Screening Room

‘Please Like Me’ hits Hulu, putting the romance back in bromance

From the land down under comes Please Like Me, a quirky sit-com about a relationship for the 21st century: the gay-straight bromance.

The series debuted to positive response on ABC Australia, and just wrapped up late last year. Though sporadically available in the US, Hulu has helped the show find a North American audience this year. Co-created and largely written by actor Josh Thomas, the show blends an unusual mix of goofy humor and drama which becomes surprisingly moving along the way.

Thomas plays Josh, a nerdish 20-year-old. The pilot episode opens with Josh getting dumped by his longtime girlfriend Claire, on the grounds that he’s gay. Apparently this is no secret—almost all of Josh’s friends realize the same thing, even if Josh doesn’t. To make matters worse, Josh’s mother attempts suicide and winds up in the hospital. Somehow though, Josh manages to take these blows in stride, in part because he shares a cringe-worthy sexual encounter with Geoffrey, an adorable openly-gay friend of Josh’s roommate. Through it all, Josh and roommate Tom confront each other with directness and honesty, as their friendship keeps the bubble-headed Josh anchored in reality. The series is as much about Josh and Tom as it is their various romances and the bromances stays true through the eccentric lot of friends and extended family around them. Unlike Looking or Queer As Folk, Please Like Me is situated in a community of a weird nuclear family and and among a small group of friends, not an urban queer enclave.

Throughout the show, Josh continues to explore his sexuality, date and find his place in the world, though his friendship with Tom becomes the central relationship of the series. Unlike so many other films or TV shows which feature a gay character in love with a straight character, or vice versa (remember all those fans who thought Will and Grace should end up a couple? Yeah…), Please Like Me accepts Josh and Tom as besties, and never cheapens itself by teasing the audience. Thomas’ distinctive writing, too, has a certain natural quality to it. No matter how goofy the stories get, Josh, Tom and the other characters all feel like real people.

Rarely does a series have such human characters and big laughs without ever feeling sentimental. Moreover, the show creates a vision of gay and straight men coexisting as surrogate family without a trite, manufactured sexual tension. If Will & Grace proved gay men and straight women can be friends, Please Like Me does something even better: the show proves gay and straight men can be friends too, and stay just friends at that.

Please Like Me is available on Hulu.

Bonus pic: Geoffrey brushes his teeth

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12 Comments

  • hithere2

    I adore this show – highly recommended.

  • Lazycrockett

    Best Gay Show Period.

  • ProfessorMoriarty

    Just finished watching the first episode. This is fantastic! Excuse me; I will be bingeing the remaining 31 episodes now.

  • stefanocc

    Arnold is so adorable. Love the show. I hope it finds success on hull.

  • Sammy Schlipshit

    Great news.
    I watched the entire series on the POP network. Each episode was so enthralling, entertaining and informative that when one ended I was left wanting more and more.
    The later episode with the whole gang having Xmas dinner is one of the best written and performed shows I have ever witnessed…..and, I’ve witnessed a lot.
    My biggest and greatest hope is Josh will get a chance to produce more shows.
    Please like me, indeed.

  • He BGB

    Thank you for this, queerty. I have hulu and wouldn’t know anything about this show because under the LGBT genre all the shows usually look sucky. Haven’t checked it out but will.

    • ProfessorMoriarty

      I would not have found it either, and I agree with you about the general suckfullness of Hulu’s LGBT category. I’ve already finished the first season and am completely hooked.

  • jamesorange

    My favorite tv show ever.

  • scrufffan

    All seasons are also available on netflix.ca. I binge watched them all this summer.

  • CanadianGuy62

    I eagerly tuned in a couple of years ago when it aired in Canada on CBC, but couldn’t watch it anymore after two or three episodes.

    I suspended disbelief to accept that a blancmange like him could bed such a hottie, but the main character’s whining and indulgence became just too much to bear.

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