COMEDIAN Josh Thomas is not afraid to tackle the big issues in the new season of Please Like Me, and we see that in the first two episodes this review is based on.

The new season returns with a new member to Josh’s family, a baby brother. Josh is reluctant to take an active role in his brother’s life but is soon convinced when his dad makes him babysit one night. Josh also continues to deal with his mother’s mental illness which becomes the focus of the second episode when she is placed in a care facility.

Not only is Josh an excellent stand-up comedian but he is also an excellent script writer, as well. The situations he creates seem so very real and relatable not just for gay guys but for everyone, with the themes and issues that he explores having a universal appeal. Not all of the situations are funny either, and the show shifts from happy to very emotional scenes very well.

The writing is complimented by the excellent direction of director Matthew Saville who has a knack for being able to mix comedy and drama. The perfect example of this is the climax to the first episode, which is not only chaotically hilarious but also emotional very relatable.

What I love most about the show is that Josh is one of those selfless writers who does not mind giving his supporting cast excellent material as well. He has written these characters so that that they feel like real people with real lives.

I never expected Josh to be such an excellent actor. While he is essentially playing himself here, he makes himself a very likable and relatable character. He is an excellent host as he shows us not only his own life but those of the people around him.

Tom Ward returns as Josh’s best friend, and his character is still in a complicated relationship with Niamh, played by Nikita Leigh-Pritchard. Tom’s deadpan style nicely compliments Josh’s more outgoing personality.

This season sees the introduction of a couple of new characters, and episode two specifically features a couple of excellent guest appearances by Hannah Gadsby and the brilliant Denise Drysdale.

But still, the best performance is by Debra Lawrance as Josh’s mum. She is simply stunning as Rose, especially in the second episode where her story is focused. Not only is she funny, but she also gives a very heartbreaking performance as well.

While I was a late-comer to the series, I have since fallen in love with it and cannot wait to see how the rest of the series plays out. Thankfully a third season has already been commissioned so we will see plenty more episodes to come.

Season two of Please Like Me is on ABC2 tonight at 9.30pm.



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