Please Like Me
Please Like Me is an Australian television comedy drama series created by and starring Josh Thomas. Thomas also serves as a writer for most episodes. The series premiered on 28 February 2013 on ABC2 in Australia. The show explores realistic issues with humorous tones; the executive producer, Todd Abbott, had pitched the show as a drama rather than a sitcom. The show aired later on the United States network Pivot, which then helped to develop the show from its second season onwards. Four seasons of the show have been broadcast, and creator Thomas has stated that he has no plans to make any further episodes. The show has attracted praise from critics and has garnered numerous nominations, winning eight awards.
|Please Like Me|
|Created by||Josh Thomas|
|Written by||Liz Doran
|Directed by||Matthew Saville
Thomas John Ward
|Theme music composer||Clairy Browne & The Bangin' Rackettes|
|Opening theme||I'll Be Fine|
|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||32 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Todd Abbott (2013–2016)
Debbie Lee (2013)
Kevin Whyte (2013–2016)
Belisa Balaban (2015)
Holly A. Hines (2014)
Rick Kalowski (2014–2016)
Jeff Skoll (2014–2016)
Brett Sleigh (2014–2016)
Chris Loveall (2014–2016)
|Producer(s)||Todd Abbott (2013–2016)
Lisa Wang (2015–2016)
|Running time||25 minutes (approx.)|
|Production company(s)||Josh and John Productions|
|Original release||28 February 2013– 14 December 2016|
Please Like Me was chiefly written by Josh Thomas, who also played the main character, Josh. Most episodes were directed by Matthew Saville. Thomas and producer Todd Abbott developed the series together for four years. They held a series of consultation meetings with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Abbott was careful to pitch the series as a drama rather than a sitcom. It portrays a set of circumstances that could happen to a young person but has humorous themes. Thomas envisioned an original show, something he had not seen on television before. The actor, also a known comedian in Australia, wanted honesty in the script and wrote the comedy with that in mind. He also wanted the actors to not intentionally react to the scripted jokes.
In January 2013, The West Australian reported that Please Like Me would air on ABC2. The show had been meant to air on ABC1, but it was decided that the show would be better suited to the digital channel ABC2. The broadcaster stated that the show is aimed at a younger demographic more appropriate for ABC2, while ABC1 caters to all ages. The move was criticised because it was believed to be the result of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation viewing the show's content as "too gay" for their primary channel. The series begins with Josh realising that he is gay and his mother attempting suicide with an overdose of Panadol and Baileys.
In September 2013, ABC1 started running the series on Wednesday nights (10pm), six months after its original ABC2 run.
It was announced in July 2013 that the series would air in the United States as part of the launch programming of Pivot, a new digital cable and satellite television channel which released the first episode of the series online prior to its screening on the channel. It will also offer the series as part of its video on demand service. Pivot also launched a social media website "pleaselikeme.org" for viewers to share personal experiences about breaking stigma and fear of being unliked, in relation to the series.
On 26 July 2013, it was announced that ABC and Pivot had commissioned a second season of the show consisting of ten episodes. The season debuted in its American territory first from 8 August 2014. Producers also added a host of new regular characters to the cast. On 12 July 2014, it was announced that the networking partnership had renewed Please Like Me for a third series also comprising ten episodes. On 7 July 2016, the series was renewed for a fourth season consisting of six episodes. On 2 February 2017, it was announced that season 4 was the final season for the series.
|Main||Actor received "Starring" credit that season|
|Recurring||Actor appears in two or more episodes that season|
|Guest||Actor appears in only one episode that season|
|David Roberts||Alan (Dad)||Main|
|Debra Lawrance||Rose (Mum)||Main|
|John the dog||John||Main|
|Judi Farr||Aunty Peg||Recurring|
|Andrew S. Gilbert||Rod||Recurring|
We first meet Josh in Season 1 as a 20-year-old gay male who is trying to find his place in the world. Although he can be awkward, selfish and unsure of himself, he is also very caring, kind, compassionate, faithful, and honest friend. His closest friend is Tom, who is also his flatmate, and they have a very open friendship and are often brutally honest with one another.
Claire is the ex-girlfriend of Josh. She broke up with him in the pilot episode and told him that she also thinks he is gay. Throughout the series they have remained close friends. There was a short period where she dated Tom, but she realised they were not good together and she moved to Germany to put space between the two of them. Claire returns at the end of the second season but over the time skip prior to season four, she has moved out and is living with her boyfriend Warren.
