The Best Moments Of ‘Please Like Me’, As Picked By The Cast And Crew
"Come on. We nailed it."
Mild spoilers for seasons 1-4 of Please Like Me!
Well, Josh Thomas called it this morning: Please Like Me is done. The show’s fourth season which premiered late last year was its last, and it’s going out on a spectacular high.
Since premiering on ABC2 in 2013, this hilarious and heart-wrenching sitcom has earned fans from all around the world, scored a bunch of critical adoration and a swag of awards (from Logies to international Emmys). Its affecting portrayal of sexuality; mental health; friendship; family; and boring, funny and painful real life junk in a pokey inner-North Melbourne sharehouse has led our own reviewers to call it “rich, layered, and superb” and (without a shade of embellishment) “the best show on TV”.
As such, it only seems right to give it a proper send-off! We asked the Please Like Me cast and crew to reflect on their favourite episodes and specific moments of the series over the past four years. The show may have only finished up a month or so ago, but everyone sounds very sad and nostalgic for it already (and yes, I can attest from personal experience, they’re all as lovely and friendly as they seem).
Here are some tips on what you should cry-watch over the weekend:
Keegan Joyce (Arnold)
“I had so many favourite episodes to be part of! Recording the piano track with my arms in Tom’s sleeves and singing it over and over to David for Arnold’s ‘Chandelier’ coming out was great. But the most fun times filming for me were those when we were all together.
“I spent three seasons on the show and I loved every single day on set. Our Christmas episode (‘Christmas Trifle’) was my favourite to film and to watch. It captured everything that is so awful and lovely about family and friends. The writing was so engaging and incredibly special. Having all of us around a table for a week is tough work for the cast and crew. But it was like eating dinner with your best friends all day long (and kind of the awful/lovely thing I’m talking about). Can you believe I got to do that for work?
“I feel so lucky to be part of the show and I’m going to miss PLM and ‘Arnie’ as much, if not more than everyone who watched.”
Todd Abbott – Producer
“The Tasmanian episode in season two (‘Scroggin’) and the last three episodes of season four (‘Degustation’, ‘Burrito Bowl’ and ‘Souvlaki’) are, to me, the best eps we ever did. But in terms of standout scenes, it’s pretty hard to go past Arnold’s coming out rehearsal in the season three episode ‘Simple Carbohydrates’.
“I just never get tired of watching Josh orchestrate his dad to roleplay Arnold’s father, Tom to play piano and Claire to be supportive from the other side of the world while Arnold sings Sia’s ‘Chandelier’. Knowing that on the day, Keegan Joyce (Arnold) had a terrible cold and soldiered through to sing like an angel makes it even more memorable for me, and so does the fact that the close up shots of the piano playing are actually Keegan’s hands poking around the side of Tom’s body. Also, David Roberts (Dad) is just brilliantly funny in pretty much every scene he does, and this is one of his finest.”
Emily Barclay (Ella)
“Hannah Gadsby’s performance in season four is perfect. The scene in ‘Burrito Bowl’ where she’s in her caravan with her ex girlfriend and says something like ‘I’m not just losing, I’m not even playing anymore’… it kills me.
“When I watched the show, before I was in it, it was Hannah that made me realise this wasn’t like other TV shows. She didn’t sound like an actor, she sounded like a real person talking. I have so many favourite bits and I love the show so much. It’s been a real honour being part of it and it’s given me my best friends.”
Liz Doran – Writer, Script Producer
“Oh god this is the worst! I can’t choose at all… I don’t want to! But if I had to… it’s all of season three. I am so proud of the way the show ended in season four (sorry Deb, what a trooper) and there are many delights in seasons one and two — notable mentions ‘Horrible Sandwiches’, ‘Scroggin’ and ‘Sausage Sizzle’ — but I think season three is where the show really hit its (not very sporty) stride.
“Baby chickens; the maze; Tom getting mad about the bread; the croquembouche; Dad on the roof; the MDMA night; Ella; eating Adele; Claire’s abortion; Ben; the Penis or Not Penis game; Tom gets chlamydia (again); the entire Mum, Hannah and Stuart storyline; the fact that we actually shot all those scenes on the observation wheel AND Christmas. Come on. We nailed it.”
Tom Ward (Tom)
“In season three’s third episode (‘Croquembouche’), Arnold’s dad (Geoff Morrell) says the line, ‘You will not make a speech’ to his son Steve (Nick Cody). It was in no way meant to be a funny line, but Geoff’s delivery not only made it one of my favourite lines in the show, but took his character to a ridiculous place that we never could have created in the script alone.
“Josh also has a two-word line in season four’s fourth episode (‘Degustation’) between him and his mother: “shut up”. It’s by far my favourite performance from him throughout the entire series. In two words he managed to capture the complicated mixture of love, pain, frustration and care that everyone with a family can relate to.”
Renee Lim (Mae)
“The hot air balloon in season two (‘Margherita’) was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had in my life. To have it happen as part of a shoot was so lovely. We only had 40 minutes or so in the air, in the hot air balloon with a camera and a small crew and it was just ‘go, go, go, let’s get the scene and make it work!’.
“To have that while flying across Melbourne on a perfect morning really ticked the box for best moment ever. And it was only the third time I’d said no to a wedding ring!”
David Roberts (Dad)
“In the first season I gave the young ones a lesson in method acting by farting in the middle of a scene (‘Portuguese Custard Tarts’). I finally got to pull out some more party tricks in season four with my emu impression (‘Degustation’), and I was really hoping to get some more tricks into a season five — my ‘door Superman’ and my mouth catching talents, particularly.”
Debra Lawrance (Mum)
“My favourite moment in all of the Please Like Me fabulousness is, understandably and unsurprisingly, the groundbreaking Tasmanian episode (‘Scroggin’). Guerilla shooting with our clever crew, the genius script – and the scenery!!! So many thanks ‘Joshie’!!”
“I’m so close to this show it’s really hard for me to have any critical distance. I think one of my favourite episodes is when Josh barricades Tom in his room because Tom ate all his truffled mac and cheese (‘Truffled Mac and Cheese’). It isn’t the fanciest episode, there isn’t a big musical number or nothing. I just think it’s nice.
“I love friendship stories in shows. They often get overlooked but watching a show and being just so happy the people I am watching are friends and wanting to be friends with them is a really special feeling. It’s something I wanted Please Like Me to do and I think this episode is the most successful at it. Also it has the line ‘You will rue/roux the day you ate my truffled macaroni and cheese’ which is a pun so niche I don’t think anyone ever noticed.”
Please Like Me is available to stream on both ABC iView and Netflix.
Feature image: Ben Timony/ABC2