Australia, Land of Mineral Exports

Pivot, launching August 1st, is a new television network from Participant Media serving passionate Millennials (18-34) with a diverse slate of talent and a mix of original series, acquired programming, films and documentaries. Pivot focuses on entertainment that sparks conversation, inspires change and illuminates issues through engaging content, and its website TakePart.com to continue the conversation and connect audiences to a wealth of content and customizable actions. Pivot is also changing the media landscape, available via traditional Pay TV subscription to 40 million-plus homes and integrates a Live and on demand streaming option via its interactive, downloadable Pivot APP. In both content and delivery, Pivot is TV for The New Greatest Generation. Follow Pivot on Twitter at @pivot_tv and on Facebook at facebook.com/pivottelevision.

We point this out because it’s handy to have in mind when you read this:

Which does not qualify as good news in our book.

All we can do at this stage is take note of the way the US network that’s picking up the tab here calls itself “TV for The New Greatest Generation”. Which certainly seems to fit in with the attitude expressed by Please Like Me during its initial run. “Passionate Millennials”? Good luck getting those guys to look away from their tumblr porn long enough to realise you’re on the air.

Less sarcastically, it’s fairly clear that this is a new network desperately looking for US-friendly programming and Thomas’ show fit the bill. Thomas’ bizarre accent finally pays off!

This is actually bad new for Thomas as well, or at least it is if you share our opinion that he may have talent but he’s in no way ready to be single-handedly crafting his own sitcom. This is pretty much the same thing that happened to Chris Lilley: both young and moderately talented, they were handed too much power too quickly and their poor habits – largely revolving around their self-obsession and the way it prevented them from actually being funny outside of “cringe comedy” – solidified. Insert snarky comment about “typical Millennials” here*.

Now it’s 2013 and all Lilley knows how to do is ask people to take him seriously when he’s dressing up as guys half his age: having now staked his entire career on being a “millennial”, Thomas is going to struggle once he outgrows his boy-man image. Yeah, we’re sure he’s all broken up about that; he’s just got a big time US sitcom deal. Now he can finally join that elite group of Aussie comics who’ve made it big in America: Chris Lilley and the guy in the dog suit from Wilfred. Congratulations, you’ll fit right in.

 

 

 

 

*this whole “self-obsessed Millennials” thing is crap anyway. Some people are always going to be self-obsessed; younger people are often self-obsessed but grow out of it. Probably part of the reason why Lilley has a devoted fanbase of teenagers is because his self-obsession speaks to them, especially as he’s gone from making fun of that kind of thing (early Ja’ime) to reveling in it (all of Angry Boys).

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13 Comments

  • Andrew says:

    “Passionate Millennials” — sounds like some sort of exotic garden plant.

  • Matlock says:

    10 episodes?! They barely maintained 6?!

    THE HORROR……THE HORROR.

  • Kevin says:

    It’s also a complete start-up in the States, with no pre-existing audience, so there’s no guarantee that this is going to be ‘making it’ in the US for Thomas. I have no idea if Please Like Me has any audience in the States already but I’d suspect any fanbase there would be miniscule.

    But hell, at least ABC isn’t paying for all of this crap again. I only watched the first two episodes but it was one of the dullest, slowest and most poorly acted comedy series’ I’ve ever seen.

  • Jimbo says:

    Hey, you forgot to mention Rebel Wilson as having made it big in the USA, although the reviews for her latest sitcom (Super Fun Night) were universally scathing, so I suspect she’ll be back in Oz soon for Bogan Pride Part 2. Perhaps Pivot TV can get series 3 of Laid up and running.

    What the hell is Josh going to put in 10 episodes? He could not even fill 6. How about some more jokes he downloaded off the net or stole from The Big Bang Theory? Here are some ideas:

    -Josh is rejected by a hottie in a gay bar because his cock is uncut. So he gets circumcised and spends the whole episode hobbling around. Won’t that be fun!

    -Josh is getting it on with a new hottie, but they don’t have any lube, so they both have to make lube from common household items (eg. cleaning products, stuff in the fridge, tomato sauce, etc)

    -Josh wants to participate in the Mardi Gras on a huge float representing the taxpayers who fund unfunny sitcoms, but Marieke Hardy has beaten him to it with her own float called “Friends of the ABC”.

    -Josh accidentally eats something in the fridge belonging to someone else, then spends the whole month just looking awkward because he can’t face up to the existential dilemma of living with the faux pas of having violated share-house rules.

    That should be enough to give him 10 new episodes. Heck, he could probably get TWO new series out of all that.

  • 13 schoolyards says:

    Hey Jimbo, we’re not going to make this some kind of official warning or anything, but considering the show Thomas actually made was about awkward relationships (that in his case happened to be homosexual) rather than wacky gay sex mishaps, you might want to focus your satire in a slightly different direction.

    We’re going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you don’t like him because he’s not funny, not because he’s gay. Let us know if we’re wrong and we can stop publishing your comments.

  • Urinal Cake says:

    Pretty much. Though this may be a good thing. Thomas going up against some hard headed and hearted corporates rather the roll overs at the ABC might actually improve the show.

    I expect he’ll throw a tantrum if this happens however going by past form.

  • Jimbo says:

    Chill out. There’s nothing spiteful or malicious or homophobic in my comments. They would not be out of place in one of Josh’s own standup routines (have you actually seen Josh live? He talks about stuff like this). In fact, I bet you some of these ideas do actually end up in series 2 of Please Like Me (comedians do actually read forums like this one – I posted a whole stack of sarcastic cliched ideas for House Husbands a year ago on another forum and most of them did actually end up in series 2).

    It’s not as if I’m proposing an episode where he goes on a holiday to Iran and gets publicly executed. That would be spiteful. For the record I don’t have anything against gay people – one of my favourite shows of all time was Queer As Folk.

  • 13 schoolyards says:

    You do realise there’s a difference between Thomas making those jokes about himself and you making those jokes about him, right?

    Also, just a suggestion, but when we ask you to tone down your comments on a comment thread hosted on our blog, “chill out” might not be the best way to kick off your reply.

  • Jimbo says:

    OK, sorry. Please delete this thread. In hindsight it was inappropriate (although, you do have to admit, it was quite funny).

  • BIlly C says:

    I think this is actually good news. With Wilfred, Angry Boys, this… the Straights being remade, even Kath and Kim it means that Australia is being looked at more as a source of content. Hopefully something good can be sold or remade soon.

  • simbo says:

    A tantrum? You’re assuming Thomas is particularly going to get interested in artistic integrity all of a sudden and … I kinda expect him to be thoroughly “thanks for the money”. Yes, he’ll probably bitch about it minorly in standup if it does not give him a wild degree of success … but that’s not so much a tantrum as just someone knowing when they’ve got material.

  • Urinal Cake says:

    I agree with you he’s always been more about the money than ‘artistry’ but his complaining is more about his ‘brand’ rather than being an ‘auteur’. And the line between ‘brand’ and ‘auteur’ is fairly narrow nowadays.

    Thomas knows he’s basically got the tumblr market fixed up and PLM pushed all their buttons. He could’ve made something more ‘commercial’ (though personally I don’t think he has the talent) and appeared on ABC1 (instead of bitching about being on ABC2) but stuck to his ‘dramedy’ label (which is tag for, ‘too sophisticated for the plebs- from a hipster’). Then he can appear on ‘Celebrity Splash’ as, ‘Isn’t it funny that I’m so awkward on this naff show’ and still promote his brand.

  • Matlock says:

    5 of the 10 episodes will just be 2 minutes of awkward conversation followed by 25 minutes of an awkward silence.