Tom is Josh's roommate and one of his best friends. Tom is straight and has issues in regards to rejecting women willing to offer him comfort and admiration... and sex. His girlfriends include Niamh, Claire, and Jenny and he has been unfaithful to each of them, sometimes immediately after agreeing to be exclusive. He was in a relationship with Ella that ended at the end of season four, just after they'd moved out together. He sometimes likes to smoke marijuana.
Geoffrey is introduced as Tom's coworker, and is comfortably out of the closet. He takes immediate and sudden interest in Josh from the moment that they meet at Geoffrey's place of work. Geoffrey falls head over heels for Josh, and is unhealthily invested in the relationship, telling Josh that he loves him within a matter of days and outing him to his family against his will. Josh and Geoffrey break up after Josh realizes that he is merely interested in Geoffrey physically, even though Geoffrey is very in love with Josh, admitting to crave his approval. The two reconnect in the second season, after Geoffrey's dad dies, and have a one-night stand in the fourth season after Josh breaks up with Arnold. Geoffrey seemingly realizes after this third attempt that he and Josh do not have good chemistry, and seems to be over him for good.
She is Tom's ex-girlfriend and is extremely insecure and requires a lot of attention. She even went so far as feigning a pregnancy to deceive Tom into a renewed relationship. When confronted by Claire, Niamh confessed that she had not even taken a pregnancy test, she made her determination simply by the fact that her period was late.
Alan is Josh's father. He is divorced from Josh's mother and is in a relationship with Mae. He and Mae have a newborn baby named Grace, whom Josh adores. It is important to Alan that Josh spend time with his half sister so he forces Josh to babysit her one night. Alan admits to Geoffrey when he is intoxicated at one point early in the season that he is still in love with Josh's mother despite being in a relationship with Mae. This is never mentioned again. After Rose's death Mae approaches Josh about Alan being 'too perky'. Alan cries when he hears about this and then even more when Josh tells him that Rose said she was still in love with him.
Rose is Josh's mum. Rose and Alan are divorced. She suffers from bipolar disorder and has tried to commit suicide on more than one occasion. Josh is her pride and joy and she makes sure to play an active role in his life, but at the same time does not smother him. In the fourth season, Rose admitted she still loved her ex-husband, Josh's dad, Alan. In the next episode she committed suicide and was discovered by Josh. Her ashes are in a cookie jar in Josh's new flat.
Mae is Alan's girlfriend and the mother of Grace, Josh's half-sister. She is from a very prominent family in Thailand and is clearly quite cultured. Alan once reveals that Mae is able to speak six different languages and her family has great wealth. Despite these facts, people often assume that she is a mail order bride, which angers Alan greatly and he always defends her honour even though he is not a fighter. Mae is very kind and family means a lot to her, and that includes her stepson, Josh. She shows Josh much support and love, and often chastises Alan for not doing the same. For the most part she gets along well with Rose, except for one occasion where Rose had a bipolar moment. After much urging, she finally convinces Alan to go into semi-retirement as she tells him that she and Grace do not need more money, but they do need more time with Alan.
Hannah was a depressed patient at the hospital with Rose and Arnold. After being discharged, she lived with Rose and became friends with Josh. She briefly takes romantic interest in Rose after moving in with her, and is rejected when trying to kiss her. In the finale of the third season, it was revealed that Hannah is still self-harming. Her birthday is the subject of the second episode of season four in which Josh, Tom, Ella and Arnold take her camping to celebrate. Later in the season, Hannah and Rose fight due to Rose's moody behavior, and Hannah decides to move out, relocating to a trailer where she reconnects with her former girlfriend, Kyah. Hannah blames herself for Rose's suicide.
Patrick is briefly Josh and Tom's roommate, and a romantic interest of Josh's. After slightly unsatisfactory romantic developments in a car, Josh expects more from their relationship, only for Patrick to tell Josh he does not want to have sex with him. Patrick's rejection of him causes Josh's body insecurities to heighten for a few episodes, claiming that Patrick 'finds him repulsive'. Eventually, Josh asks Patrick to move out.
Arnold is Josh's former boyfriend. They met at a party at Josh's house through friends. Arnold is coincidentally staying at the same hospital as Rose. Arnold and Josh's relationship is turbulent, and constantly caused Arnold's anxiety to flare up. Arnold comes out to his family as a result of his relationship with Josh, and Josh learns how to help manage Arnold's anxiety. At Arnold's request, they define themselves as an "open relationship," which causes two major rifts in their relationship—most notably in regards to a failed threesome they attempt at the beginning of season four. Josh breaks up with Arnold following Josh's admission that he no longer connects with the person Arnold has evolved into. Afterwards, Arnold begins a relationship with Kyle, the third man in their "threesome", who only had eyes for Arnold.
