PLEASE LIKE ME: Season Finale Review
Dealing with the notion of death within comedy is always a tricky situation to find that balance between the laughs and the sentimentality. PLEASE LIKE ME ended its first season with sorrowful goodbye and a startling breakdown.
The main thing I noticed watching the season finale is that this episode didn’t feel like any of the previous ones. Not only did it delve into the idea of death/loss but the episode also revisited Rose’s depression which we got a glimpse of in the premiere then was only glossed over in the rest of the series. The final two scenes with Josh and his mother were the most powerful and redeemed what was a somewhat average episode.
Josh is struggling with the fact he hasn’t cried since Aunt Peg died, at first I thought we weren’t going to see Josh cry at all but then we saw it later in a very awkward moment between Josh and his family. I think this was an interesting part of the episode, it’s interesting how when someone dies, we see others around us react and question whether we’re reacting in the right way – ‘Am I crying enough?’ ‘Am I thinking about them enough?’ – Sometimes that gets in the way of realising what’s actually happened.
Alan and Mae are still together and NOT moving to Thailand, Rose and Mae have a friendly exchange and it seems Alan and Rose’s issues with one another have taken a backseat, at least for now. Alan and Rod come to blows when Rod makes a few ignorant comments about Mae, the whole scene played out like boys in a schoolyard and Alan put on some tough man persona that I don’t think really suited his character at all.
Niamh (I was writing Neeve, in previous articles) was at the funeral for some reason. It seems like the writers addressed their own problem with her presence when Rose asked her to leave the wake because she didn’t know why she was there. Neither did I, but I guess her character has always just been there for something ridiculous to laugh at, props to the wardrobe department for the unnecessary feather on Niamh’s head.
I found the scene where Tom found Josh crying at the table extremely awkward. I first thought Josh was trying to make himself cry by making a sobbing noise before I realised that was his version of crying. The acting in the scene kind of let me down. Tom’s inherent awkwardness didn’t help and the fact Rose didn’t even try to console her own son when she saw him crying just made it all the worse.
We saw Josh and Geoffrey break up for good. I’m happy we finally ended this tumultuous relationship. It’s interesting in all this that Josh hasn’t really grown up but the characters around him seemed to have moved on in some way or another. If the show does get a second season it’ll be interesting to see Josh and Geoffrey’s friendship still exists.
The final two scenes with Josh and his mother were great moments. Josh finding his mother in the kitchen without her pants and passed out was chilling. I was scared for a moment that Josh had lost another woman in his life but luckily Rose was still lucid. Their conversation felt real and I thought Josh looked genuinely concerned for his poor mother. One of my favourite aspects of the first episode was Rose’s condition and I was happy it was revisited in the final moments.
This series brought the laughs and some real heartfelt moments, while it’s not perfect, it’s doing things other TV series in Australia aren’t attempting. The main channels in the country are just making carbon copies of each other shows and pumping out any kind of formula they feel will be ratings giants. While Please Like Me wasn’t a ratings giant, or even a ratings average-sized man, it didn’t try to be like everything else on our screens and I appreciate that.
I hope we see a second season because I’d really like to see where Josh Thomas could take us next.
Words by Dan