Australian Tumbleweeds

Australia's most opinionated blog about comedy.

Australia’s latest mockumentary

You could be forgiven for thinking that Australia’s Sexiest Tradie (which airs on 7Mate after Fat Pizza: Back In Business) is the real deal: an actual tradie being followed by an actual documentary crew. But in fact, the show is the creation of actor Rick Donald (Home & Away, Wentworth), who also plays the lead character Frankie Wood.

Frankie is a plumber who lives with his parents and girlfriend but wants to become an actor. The best route to fame, he thinks, is entering a local radio competition to find Australia’s Sexist Tradie. Somewhere along the way, a documentary crew start to follow him and voila, he’s on his way to superstardom.

Frankie Wood (second left) with (left to right) girlfriend ‘Hammer’, Mum Barbara, Dad Terry and best mate ‘Grub’

Or is he? Because he’s clearly a misogynist, homophobic tool with no discernible talent other than stupidity and insensitiveness and that doesn’t play so well in 2021. Out on a job at the house of a pregnant woman with a sleeping baby, he refuses to turn down his radio so as not to wake up her child and makes insensitive, sexist comments about her breasts. Later, when forced to apologise to her by his boss (Peter Phelps), he finds it almost impossible.

At the radio station, when he meets the other contestants, he finds himself torn between a desperation to win and a strong desire for hot female contestant Summer (Annabelle Stephenson), who gives him an erection every time he sees her. This leads to some painful manscaping and his attention-seeking appearance at a competition photo shoot wearing only Speedos…quickly followed by the inevitable erection when he watches Summer’s sexy photo session.

Frankie, you might say, isn’t the type of man capable of forming a mature relationship or behaving in any way like an adult. Within hours of setting eyes on Summer, he’s dumped long-time girlfriend Leanne (Briallen Clarke), a sweet-natured doormat who’s endured his idiocy and his sexist nickname for her, Hammer, for years. Meanwhile, Frankie starts ordering about his best mate Grub (Jason Perini) and making him film his social media videos. One such video, in which Frankie adds about half a jar of Nescafe to a bottle of iced coffee, then skulls the lot, leads to a funny, albeit pretty gross, sequence at a customer’s house.

Generally speaking, the gross-out comedy is the funniest stuff in Australia’s Sexiest Tradie. Most of the other laughs come from scenes in which Frankie says something idiotic and everyone around him pauses and looks shocked and uncomfortable. And while this can be funny, after 20 years of mockumentaries and sitcoms chock-full of roughly these kinds of jokes and situations, the fart gags and gross-out material are welcome.

One way in which Australia’s Sexiest Tradie is a bit different to the likes of The Office and the work of Chris Lilley though, is that it digs deeper into why the main character is like he is. Frankie’s Dad Terry (Steve Le Marquand) is equally insensitive, sexist and incapable of basic decency to others. This gives us both an insight into the line of toxic males that gave us Frankie Wood but also gives the makers of this show a slightly different way of taking the piss out of this type of bloke. Although, this also means that Terry’s treatment of wife Barbara (Pippa Grandison) is every bit as upsetting as Frankie’s treatment of Leanne.

The female characters, we hope, will leave these idiots, and go off to lead independent, more fulfilling lives (although for the comedy to work they’ll have to stay put). Meanwhile, there are three more episodes to go before we see whether Frankie will become Australia’s Sexiest Tradie or remain just another tool in the toolbox.

Might as well Question Everything

It’s not a good sign when the ABC starts promoting your replacement when you’ve still got weeks to go. And what’s this?

Okay, it’s shit news, but it’s no surprise – this is sizzle for a return next year though, right?

Wait, so they’re advertising it now even though it’s not going to air for a full month? The ABC only ever does that when they’ve put a dud in a vital timeslot and want viewers to keep tuning in thinking they’re going to be getting a better show. Which they will be… in a month.

Though “better” isn’t quite the right word, as Question Everything has gone from being vaguely Gruen shaped to straight-up Gruen News, the show nobody asked for. This week’s episode featured a story on how technology is being used to create fake ads; that’s a Gruen segment. When you have Wil Anderson saying to a panelist “Aaron, you’ve got something to sell us?”, you have an episode of Gruen.

The downside of all this – aside from having more Gruen – is that the excuses are already falling into place. Anderson’s already spoken publicly about the series’ difficulty when it comes to getting panelists. Obviously the show would have been a hit if they’d been able to get the same old smarmy ABC hacks in, right?