Initially a recurring character throughout the third season, Ella was Tom's long-term girlfriend. They met one night while Josh, Tom and Arnold were partying under the influence of MDMA. She is upbeat, enthusiastic, and empathetic. Ella breaks up with Tom at the end of the fourth season, just after they began to move into their new apartment.
Peg is the aunt of Rose and the grand-aunt of Josh. She is an avid churchgoer, and attempts to coerce Josh (an atheist) into coming with her to church when she sees him kissing Geoffrey outside a party. At the service, however, she is overcome with anger that the preacher is discussing homosexuality in such negative terms, and promptly leaves. Peg dies in the first season, and her wake is held on Josh's birthday.
Rod is Rose's ex-boyfriend. He is clearly awful and is sometimes offensive, but Rose is glad for the company and attention. They met on an online dating website but did not continue a relationship for very long. Rose breaks up with him at Peg's funeral.
Ginger is a flamboyant patient at the same hospital as Rose, Hannah and Arnold. After a rough start, she and Rose become two peas in a pod. Ginger is the driving force that keeps them all occupied and amused while at the hospital, though she often achieves this by being incredibly bossy, pushing them into things they are not willing to do initially. She commits suicide in season two.
Steve is Arnold's older and more successful brother. He is incredibly brash, sometimes unsavourably so. Arnold is jealous of his success, and his outgoing behavior. Despite this, during Arnold's coming out, Steve is very supportive of his younger brother, immediately guessing that he is coming out, claiming to have known all along having had the unsavory task of deleting his internet porn history.
Jenny is a former girlfriend of Tom's. She was still in high school (much younger than Tom), which Tom was often teased about. She is very easygoing initially, which Tom finds very attractive. She is as immature as might be expected for her age, but she is still possibly more mature than Tom. Jenny has a love of rabbits, leading Tom to purchase a rabbit for them to care for as a couple -however, the rabbit promptly dies after a mere two weeks. Jenny breaks up with Tom after he and his friends were rude, drunk and immature after watching her school play.
Stuart is a patient at the same hospital of Rose was. He and Rose have an affair at the hospital, despite Stuart being married. He proceeds to stalk Rose afterwards but eventually stops after a tense confrontation at Rose's home.
Ben is a one-night stand of Josh's during the initial stages of his open relationship with Arnold. Ben is later hospitalized, facing a possibly life-threatening surgery, causing a dilemma for Josh as to whether or not it is appropriate to visit him. Josh ends up doing so, which frustrates Arnold and creates the defining rift in their relationship. Josh later tries to get back in contact with Ben, but he has begun a relationship with a woman, identifying as sexually fluid.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||6||28 February 2013||28 March 2013|
|2||10||12 August 2014||14 October 2014|
|3||10||15 October 2015||17 December 2015|
|4||6||9 November 2016||14 December 2016|
Anthony D. Langford from AfterElton.com said that he "absolutely loved this charming series. It’s funny and sweet and has plenty of heart." He also praised Thomas's portrayal of Josh and wished that US broadcasters could emulate the show's format. He later said that he would miss the show and hoped a second season would be commissioned. He added that he did not want to say goodbye to Josh's world. Andrew Mast, writing for Music.com.au, praised Briggs's "naturalistic performances" and the inclusion of accomplished actress Farr. He concluded that Thomas's writing was good and comedic, but the on-screen delivery did not meet his expectations. David Knox from TV Tonight praised the performances of many cast members. He opined that the dynamic between Josh and his parents created a "very rich comedic terrain" for the show. He added that Please Like Me displays "a confidence that delivers laughs, pathos and insight".
Colin Vickery and Darren Devlyn News.com.au said that it "has a sweetness that sets it apart from other boundary-pushing comedies". Giles Hardie from The Age praised the show for "breaking new ground" and not making stereotypes of gay characters. He viewed the comedy as being genuine without feeling like a sitcom. He noted that coming out and attempted suicide are given humour without the gags. Hardie concluded that Josh, his family and friends were "incredibly well" played. His colleague Scott Ellis believed that Please Like Me was an important show and the type of material the ABC should be investing more in. He also branded it "gentle" and insightful when covering "tough ground". Fellow critic Craig Mathieson also agreed that the show's darker moments are some of the most humorous and compared it to US show Louie. Please Like Me received an invitation to screen at the Series Mania Television Festival in Paris.
The A.V. Club regarded season 2 of Please Like Me as one of the year's best shows, praising the camera work and Josh's performance. The Guardian praised Please Like Me's "unconventional writing".
