each episode is named after a food or drink that appears in it, and it’s often something made by Josh. 10/10 would buy a Please Like Me cookbook.
4. I Understood That Reference
If you like pop culture cues from the late ’90s/early ’00s as much as I do — and LOL, why wouldn’t you; they’re great, and this is FYA, after all — then this show’s pop culture vernacular will be right in your wheelhouse. I especially love the timely (relative to when I watched) take on one particular polarizing holiday classic.
5. The Long Game
You know how fictional characters are sometimes quirky for the sake of quirk? A couple of my favourite moments are the result of looooong setups — ones that didn’t even occur to me were setups when they were first introduced — that are so worth the payoff.
6. ‘Taboo’ Topics
Given the premise, mental health is significantly featured on the show, with different facets being explored through characters beyond Josh’s
mom mum. Slight spoiler ahead: there’s also a sensitive depiction of an abortion. (As a person with a uterus, it’s come to my attention that I’m super ignorant on the process itself, since I had mainly associated them with D&Cs and I actually learned a little bit about medical abortions from this show.)
7. It’s Quietly Groundbreaking
This is essentially a 20-something hangout comedy with a gay main character. A few times during my bingewatch, I noticed how long it had gone without, like, hetero romantic displays of affection. Which was kind of amazing and perfectly OK.
8. Oh, Hey — It’s Also Funny
I don’t want to step on too many jokes, so I’ll only include one.
Have you watched Please Like Me yet? Let’s convo in the comments!