Can we please talk about the TV show Please Like Me?
It’s not a new show (piloted in 2013; is ‘piloted’ a real word?), and I only stumbled across this show a week or two ago on Netflix.
I have to be very honest here, I’m a bit ADD, which means when I watch anything at home I either fidget with something or I play some brainless game on my phone. You’re right, I don’t focus and I miss a lot. This could be why it took me a while to get into this show. The characters are unbelievably hilarious, but no one delivers a punch line like it’s a punch line. There are no awkward pauses or raising their voices to announce the arrival of a gif-able golden punch line. The funniest parts of the show are in fact delivered in such way that if you don’t pay attention, you will miss it completely.
Please Like Me
After breaking up with his girlfriend, Josh comes to the realization that he is homosexual.
Gay. I’m just going to call him gay, ok? He calls himself gay on the show. It’s okay to state that he’s gay, right?
So Josh realises he’s gay, and we come to learn that his parents are divorced: his father is dating a Thai girl, and his mother depressed. Sounds a little like Modern Family doesn’t it?
I believe the two shows have very different objectives, and the tone of Please Like Me is massively different from the loud, obvious humour of Modern Family. Apart from the quirky subtle humour, the show takes on a very nonchalant portrayal of all the themes addressed. It is what it is. It’s not about making a big show out of some hot PC issue as if they are doing the world a favour. The writers focus on the context around these so-called issues, and through this they highlight what really matters – that everyone has their own battles. It’s not about Rose being depressed, it’s what actually goes on in her life.
It is so refreshing to see all these topics explored in a way that doesn’t rub it in your face and make you feel shit for being uncomfortable. I’ll warn you, there are sex scenes, gay sex scenes; yet it’s not shot for the wow factor. Without making a huge deal out of it, the show does us the favour of allowing us to see the characters just as people. By focusing on what comes across as the more trivial matters (insecurities, anxieties, family drama), the brilliant writers show us so much more of what the ‘larger themes’ such as sexuality and depression are really like.
If you haven’t seen the show already, obviously you’re less cool than I am – which says a lot because I’m a grandma – and you need to go see it. It is heart warming, it is heart breaking, it is hilarious, it asks big questions, but it comforts you. You realise it’s okay, it’s what being alive is like. The characters teach us to laugh it off without undermining any of the burdens we carry.
Tell me what you think!