Here’s the problem with that version of events. The panelists, while a bit rough around the edges, have pretty much been the only part of Question Everything that’s made it worthwhile. All that other stuff left over from Gruen? Not so flash hot.

Gruen works (yeah yeah “works”) because it features a group of experts talking about an area they’re seemingly knowledgeable about. Question Everything was always going to feature comedians talking about the news, an area they’re not particularly knowledgeable about unless they’re Chaz Licciardello and he already has his own show that does exactly what this is supposedly doing only better because literally every other show on Australian television doing news is doing it better because IT’S NEWS AND EVERY NETWORK HAS AN ENTIRE NEWS DEPARTMENT THAT HANDLES NEWS.

(well, maybe not 7Mate)

The only time Question Everything gets it right is a): by accident and b): in spite of, not because of, the format. The guests – again, best thing about the show – are just there to reply to Anderson’s tired joke prompts; the moment this week where one guest spoke directly to another was about as surprising as things get. And when “conversation” is the best thing your show has to offer an audience, fuck off.

Question Everything was a bad idea from the beginning and trying to pretend the only good thing about it is why it failed is the kind of bullshit hack self-serving political move you get from entrenched company men looking to save their own backsides. Here’s a serious suggestion: why didn’t they go down the QI route with this and get a serious(-ish) news person to host (not Annabel Crabb, but in that direction) and let the comedy guests provide the comedy?

Oh right, because then we wouldn’t have Wil Anderson looking pissed off as the kids make jokes and he’s left frozen-faced like a school teacher trying not to bark “I was cool before you were born”… not realising that the sad thing is that he’s right.

The moral of this story is simple: the ABC should make more new comedy showcases, less “what if Gruen but about ____?” and maybe consider leaving news coverage to the entire channel of news coverage they’re already paying for.

Iggy & the opposite of Ace-d it

Just when you thought only the ABC could make dull, unfunny dramedies about self-indulgent young people along comes SBS with Iggy & Ace. Although, to be fair to SBS, Iggy & Ace isn’t also a parody of woke culture. So, points for having an original take on people in their 20s!

Iggy (Sara West) and Ace (Josh Virgona) are two gay besties who spend most of their spare time drinking heavily. But while we get hints as to why Iggy chugs it down (her Mum threw her out when she was a teen, she’s struggled with her sexuality), Ace seems to drink with Iggy more because he’s been swept along by her tide. So, when Ace starts having chest pains because of his boozing, he very sensibly joins a local AA chapter. But will his decision, which makes Iggy angry and jealous, mean the end of their friendship?

Iggy & Ace take a selfie in a wine shop

This sort of premise, about a psychologically damaged young woman who can only deal with the pain by drinking, might work better as a dramatic film or literary fiction, where the reasons for Iggy’s poor decisions and bad behaviour could be better explored. But across six 15-minute episodes, we don’t really get the full picture.

We can’t sympathise with Iggy because we don’t find out enough about her backstory, we can’t care about her because 99% of the time she comes across as a selfish, irredeemable fuckwit, and we can’t laugh at her because there are almost no funny moments in this show. Not that you can wring a lot of laughs out of “people get pissed and stuff up” without going down the Absolutely Fabulous route of slapstick.

The one or two gags we do get per episode are largely incidental to the main plot, such as the running gag about the members of the AA group calling token straight member Rachel (Megan Hollier), Jessica. This is funny, but for a show sold as a comedy, it’s pretty unsatisfying that this is the limit of the laughs.

Even solid comedy players like Roz Hammond (Mad As Hell) as AA group leader Gwen and Dalip Sondhi (Frayed) as Iggy and Ace’s dealer and gay mentor Otto, don’t get much funny to do. Which seems like a waste of their talents, really.

Also, what’s Ace’s deal? He’s one of the two most important characters in the series yet we find out almost nothing about him.

Overall, Iggy & Ace feels like it needed to go through another couple of drafts. Some of the fundamentals were there – a solid premise, interesting incidental characters, people in crisis, a good cast – but it lacked that extra polish that would have made this a better drama and a funnier comedy.

They’re Big and They’re Cheezy

Fat Pizza is back! Well, kind of. There’s a pizza shop, Bobo (John Boxer) waves around a chainsaw, Sleek the Elite (Paul Nakad) is shown in a couple of clips that quite possibly could have come from last season, and there’s yet another version of that “subwoofa” song. What more do you need?

