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by Alison Willmore
August 1, 2013 10:00 AM
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Josh Thomas on His New Pivot Series 'Please Like Me,' Having a Boring Coming Out Story and Getting Compared to 'Girls'

Thomas Ward, Caitlin Stasey, Josh Thomas and Debra Lawrence in 'Please Like Me' Narelle Sheean/Pivot

Were there series you looked at as guides or see as similar?

There's not a clear thing that people compare it to, which I'm happy with. "Girls" comes up sometimes, but I've been avoiding watching that. I think we're both one of the first people of our generation to make a show that's distinctly our generation's voice in an honest way, not like, everyone's on skateboards at the beach, do you know what I mean? It's like "This is what we actually like doing."

The network is positioning itself as being the voice of the Millennial generation, how do you feel about having your show be a representative of that?

The one thing that I get sick of is that everyone always talks about us like we're some kind of diseased group. It's pretty odd. It's fine to have an age demographic, but I do cringe when everyone's like, "This is what Millennials want" and I'm like, "That's not what I want. That might be what he wants, but that's not what I want." But I think this network's more about doing new things. That's what young people want. Young people have grown up watching so much content, and just to find something that they haven't seen before: that's the dream. When you stumble across a show and you say "I haven't seen this," that's what we want. That and cake-based reality shows, which Pivot doesn't have any of yet.

"The one thing that I get sick of is that everyone always talks about us like we're some kind of diseased group."

You were also on a quiz show ["Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation"] where you were the representative of Gen Y?

So I did that when I was 20, and there's been about six years of interviews just about how old I am -- it's very weird because it's just not a part of my identity. Also people ask "What's the difference? What do Gen Y people like?" and I don't know because I grew up this age. Everyone who is around me who is also this age is of course going to have similarities and differences from old people, but I've always assumed that's just because old people are old and they don't want to be out in nightclubs. I don't know what they were like when they were our age, so... I don't really understand it.

These shows, they're all about something, and they're not patronizing -- the only thing that's patronizing is that they talk about Millennials. And the network's really committed to doing things differently, not getting boxed in. With ["Please Like Me,"] it's interesting that they're playing the original version. Originally they wanted to do a remake, and then they thought about it and said "No, we don't want to do that thing that Americans networks do where they take a show they like and then ruin it with pretty American people." So instead they've put it on double decker buses, which is a pretty cool thing and a big investment in the season, and they've commissioned series two, which is actually what people that I know want. I imagine most Americans would so much prefer to watch the UK version of "The Inbetweeners" and probably did, not the American version. 

Do you know what you're going to do for the second season yet?

No -- it just got announced today, so let's not put too much pressure on me! We have some ideas. I think it's going to be fun. We need to finish off the old series, and then we'll start something new... That's the most generic pitch for a season two anyone's ever said. "We'll continue some of the storyline and start some new storylines to continue the drama and the plot. There will be some plot involved, maybe some dialogue, props..."

Do you think your character will be closer to getting his life anywhere near together?

He is getting older, and I do want to make sure he gets older as he gets older. I was very different when I was 20. But I don't think he'll get his shit together because that does sound like very boring television. Josh getting nice suits and going to work and making heaps of money and then coming home and kissing his very kind, very stable boyfriend -- that doesn't sound like a TV show. I'm sure he'll go on making some horrible choices.

Where did your character's description of himself as looking like a "50-year-old baby" come from? Did someone ever say that to you?

I look like a child, but then it's all kind of wrinkly, you know what I mean? I'm very peculiar looking. I can touch my eyebrows with my nose. [pulls his eyebrow until it touches his nose] Look at that! That's not normal. I shouldn't be able to do that.

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