A Matter Of Perspective

How could we have gotten it so very, very wrong?

JOSH THOMAS’ PLEASE LIKE ME SERIES ONE NOMINATED FOR INTERNATIONAL EMMY

ABC is thrilled to announce Please Like Me (Series One) has been nominated for an International Emmy for Best Comedy Series – the only Australian show nominated at this year’s awards in any category.

 
Created, written by and starring Josh Thomas, Please Like Me has been critically acclaimed around the world, and was recently commissioned by ABC TV, in collaboration with US television network Pivot, for a third series to air in 2015.

 
In reference to the International Emmy nomination, ABC Director of Television Richard Finlayson said: “ABC are thrilled at this incredible achievement from a remarkable show. Josh Thomas and his team have done not just ABC, but all of us in Aussie TV, proud.”

And so far so good as far as we’re concerned. It really is a big deal to be nominated, and this nomination is the kind of thing those involved with the show should be proud of. Unlike the actual ratings for the show, but that’s a subject for another time.

Then there’s this:

ABC TV Head of Comedy Rick Kalowski said, “Please Like Me is a series only the ABC could have made – and as well as Josh and his amazing team, I offer my huge gratitude to my ABC predecessors Debbie Lee and Stuart Menzies, who commissioned one of our greatest shows”.

We’re assuming that was meant to say “a series only the ABC could have made… with a lot of help from that US cable network that basically took over the funding after series one. Because a comedy series based around a comedian hanging out with his friends making jokes and talking about his relationship problems is sooo groundbreaking.”

And let’s read that last part again:

“one of our greatest shows” – ABC TV Head of Comedy Rick Kalowski

Do we really have to list all of the comedy shows that the ABC has done over the years that Please Like Me would have to be better than for this statement to be even remotely plausible? For arguments sake, let’s say that “greatest” is defined as “all time top ten”. For this statement to be true there have not been ten comedy series better than Please Like Me across the history of the ABC. Please Like Me is in the all-time top ten ABC comedies. All-time.

Just off the top of our heads, here’s ten other ABC comedy series:

*The Gillies Report

*The Big Gig

*Kath & Kim

*Frontline

*The Games

*The Micallef P(r)ogram(me)

*Summer Heights High

*The Money or the Gun

*Spicks & Specks

*Mother & Son

Now cross one off that list, because Please Like Me is better than at least one of those shows. You might disagree with those ten shows; feel free to come up with ten of your own. But remember, Please Like Me has to be in there somewhere, because according to the current Head of ABC Comedy it’s “one of our greatest shows”.

Wait – he didn’t even say they were specifically comedy shows…

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14 Comments

  • felix says:

    The world must be a deeply unfunny place if this is the standard of work that gets nominated for an international Emmy.

  • Tony Tea says:

    We knowt it is shit, and it rates down the s-bend, so precisely WHY did it get nominated?

  • 13 schoolyards says:

    From our brief research, the International Emmys seem to be largely run by US cable networks. Also, these are the nominations:

    Comedy

    Please Like Me
    Pigeon Fancier Productions / John & Josh International / Australian Broadcasting Corporation
    Australia

    Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola
    Diprente Films / eNCA
    South Africa

    The Mayor´s Wife
    Globo TV
    Brazil

    Wat als 2? (What if? season 2)
    Shelter
    Belgium

    So we’re going to guess, judging by the entrants, that it’s not exactly a world-class comedy award.

  • Valancy says:

    Oh yes, because South Africa, Brazil and Belgium are obviously not part of the world and couldn’t possibly produce good quality shows. I take it you’ve watched those other shows? Really insightful comment there.

  • 13 schoolyards says:

    Good point.

    But as the awards make it clear that all the shows must be dubbed into English and will be judged on their English translations, it seems at least slightly reasonable to think that perhaps the non-English comedies might struggle a little, what with comedy’s reliance on nuance and various cultural factors. And it follows on from that that perhaps as far as global comedy is concerned, this may not be in the top tier of awards – though we really should have shown our workings as far as how we came to that conclusion.

  • Valancy says:

    Haha, yes you should have. With Josh’s accent maybe they would have needed to subtitle PLM too! But I think the nomination is well deserved even if you guys don’t.

  • Yeps says:

    Oh good, the Emmys.

    …I mean, the International Emmys?

    Well, hopefully they have the same unblemished track record of discernment and taste that their primetime sibling has. Because nothing says ‘We reward only the best artistic achievements’ like looking back at their proud history of refusing to glorify anything sub par.

    Like how ‘The Wire’ never even got nominated, but ‘Jon Cryer’ has won two. Or how Steve Carell never got a pat on the back, but Jim Parsons has three.

    Keep proving yourself relevant Emmys.

  • Yeps says:

    Oh good, the Emmys.

    …I mean, the International Emmys?

    Well, hopefully they have the same unblemished track record of discernment and taste that their primetime sibling has. Because nothing says ‘We reward only the best artistic achievements’ like looking back at their proud history of refusing to glorify anything sub par.

    Like how ‘The Wire’ never even got nominated, but Jon Cryer has won two. Or how Steve Carell never got a pat on the back, but Jim Parsons has three.

    Keep proving yourself relevant Emmys.

  • Rutegar says:

    Not that I really care either way — congrats to those who scored an award nod and commiserations to those worthy souls who missed out — but knowing how these things work, I suspect you might have an explanation of why PLEASE LIKE ME was getting such a curiously sudden and synchronised push from local critics as though reading from a script.

    With too many international shows to review in too short a time, a Google search that brings up gushing praise can help tip the scales among the unacquainted and indecisive (but hoping to look neither).

    Welcome to showbiz kids !

  • sdf says:

    Aw, I liked your excellent dismantaling of 13 schoolyards’ logic much more before you played the ‘I’m sticking up for PLM’ card.

  • sdf says:

    Quite apart from my feelings re PLM, the International Emmys are a bit of a joke.

    Didn’t mind season one of the show, but couldn’t get through the first ep of season two.

    Ended up watching the camping episode they played on ABC1 for Mental As then saw the finale… its desire to be Girls is ridiculous, but it’s actually not a bad drama show. It made me feel things.

    But yeah, in no way should it be allowed to call itself a comedy.

  • Pete says:

    Are you guys going to be writing about the ABC “sitcom” Timothy?

  • Rutegar says:

    Completely off topic, but if you want to see funny … LIVE AT THE APOLLO has some stellar British and Irish comedians showing how it’s done !

    http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/live-at-the-apollo/ZX9830A009S00#playing

  • 13 schoolyards says:

    We were planning to, but with *four* new comedies débuting this week plus the end of Please Like Me s2, we’re kind of swamped. Hopefully we’ll get to it… soon? What’d you think?