Before anyone can say “I dunno, some comedy?”, let’s remember it’s Fat Pizza we’re talking about here. Oh wait, wasn’t Fat Pizza the one halfway decent franchise from the House of Paul Fenech? While Housos started shit and fell apart from there, and Swift & Shift was just Pizza with slightly fewer ethnic stereotypes, Fat Pizza used to be… okay, not good, but not completely shithouse.

(“Not completely shithouse” – Australian Tumbleweeds)

What made the original Pizza and Fat Pizza work – yeah, yeah, “work” – was that it featured a cast of mildly distinct characters. That meant there were subplots. It wasn’t just Fenech running around bumping into various comedy grotesques for a scene then running off to the next scene featuring a new comedy freak. Which is all Fenech’s been making for the last few years now and much like the pizzas, it’s getting pretty stale.

Possibly this extremely dull plot structure has been forced on him by coronavirus. Considering the first episode of the all new Fat Pizza features a bunch of crowd scenes, possibly not. As a creative choice it’s a bit strange, but this is a series that has to spend half of the first episode undoing the cliffhanger from the previous season, which also had to spend half its first episode undoing the cliffhanger from the season before that, and that season opened with Fenech’s character escaping from a sex dungeon after fifteen years. Guess you got to follow your muse.

Okay, so there’s less plot, less regular characters, less new characters (Pauly doesn’t even hire any new staff for the pizza shop this time) and not as many “big name” cameos; what’s left? Well, there’s an extended scene where Pauly wrestles with a roid’ed out white supremacist woman who doesn’t like pineapple on her pizza but who does have a massively enlarged clit due to the steroids. Does Pauly win the fight by biting it? Hey, if we had to watch it, you have to read about it.

It’s possible some of this could be funny in an “I can’t believe what I’m watching” fashion, but Paul Fenech has been doing this stuff for so long now that even when he’s shocking there’s no shock left. A shocking episode of Fat Pizza would (have some jokes? – ed) be one where the comedy was based even slightly on characters rather than Fenech opening a door and being confronted by some “outrageous” character or activity for the sixth time in twenty minutes.

The first Fat Pizza movie was on television a few months ago, and while the bar for Australian comedy films is pretty low – thanks in part to Fenech’s later efforts – it wasn’t all bad. It was basically a series of skits, but they weren’t all the same skit. The ethnic stereotypes seemed at least slightly grounded in reality (the African Gangs in the current run of Fat Pizza, not so much), it took wild turns that didn’t always involve someone getting their dick out, and there was more going on than just Fenech running around pulling faces.

Fenech’s forgotten the ingredients that made Fat Pizza work. All that’s left now is sour dough.

Vale The Moth Effect

The final episode of The Moth Effect was released on Amazon on Friday, and while it had some good moments, it’s not a show we will particularly miss. This was a show which promised a lot but mostly failed to deliver. It was a sketch show where the makers (mostly) didn’t manage to get beyond a funny premise. They had a good solid idea for a sketch and…that was it. They didn’t start with their good solid idea and build on it, and they (mostly) didn’t manage to write lots of funny lines in their sketches. They had a funny idea, and that was all you got. One idea and one laugh per sketch. That’ll do, right?

Take the interrogation sketch in episode six. A man is being interrogated by the cops in a run-down warehouse, but the cops can’t extract the information they need from him. Enter Woke Cop, who tries to wear down the man by being over-empathic and sensitive to his needs. And after that doesn’t work, enter Stand-Up Comedy Cop, who bombards the man with piss-poor material until he’ll do anything to make it stop. This sketch had about four laughs in it and went for about as many minutes, with most of those laughs coming from the piss-poor stand-up material. And if you’re wondering why The Moth Effect didn’t just scrap the interrogation premise and give us a piss-poor stand-up routine instead, then so are we. It would have been funnier.

The Moth Effect

But who needs actual laughs when you can make obvious points instead? The Moth Effect had plenty of sketches referencing topical issues and concerns, such as the lack of government action on climate change (which is a fair point to make but hardly a mirth fest). Another theme we saw several times was woke and cancel culture, such as in the parody game show ‘Who Gives a Shit?’, in which contestants had to answer questions on what does and doesn’t matter. ‘Who Gives a Shit?’ took pot-shots at internet activists, online conspiracy theorists and the ultra-woke but failed to make a solid satirical point beyond “they’re all idiots”. It wasn’t even particularly funny.

