What’s The Matter With Kids These Days?

Well, guess we all knew this day was coming:

PRODUCTION STARTS ON SEASON TWO OF

JOSH THOMAS’ PLEASE LIKE ME

New cast announced as season one wins AACTA and receives GLAAD nomination.

Production is underway in Melbourne on the highly anticipated second season of Josh Thomas’ award-winning comedy drama Please Like Me. Created, written by and starring celebrated Australian comedian Josh Thomas, the second season was ordered by the ABC and Participant Media’s US television network Pivot following the international success of season one. The 10 x 30 season stars Thomas alongside a host of returning and new cast, and will air later this year on ABC2 in Australia and Pivot in the US.

The critically acclaimed first season of Please Like Me was heralded as one of the best shows of 2013 by The New Yorker, TIME, Entertainment Weekly and the LA Times. In Australia, the series has become ABC2’s highest rating original comedy series and was the recent winner of the 2014 AACTA Award for Best Television Comedy or Light Entertainment Series. In the US it is currently nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, alongside Glee, Modern Family, Orange is the New Black and 2014 Golden Globe® winner the Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Thomas said of going into production, ‘The first season was enjoyed by some people, which is the dream. I’m super excited about season 2. Hopefully we won’t stuff this one up.’

In the first season, Josh was dumped by his girlfriend, gained and lost a boyfriend, came out to his parents, lost his eccentric great aunt, and moved back in to live with his bipolar mother after her suicide attempt. In season two, Josh tries to get through the day without upsetting anyone. The new season also welcomes a new dog, a new rabbit and a new baby. There’s no big twist. It isn’t Lost.

New cast members in season two include the award-winning comedian Hannah Gadsby, iconic Australian entertainer Denise Drysdale, and talented rising stars Keegan Joyce (Rake), Charles Cottier (Home & Away) and Charlotte Nicdao (The Slap, The Time Of Our Lives).

The new cast will be joining Josh and his circle of family and friends from season one including Debra Lawrance (Mum), David Roberts (Dad), Renee Lim (Mae), Thomas Ward (Tom), Caitlin Stasey (Claire) and Wade Briggs (Geoffrey).

Award-winning film and TV director Matthew Saville (The Slap, Cloudstreet, Felony) and producer Todd Abbott also return for the second season. Executive producers are Josh Thomas, Todd Abbott and Kevin Whyte. Executive producers for the ABC are Rick Kalowski and Brett Sleigh, and for Pivot, Jeff Skoll and Holly Hines.

Rick Kalowski, ABC Head of Comedy, said “We couldn’t be prouder at ABC to be going into business with Pivot on season two of this outstanding show. I’ve never read new scripts as assured as these. Please Like Me fans all over the world are in for a major treat.”

Pivot (Pivot.tv), which launched in August 2013 with Please Like Me, is a US television network from Participant Media serving passionate Millennials (18-34) with a diverse slate of talent and a mix of original season, acquired programming, films and documentaries.  Pivot on Twitter @pivot_tv and Facebook at facebook.com/pivottelevision.

What is there to say about this that a heavy sigh follow by an exaggerated eye-roll hasn’t already expressed? The hilarious under-stating of pretty much everything reads to us more like blunt statements of fact, while “I’ve never read new scripts as assured as these” only sounds like a compliment until you realise it’s coming from the producer and head writer for Wednesday Night Fever.

The real bit to take notice of is, of course, “Please Like Me fans all over the world are in for a major treat”, because as we all know Please Like Me was a largely ignored ratings fizzle here, as well as pretty much the only show to date to be dropped from ABC1 to ABC2. But it was picked up by new millennial-friendly US cable network Pivot due to.. well, it had a lead actor under 30, so let’s go with that.

(and also it being the six weeks between America falling in love with Chris Lilley and then falling out of love with Chris Lilley, which made awkward Australian comedy flavour of the month. Well, flavour of the six weeks.)

So celebrations are in order: Australian television has finally become a direct link in the American supply chain, right down to calling what should be series two “season two”. What was formerly seen as bland, inept characterisation can now be sold as “addressing the international marketplace” while a lack of jokes is clearly “ensuring it remains accessible to a global audience”.

