Depression. Pastries. Queer sex. Whether you like Sylvia Plath, cooking shows or the gay section of Pornhub, this show will satisfy all of your desires.
Please Like Me. No, it’s not just my yearbook signature, it’s also the name of a transversive Australian show that you show watch immediately.
The show follows Josh Thomas, a narcissistic comedian who manages to be adorable yet completely self-absorbed. At age 20, after dating a gorgeous woman for years, he realizes he is gay. (He also realizes that his mother is suicidal, but we’ll come back to that.)
Over the next four years, Josh explores all avenues of sexuality, from hookups to Craigslist dates to monogamy to polyamory to failed threesomes. There is a lot of crying during sex. But he’s usually not the one crying.
His friends, Tom (Thomas Ward), Claire (Caitlin Stasey) and Hannah (Hannah Gadsby) also experiment with their sexuality. Hannah is a wry lesbian who manages to win beautiful women despite her inability to crack a smile or socialize for more than 5 minutes. Tom dates a barely-legal high schooler with a bunny fetish while Claire moves to Germany and back again before settling down with an older man.
It’s hard to write a funny story about depression. Writers usually ending up making it either too lighthearted or too, well, depressing – but Please Like Me strikes the perfect balance between humor and pain.
The humor stems from the way the characters handle their mental illnesses, not from the mental illnesses themselves. Somehow, you’ll find yourself laughing at depression, suicide attempts, panic disorders, self-harm, fetishes, cheating and loneliness. Lots of loneliness. Please Like Me taps into the loneliness inside all of us. While watching this show I felt simultaneously close to the characters and more alone and hopeless than I’ve ever been. But hopelessness is okay as long as you’ve got laughter. That’s what Josh believes, anyway.
Nothing really happens in Please Like Me. Things occur in general – Josh dates a man who could spontaneously die of a brain aneurism, Tom meets a girl while taking LSD, Hannah reconnects with her ex-girlfriend in a trailer while her best friend commits suicide – but, unlike general sitcoms that have a clear driving plotline, there is none.
Characters live. Characters die. In the middle, they just try to figure out life and cook the most delectable pastries they can.
Start bingeing Please Like Me here.
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