Where The Moth Effect was on safer ground was when they parodied TV shows. Several quick-fire sketches concerned an inane breakfast show called ‘Sunnyside Up’ in which a reporter doing a live cross reminded the fun-loving hosts back in the studio of some bleak truths. While the final episode of the series included a solid parody of various reality shows (The Bachelor, Bachelor in Paradise, Survivor, MasterChef, Big Brother) in which the usual fame-hungry types and pointless influencers competed to fuck a television. Partly it was the instantly recognisable premise that made these parodies funny (the high-concept sketches could sometimes be a bit obtuse), but mainly it was the high-ish gag rate that made these enjoyable. Sketches with more than one joke in them! What an idea.

If The Moth Effect wants to make a better second series, it needs to concentrate more on making us laugh than telling us stuff we already know. Yes, the environment is stuffed and the government doesn’t give a damn. But you’re a sketch show, make us laugh about that issue or don’t bother with it.

Nerves Are Getting Frayed

Press release time!

The wait is nearly over… Frayed season two launching this month

It’s time to grab the shoulder pads and head back to the 1980s once again. The highly-acclaimed, six-part comedy series Frayed, written by and starring the multi-talented Australian comedy star Sarah Kendall, is set to return to ABC TV and ABC iview from Wednesday 29 September at 9pm. 

Season two kicks off in London, where the lives and secrets of the Cooper family continue to unravel as they deal with the ramifications of season one’s explosive finale, and their Australian past insists on catching up with them.

Having made it out of Australia, Sammy (Sarah Kendall) and her kids, Lenny (Frazer Hadfield) and Tess (Maggie Ireland-Jones), find themselves living in a tiny London flat, as Sammy frantically tries to prove that her lawyer, Rufus (Robert Webb), stole her house.  Barely able to make ends meet working in ‘exhaust management’ (she’s a secretary in a muffler repair shop), Sammy is desperate to find a way to reclaim her opulent London life. She also needs to keep her kids far away from Australia and the truth about what happened to their neighbour, Terry.

Meanwhile back down under in Newcastle, an ambitious cop named Fairbank (Hamish Michael) has been brought in to head up the missing persons case and simply does not believe Terry would just disappear. With Jim (Ben Mingay), Jean (Kerry Armstrong) and Abby (Alexandra Jensen) trying to keep their secret hidden, and con artist Bev (Doris Younane) lurking on the scene, it’s only a matter of time before the truth catches up with Sammy.

Frayed debuted on ABC TV in Australia and on Sky in the UK in October 2019. The series was nominated for five AACTA Awards and Kendall also garnered a BAFTA Television Award nomination for Female Performance in a Comedy Programme.

Let’s go out on a limb for once: good news! Season one was a rare example of a drama that used comedy well (or vice versa), and having it back on our screens is a pleasant reminder that Australian scripted television can reach beyond the boundaries of Fat Pizza, which is also back next week but let’s worry about that later.

All My Friends Are Unbearable

All My Friends Are Racist is the kind of show that can easily slip under the radar, largely because it’s the what – third? fifth? – Australian “youth” comedy of recent times in which a pair of unbearable twenty-somethings swan around using social media and woke attitudes to justify their self-centered behaviour. It’s a classic comedy set-up, though not until you remove the words “classic” and “comedy”.

What makes this different from the recent Why Are You Like This and the upcoming Iggy & Ace and possibly another half-dozen proposals that just got funding is that here the two obnoxious social-media-obsessed hard-partying twenty-somethings at the heart of the show are 1): indigenous and 2): slightly more obnoxious than usual, thus making it slightly easier to call it “a comedy”. Because the only joke any of these shows have to offer aside from the idea that references to eating ass are automatically funny / edgy is “omg these people are awful!” And then the realisation that there’s five and a half more episodes to go sinks in.

(“unhealthy friendships” doesn’t seem like the only thing that defines the youth of today. Yet if you’re making a government-funded Australian sitcom aimed at anyone under 30, that’s the only character dynamic you’re allowed. Is every old fart on every commissioning board worried that their kids aren’t playing enough sport or something?)

Last week’s first episode (the whole season is currently available on iView) saw Casey the gay Aboriginal influencer (Davey Thompson) and Belle the Aboriginal trainee lawyer (Tuuli Narkle) get #cancelled after their serial killer wall documenting all their friends’ racist / sexist / politically dubious failings was exposed at their latest party. Turns out exposing racism only makes you more popular online, but can they survive on likes and follows alone?

