Was that the end for Josh Thomas’ Please Like Me? Photo: ABC Tom (Thomas Ward) and Josh (Josh Thomas) and their misery pasta bowls. Photo: ABC
Josh Thomas, Emily Barclay and Hannah Gadsby. Photo: ABC
“I’m sorry about your life.”
As far as a simple summation of a series’ intent goes, it might go down as one of TV’s best ever final lines.
The quip, uttered on last night’s season four finale of ABC’s Please Like Me by Josh (Josh Thomas) to best friend Tom (Thomas Ward) and politely returned back again, summed up the off-kilter melancholic wink of the show and its bumbling but lovably self-deprecating cast of misfits.
“I’m glad you liked that,” laughs series producer Todd Abbott. “There’s so much pressure on the last words of things, but I think it delightfully sums up everything that Please Like Me has been about.”
The line also signalled a flurry of panic from the show’s fans, as the episode’s neat finality hinted at something more permanent than just an end-of-year hiatus.
Titled ‘Souvlaki’, the episode, directed by Thomas, tied up a number of the season’s remaining loose threads.
Following Rose’s shock death in last week’s affecting episode, Josh put Rose’s house on the market and bought his own inner-city pad with the $1.4 million payout (accurate local real estate figures, I should add), breaking up the ol’ sharehouse.
Ella (Emily Barclay), meanwhile, got cold feet about moving into a loft with Tom, leading to their break-up, and Tom and Josh’s final misery-over-pasta moment.
“We weren’t even sure we were going to make a fourth season. And so when we did start, we basically decided that, in case it does turn out to be the last one, it really should feel like it has a satisfying conclusion,” Abbott says.
“But we didn’t want to burn everything down so that we couldn’t go back and decide to make a season five. To be perfectly honest, we still haven’t decided whether we’ll do anymore.”
Despite being recently picked up by Hulu in the US and Netflix everywhere else around the globe (you can spot the fandom spreading from the enthusiastic comments in Spanish and Portuguese peppering Twitter each week), the show was placed in a precarious spot last month after its US co-producer, cable channel Pivot, suddenly shut down.
“I have to think about doing something else because I might not have another season,” Thomas told the Herald Sun last month.
“Obviously, we’re talking to everybody, but contracts aren’t built to have networks close down so it’s very tricky,” he added.
But in the end, the decision to call a wrap or keep going comes down to Thomas, Abbott said.
“Ultimately, it’s a creative decision. It’s whether Josh feels like he has any more of that story to tell,” he says.
“That’s where we were in terms of season four, too. The networks were really keen on it, but we didn’t want to do a half-arsed season for the sake of it.
“This season we came up with something that seemed like it was an important part of a story that we started to tell three seasons beforehand.
“But the decision of whether we end up doing another one comes down to whether Josh has anything left to say with these characters,” he adds.
“If there’s a story left to tell, then it’s worth doing.”
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