If you’ve already bingewatched every single critically acclaimed show out there, and you’re wondering what to watch next, TV critic Melissa Maerz has a few suggestions. Her column, “What I’m Watching Now,” is devoted to the best underhyped series on television (or Amazon, or Netflix, or whatever iDevice you’re using), whether they’re just premiering or have been lingering on your friends’ season pass queues for years.
This fall’s best new comedy might not be on your television—yet. It’s called Please Like Me, and it premiered last month on Pivot, a new network geared toward Millennials that broadcasts to 40 million homes across the country. (Click here to find out if it’s available in yours. Pivot will marathon all six episodes on Saturday, October 5 from noon to 4:30pm ET, and single episodes will begin airing weekly that day at 9pm ET.) Of course, if you’re a good Millennial, you’ve already watched it on iTunes and tweeted about how you’re now obsessed with its very charming, self-deprecating writer/producer/star, Josh Thomas, a muss-haired, bow-tied, 26-year-old who admits in the show that he looks “like a 50-year-old baby.”
If you’ve never heard of Please Like Me, which originally aired in Thomas’s native Australia, Pivot President Evan Shapiro has helpfully described it as “a coming-out quarter-life-crisis suicide comedy” that’s just like Girls—“if Girls had a soul.” Sure, like Girls creator Lena Dunham, Thomas plays on a semi-fictionalized version of himself. “Josh” was inspired by a stand-up routine he came up with at age 20, three years after killing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, right around the time he stopped fooling around with women and fell for a man who may or may not have been prettier than he is. Thomas’s best friend Thomas Ward plays Josh’s best friend “Tom,” and his real-life cavoodle, John, appears as his dog. (The pet names here are hilariously ill-advised. There’s also a rabbit named Shaniqua.) But while PLM captures its creator’s life well, along with twentysomething life in general, the Girls comparison still seems slightly unfair. Thomas recently told EW that PLM had already been shot when Lena Dunham’s breakthrough premiered, and judging by his well-intentioned but slightly myopic characters, who are always trying (and often failing) to do the right thing, he has more in common with Mike White, whose bittersweet tribute to good people behaving badly, Enlightened, will be sorely missed.
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