Presumably they’re saving the announcement that Thomas’ hairstyle is “Donald Trump Jr.” for season three.

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16 Comments

  • Urinal Cake says:

    You know what’s a good dramedy? Rake.

    ‘The first season was enjoyed by some people, which is the dream.’ at least he’s honest. It’s good that he solved his writer’s block by throwing a bunch of new characters into the mix instead of you know developing existing character and narrative arcs.I guess he has the budget to do that now.

  • saucy gibbon says:

    Any comment on SBS2 re-airing old shows such as Wilfred and Life Support?

  • 13 schoolyards says:

    It’s a good thing? Better they repeat old Australian comedy than… well, just about anything else. Of course, we’d much rather they commission new stuff, but well… you know.

  • 13 schoolyards says:

    Rake is a good show, and we plan to review it at some stage. And Thomas introducing new characters is (probably) a good thing, considering the old ones mostly sat around doing fuck all.

  • Urinal Cake says:

    That’s only if he gets ‘input’ to make his character interesting etc otherwise we’re going to get another set of 2D characters.

    I’d laugh if one of the characters is American for the sake of Pivot though.

  • Hugh J says:

    Am pretty sure Review With Myles Barlow is the one other show that was demoted from ABC1 to ABC2. The Head of TV at the time hated it. Like Please Like Me, it then went on to win the Best Comedy award at the AFI/AACTA Awards.

  • Billy C says:

    Was it a ratings fizzle? It did okay for an ABC2 show surely. I think it was the highest debut for a new ABC2 comedy.

    I think they actually dumped it out as a double episode week one because so little happened in ep 1 and then burned it off in 5 weeks. Sure we don’t know what the last three went rated as they didn’t make the top 20 multi channel shows.

    I’m not arguing about quality.

    Incidentally wait until Thursday and we’ll see what “This is Littleton” rates. It seems the ABC publicity department have forgotten to promote it. The promo department are calling it a cult comedy before it’s aired. Quite possibly this could be the funniest thing about the show.

  • Big Shane says:

    Please Like Me’s last few episodes rated 120,000 metro according to TV Tonight. I think it opened on about 180,000. There was a big joke at the time that PLM got beaten by Peppa Pig in the ratings.

    At least the ABC is not marketing This Is Littleton as “genuinely laugh out loud funny,” which is how they usually advertise all their comedies, whether they are actually funny or not.

  • Urinal Cake says:

    Depended on the ABC’s expectations didn’t?

    From what I remember it was a ABC1 production and then dropped to ABC2 as a ‘flagship’ program. IIRC there was a lot of speculation about why including scripting, budgeting etc.

    Considering Thomas had a profile due to TAYG, various celebrity reality shows and a rabid fan base you’d think the ratings should’ve be higher. But that doesn’t matter now since of favourable international reviews, awards and Pivot offsetting the costs.

  • Billy C says:

    Peppa Pig sells bigger venues than Josh and has a more convincing accent.

  • er says:

    The This Is Littleton promos are perversely fascinating. Four episodes, and from the half-dozen ads they’ve put out, not a single joke?

  • Billy C says:

    I know! The I.T one doesn’t have a punchline. The dance instructor is inappropriate to old people and follows it up by being inappropriate to very young people. Why have two ideas when you can repeat one.
    The busking one didn’t bother having a joke and the one that’s a full sketch is baffling but technically has jokes, it’s strange because someone is asked to fill in a form and then just signs it and walks off.

  • EvilCommieDictator says:

    Howsit! Dachtar Ruudy here. We arh going to shau you haw to lose weght.
    Eets simple. All yew have to deu ess eat less. That’s reight.
    Have the whole three seasons on DVD. Only just realized Brendan Cowell was there

  • Andrew says:

    Life Support was brilliant. It’s about time it got another run.

  • 13 schoolyards says:

    There’s been at least one interview where Cowell said his Life Support work was what qualified him to write Save Your Legs.

  • BIlly C says:

    I’m sure the 100 or so people who saw Save Your Legs would be able to attest to whether or not that’s true.