Awards and nominationsEdit
|Year||Award||Category||Recipients and nominees||Result|
|2013||Australian Writers Guild Awards||Best Writing in a Comedy: Situation or Narrative||Josh Thomas, Liz Doran and Thomas Ward – Series 1, Episode 3 'Portuguese Custard Tarts'||Won|
|Josh Thomas, Liz Doran and Thomas Ward – Series 1, Episode 5 'Spanish Eggs'||Nominated|
|2014||3rd AACTA Awards||Best Television Comedy Series||Please Like Me – Todd Abbott||Won|
|Best Performance in a Television Comedy||Josh Thomas||Nominated|
|Best Direction in a Television Drama or Comedy||Matthew Saville – Series 1, Episode 3 'Portuguese Custard Tarts'||Nominated|
|GLAAD Media Awards||Outstanding Comedy Series||Please Like Me||Nominated|
|Australian Directors Guild Awards||Best Direction: TV Comedy||Matthew Saville||Won|
|Rose d'Or||Sitcom||Please Like Me||Nominated|
|Logie Awards||Most Outstanding Light Entertainment Program||Please Like Me||Nominated|
|International Emmy Award||Best Comedy Series||Please Like Me||Nominated|
|Australian Screen Editors Awards||Best Editing in a Television Comedy||Julie-Anne De Ruvo – Season 2, Episode 2 'Ham'||Nominated|
|2015||4th AACTA Awards||Best Television Comedy Series||Please Like Me – Todd Abbott, Josh Thomas and Kevin Whyte||Nominated|
|Best Direction in a Television Drama or Comedy||Matthew Saville – Series 2, Episode 7 'Scroggin'||Nominated|
|Best Screenplay in Television||Josh Thomas – Series 2, Episode 7 'Scroggin'||Won|
|Best Performance in a Television Comedy||Debra Lawrance||Won|
|Best Sound in Television||John Wilkinson and Simon Rosenberg – Series 2, Episode 7 'Scroggin'||Nominated|
|Logie Awards||Most Popular Actor||Josh Thomas, Please Like Me||Nominated|
|Most Outstanding Comedy Program||Please Like Me||Nominated|
|GLAAD Media Awards||Outstanding Comedy Series||Please Like Me||Nominated|
|Australian Writers Guild Awards||Best Writing in a Comedy: Situation or Narrative||Josh Thomas – Series 2, Episode 7 'Scroggin'||Won|
|Australian Directors Guild Awards||Best Direction in a TV Comedy||Matthew Saville – Series 2, Episode 7 'Scroggin'||Won|
|Australian Screen Editors Awards||Best Editing in a Television Comedy||Julie-Anne De Ruvo – Please Like Me (Series 2)||Won|
|Screen Producers Australia Awards||Comedy Television Production of the Year||Please Like Me Season 2, Guesswork Television||Won|
|Prism Awards||Comedy Episode or Multi-Episode Storyline||Please Like Me Season 2 (Pivot)||Nominated|
|Dorian Awards||LGBTQ TV Show of the Year||Please Like Me (Pivot)||Nominated|
|Unsung TV Show of the Year||Please Like Me (Pivot)||Nominated|
|2016||GLAAD Media Awards||Outstanding Comedy Series||Please Like Me (Pivot)||Nominated|
|Logie Awards||Best Actor||Josh Thomas, Please Like Me||Nominated|
|Most Outstanding Comedy Program||Please Like Me||Nominated|
|Australian Writers Guild Awards||Best Writing in a Comedy: Situation or Narrative||Josh Thomas – Season 3, 'Coq au Vin'||Nominated|
|Josh Thomas and Liz Doran – Season 3, 'Pancakes with Faces'||Won|
|Josh Thomas, Liz Doran and Thomas Ward – Season 3, 'Simple Carbohydrates'||Nominated|
|Australian Screen Editors Awards||Best Editing in a Comedy||Julie-Anne De Ruvo – Please Like Me, Season 3 – Episode 10||Won|
|Screen Producers Australia Awards||Comedy Television Production of the Year||Please Like Me Season 3, Guesswork Television||Nominated|
|Prism Awards||Comedy Episode or Multi-Episode Storyline||Please Like Me Season 3 (Pivot)||Nominated|
|6th AACTA Awards||Best Television Comedy Series||Please Like Me – Todd Abbott, Josh Thomas, Lisa Wang and Kevin Whyte||Nominated|
|2017||Logie Awards||Most Outstanding Supporting Actress||Debra Lawrance||Won|
|Most Outstanding Comedy Program||Please Like Me||Won|
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