All My Friends Are Racist is the television version of those online comedy articles where the headline is the joke. The actual episode fills in the details of the synopsis, but it’s the synopsis that contains the “comedy”. In fact, watching the episodes themselves makes the show less funny, because while the performances are definitely big enough to get the point across, they’re also…

Okay, it seems weird to have to say it out loud, but for decades one of the rock-solid cornerstones of comedy was the double act. You had two characters: one was overtly funny, the other set up the gags and reacted to them. It worked. It got laughs. It was the basis for many of the most successful comedy teams ever. And yet when it comes to Australian comedy, all we get are shows where two functionally identical characters fight over the same tiny scrap of unfunny ground.

There are two main characters in this show and they are for all comedic intents and purposes identical. Sure, one is slightly more flamboyant, the other slightly more reserved; they’re still basically the same character. The cast do a good job of bringing the characters to life; they’re still the same character. This isn’t Frasier, where an ensemble cast balances out the identical leads. Why have 100% of your core cast playing the same character?

This week’s episode lifted its game a little with the introduction of Casey and Belle’s families. Rich, successful, conservative, “white saviour” – suddenly there’s some comedy-producing character clashes going on. Or there would be, except that what we actually got was alarmingly close to straight drama.

Belle wanted understanding from a white mother trying to be more Black than her daughter; Casey wanted money from a family that accepted who he was, but weren’t willing to tolerate him fighting with his polar opposite brother. Neither were particularly hilarious scenarios, but this show had too much respect for its characters (why?) to even try to get laughs out of the clash between silly and serious.

(and when they did try, the result was a comedy dance titled “free my white nipple”; even if you don’t think comedy dances stopped being funny around the time of that one on The (UK) Office, it wasn’t a high point)

Here’s an idea: what if the ABC started making drama for young people and comedy for the olds? Okay, Rosehaven already is comedy for the old folk, but it does seems like young people’s lives can only be reflected back to them through comedies laughing at their excesses. Presumably the idea is that hey, we can all laugh at status obsessed bitches, right guize? And yet over and over again the answer comes back: no.

What’s worse is that part of the supposed appeal of All My Friends Are Racist is seeing Indigenous millennials sticking it to the (white) man. Yet while individual lines get the job done out of context (and others can be funny in and of themselves, like when Casey says to his white sex buddy “lick me, Captain Cook”) the characters saying them are meant to be the ones we’re laughing at. Did we learn nothing from the “success” of Ja’mie, Private School Girl? Or did we learn a little too much?

Question Everything, especially the promo interviews

In a recent appearance on Triple M’s Molloy to promote Question Everything, Wil Anderson said a few things which tell us more about why Question Everything is so deeply, deeply flawed.

I had to come to Sydney about seven weeks ago to do this show…it’s great to make a show during a lockdown, it’s always one of the greatest challenges in comedy trying to make a cameraman laugh with the same joke he’s heard five times in rehearsal. You won’t get a Logie for it, but you’ll earn it.

Wait, he was in Sydney working on the show for SIX WEEKS before the first episode went to air? What was he doing all that time? Clearly not writing decent jokes for his own links, that’s for sure. Links that are regularly less funny than the jokes of the newcomer comedian panellists.

Speaking of which, why is Question Everything full of young comedians you may not have heard of rather than the usual bunch of established comedians who always appear on these types of shows? Anderson explains:

The idea of it was…I was in lockdown, and I was looking at the comedy community, and was thinking what can I do for younger comedians? And when we started there was always these shows you could go on as a new comedian to get exposure… I wanted to design something; a panel show for brand new comedians…

Great, a new talent showcase. Well done, Wil. This is exactly the kind of thing a successful comedian with several decades of experience, and our taxpayer-funded national broadcaster should be doing: nurturing new talent, giving them a platform on TV to show us what they can do… Oh, wait… what was that Anderson said later in the interview?

So, I imagined [Question Everything] would be the return to live audiences… Get a full audience at the ABC, comedians from all over the country and then some stuff started happening in Sydney and New South Wales and I was…that’s fine, there are plenty of good comedians in New South Wales. And in the last few weeks, we’ve had a map on our wall of Local Government Areas in Sydney and where the guests might live and just crossed them off, one by one. It’s been great, mate. Perfect conditions to make a TV show.

So, Question Everything isn’t an exciting showcase of the next generation of Australian comedians after all. It’s a show where they book whoever doesn’t live in an area riddled with COVID. Well, that is awkward. And so very telling.

