The charming Australian dramedy “Please Like Me,” which has built an international following over the course of four seasons, is officially coming to a close. Creator/star Josh Thomas made the announcement Thursday on social media, posting that “Ultimately we decided this because we are really happy with what we’ve made and feel like it is complete.”
“Please Like Me” was a coming-of-age story anchored around the awkward yet sweet-natured Josh (Thomas) juggling a complicated family life (including a clinically depressed mother), an eccentric crew of friends, and his emerging sexuality. The series had suffered a major setback prior to the premiere of Season 4, when its original American distributor, the cable network Pivot, closed up shop. Fortunately, Hulu (which was already streaming Seasons 1-3) agreed to pick up the fourth season, releasing it last month to U.S. audiences.
When IndieWire sat down with Thomas at last month’s Television Critics Association press tour, no official decision had been made yet regarding a Season 5, and Thomas himself was uncertain as to what the show’s fate might be.
“I would never want there to be much more of a sense of completion for our show,” he said. “I would hate for there to be a [bah-duh-ching] sort of an end. We did a finale that I like, if that’s the finale. But obviously I love the show.”
No spoilers, but the Season 4 finale did wrap up a few key storylines, though there was further material to explore; Thomas mentioned that he would have been interested in examining how turning 30 affected (the fictional) Josh and his friends. “Josh has to figure out what the point is, of those days,” he said.
By ending the series now, Thomas has to figure out what the next thing is, which isn’t the easiest prospect. “I always get asked what I want to do, and I just want to make a good project. I’ll go anywhere where there’s a good project, but finding that is hard,” he said. “For me it’s just about finding something that I want to work on, that as soon as I start thinking about it my brain starts moving and I’m excited about it. That’s what I’m looking for.”
Yes, he was aware that this is a challenge for those he works with: “It’s hard in meetings, where it’s like ‘What do you want to do?’ and I’m like ‘I don’t know yet, but I want it to be really great,’ and they just look at you like…” He trailed off, shaking his head.
Acting work on other people’s shows was something he expressed interest in, though he confessed that “I don’t have that diverse a range of what I can do, so finding a character where they want exactly this–” he gestured at himself “–is a challenge. I don’t know if that’s my future.”
“It’s just about finding something that’s cool,” he added. “Which is hard. There’s not many things out there that are cool. Before this I did stand-up and shitty panel shows — this is the first serious thing I’ve ever done.
“As far as finding a new project goes, I’d have to find something I really love again,” he said. “There are plenty of fine ideas, but you don’t want to be stuck in a fine idea for the next seven years.”
In the meantime, he’s writing a young adult novel, and has plans for some travel through Europe. Maybe there, he’ll think of something “cool.”
All four seasons of “Please Like Me” are streaming now on Hulu. Thomas’s full statement is below.
The other producers and I have decided that Season 4 of PLEASE LIKE ME is the last.
Ultimately we decided this because we are really happy with what we’ve made and feel like it is complete.
I want to thank everyone who has watched the show and sent me a friendly note. This show is so intensely personal, it recreates the most intimate moments of my life and lays them out for anyone to watch. Seeing how people have connected with this show has been tremendously confidence building for me and i’m really grateful for that. Thank you.
I want to thank our cast and crew because… well because they make the show. I’m so fond of pretty much everyone who has worked on this show. It only takes one douchebag on set to ruin the day and we don’t have any. (Okay, we have one.)
I especially want to thank Todd Abbott, Producer. We built this show from the ground up together and he’s always just been a real good bloke.
Also thanks Mum and Dad! They made me and then kept me alive which is really cool. They’ve been incredibly supportive of this show even though at times it makes them look like twats.
This show has brought me so much joy and I’m sad it’s over but also things have to end. I’m focussing now on what’s next, I hope to see you there.