Flavorwire Exclusive: Josh Likens Himself to Masturbating Monkey in New ‘Please Like Me’ Clip

Please Like Me, Australian comedian Josh Thomas’ semi-autobiographical comedy series on Pivot, gets a great deal of its yuks from Thomas’ brand of physical self-deprecation. Between using his resemblance to a “50-year-old baby” as first-date material and his aunt’s claim that his “pear shape” may be the result of a hormonal imbalance caused by abnormally small testicles, Thomas began the series understandably lacking confidence. He was a character who, due to both his own and others’ harsh (and humorously exaggerated) critiques of his body and face, clearly wasn’t comfortable in his own, newly un-closeted skin. In that first season, as he grappled with his mother’s manic depression and tried to strike a balance between worshiping his new boyfriend’s physical perfection while disparaging his emotional neediness, Josh slowly had to become more of an adult.

By the end of the season, Josh stuck with one responsibility and abandoned another, and it was in this decision that a burgeoning maturity became detectable. He took some form of control, as opposed to passively and grudgingly giving in to everyone’s needs. Throughout the course of that season, his awkward composure – while never quite evolving into unrealistic body positivity – underwent a subtle shift. It may sound dorky and sentimental, but watching a young gay man who hides behind a door to change his shirt in front of another guy (that he’s about to hook up with), uh, blossom into a one-year-older gay man who would maybe still hide behind something (but something a little smaller) is quite moving in its familiarity. Because ultimately, while there’s so much less of a sense of needing to “hide” in our culture (and Australia’s, I assume) than ever before, “hiding” almost undoubtedly played a part in every young queer person’s life at one point.

In the second season, Thomas is still awkward, self-deprecating and defensively aloof, but thank God, he’s getting more comfortable with talking about – and owning – his sex life. Season 2 introduced the character Patrick (Charles Cottier), and along with Patrick, a notion of impending dormcest: Patrick is one of Josh’s roommates, on whom Josh now has a painful and inconvenient crush. It seems that Josh is cultivating a connoisseurship for lackluster beefcakes: Patrick might be the show’s most underdeveloped character – and I don’t think that’s an accident. For, lingering in the background of the season, there’s been a flirtation with Arnold (Keegan Joyce), a mental patient at Josh’s mother’s facility, who happens to look like pocket-James Franco. This character, a man of copious anxiety and heart, has been far more intriguing than cardboard-cutout Patrick.

In a new, exclusive clip from tonight’s episode “Lapin à la Cocotte” (Season 2, Episode 6), featured below, we can deduce that Josh’s attempts to charm the beefcake roomie go awry – which is honestly quite a relief, as it may free up his attentions for Arnold. The clip shows Josh bemoaning whatever ego-shattering experience he’s just had with Patrick to his ex-girlfriend Claire (Caitlin Stasey). As is very explicitly demonstrated in the scene, Josh hasn’t lost his sense of amusing self-deprecation; but the very fact that this scene exists confirms that he’s made great strides in his willingness to see himself as a sexual being, albeit a “repulsive” one similar to a “masturbating monkey at the zoo.”