Maybe the Question Everything team should have thrown their hands in the air and admitted defeat like Tomorrow Tonight? If conditions are too hard to make a decent show, don’t make the show. Not that Tomorrow Tonight is a decent show. But that’s another story…

Everything is Questions

We’re only two weeks in and it’s rapidly becoming clear that despite being titled Question Everything, nobody at the ABC got around to questioning why this show needed to be made. Hands up who thought the comedy panel show format needs explainers about Taliban social media propaganda? It’s that kind of thinking that makes all those jokes about the ABC having no viewers under 60 so timeless.

This week it somehow became even more obvious that this was intended to be Gruen News, only instead of getting in a panel of “news experts” – presumably the kind of humourless fucks who populate Insiders – they’d get in a bunch of up and coming comics. Because if there’s anyone who not only watches a lot of news but thinks seriously about the ramifications of what they’re seeing, it’s stand up comedians.

And the whiplash intensified across the episode. We went from boring news explainers to random semi-related gags to Wil Anderson dropping some more dad joke gear and then looking pissed off when comedian Fady Kassab did one better with his “those guys who threw ink on that cop should go in the pen” gag. It wasn’t a good joke, but it was a good Wil Anderson joke.

(especially as it made the next few minutes some of the most painfully awkward viewing the ABC’s served up since those ads promoting Everything’s Gonna Be Okay a week before it was axed in the US. Don’t step on Anderson’s turf!)

The panelists doing better at the host’s job than the host pretty much sums up this show as a whole… or it would if this show had a whole to sum up because it is a mess. The Gruen News / Insiders / The Drum / 40% of all ABC product format is rigid – here’s an issue, now comment on it – and the comedians they’re getting in are too inexperienced or disinterested or focused on being funny to provide any added value to the issues being discussed. Oh no, this panel show is no longer my best source of news on anti-lockdown protesters!

Meanwhile, the comedians are easily the best part of the show and the only thing making it remotely worth watching because both Anderson and pointless co-host Jan Fran are just doing the same old same old. Having Fran suddenly hosting a segment that made us think we’d tuned into The Feed that ended with “Afghans are risking life and limb to escape this regime – do you really want to be complicit with their Talabranding?” was a stark reminder that Hungry Beast wasn’t really very good and it finished a decade ago.

As for the best example of just how misguided the whole thing is, that was – no, not the part where someone said “you’re playing a game of race card snap”, because that came uncomfortably close (for ABC management) to saying the quiet part out loud – the segment where the panel briefly became Woman’s Day editors, coming up with funny captions for celebrity photos… followed by a serious explanation of how libel law works.

And we haven’t even got to the part where it was suddenly revealed that we were watching a game show. “Final round”? There were rounds? Is this show secretly a drinking game? Because if so maybe the people who put it together should lay off the sauce for a while.

Everything’s Gonna Be…Axed

It was announced this week that Josh Thomas’ Everything’s Gonna Be Okay has been axed, with Thomas quoted on Variety as saying:

Freeform has been a dream to work with — so cool and open and sincerely progressive…I’m so grateful we got a platform to make this show. I love them and they are obsessed with me, I hope we get another chance to work together.

…which may well be the funniest thing Josh Thomas has ever written.

It’s certainly the most delusional. Who the hell makes it sound like the axing of their show is a good thing? And who the hell thinks anyone would believe a statement like that anyway? If Thomas had wanted to end Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, he’d be quoted as saying that he felt the series had reached its natural end, or whatever. But no, he’s talking up how everyone down at the company who’s just axed his show loves him. Of course, they love you, Josh. Of course, they do.

Having said that, the axing of Everything’s Gonna Be Okay is undoubtedly a good thing. The show wasn’t funny, contained almost nothing in the way of plot or interesting characters, and generally struggled to hold the audience’s attention for more than about 10 seconds. It’s baffling how it made it past the pilot stage let alone to 20 episodes.

Even the one thing it had going for it – the positive portrayal of neurodivergent and sexually diverse characters – barely seems to have been worthwhile. Sure, it was a breakthrough in television, but it’s also the kind of breakthrough that will be forgotten the second a far, far better program comes along which positively portrays neurodivergent and sexually diverse characters in a way that’s entertaining and funny.

As for Josh Thomas, he’ll no doubt keep ploughing on. Indeed, he is probably already hard at work on an entirely new concept for a show in which he will play a dull gay man dealing with various issues who somehow manages to get hot boyfriends despite being a pointless whinger who somehow doesn’t need to work in order to maintain his quirky and affluent lifestyle. This new series, which will be vastly different to Please Like Me and Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, will be talked up as ground-breaking on cool American websites until someone checks how it’s rating and…bye-bye! And so the cycle will begin again, with no one having learnt a damn thing.