PLEASE LIKE ME: Premiere Review
Josh Thomas’ ABC2 comedy, PLEASE LIKE ME, premiered last night with a double episode and it brought the laughs. Funny, awkward and endearing, every character is someone you know and the stories feel fresh.
I was slightly skeptical approaching this new comedy, I wasn’t sold on Josh Thomas being an actor, but after about ten minutes I was laughing out loud and couldn’t even remember what I was worried about.
The writing is great, you immediately get a sense of who the characters are and understand the situation without too much unnecessary exposition. Of course there’s a few clumsy lines thrown in here and there to establish relationships (Josh’s parents divorce), but those are minor things that tend to be present in all pilots.
I especially enjoyed a conversation between Josh and his ex-girlfriend Claire (Caitlin Stasey) by the vending machine. It was a playful conversation about a serious issue, both characters managing to laugh off the probing questions. It helped the audience figure out what Josh and Claire’s relationship use to be without revisiting flashbacks or wasting time following their relationship in the beginning. I can really dive into a show when the conversations are convincing and I don’t feel like I’m viewing cut-outs from similar series.
Please Like Me finds its comedy in the exchanges between the characters but underneath it all the series deals with important issues such as mental illness and sexuality. I like that the series doesn’t overtly state this or preach. The characters are going about their lives and these issues are a part of it but it never feels like they take over. It is giving an interesting perspective to a more tolerant look at sexuality and acceptance of mental illness, but I think we’re going to see Aunt Peggy exhibit the opposition at a later point.
Josh Thomas’ acting is surprising, I think his physical awkwardness really enhances his character and makes it enjoyable to watch. All the supporting characters were amusing as well, Geoffrey (Wade Briggs) in his naive presence and Neeve was hilarious in her insanity (she must be an only child).
The writing is sharp and the characters are real. I hope this series receives some promising ratings so we can look forward to some more local comedy making it to our screens. Like A Moody Christmas last year, I think ABC are on to another winner, well at least in my opinion.
New Episode Thursday @ 9:30pm on ABC2. Check out a promo for next week’s ep below.
Words by Dan