'Everything's Gonna Be Okay': Josh Thomas brings back comedy with a conversation after fan-favorite 'Please Like Me'
The awareness that mental illness is different with everyone, and so it affects people differently, is the point Thomas is trying to make. With one successful showdown, we can't wait for this genius direction.
This article contains spoilers for Josh Thomas' 'Please Like Me'
Having a voice about mental health in the entertainment industry, be it movies or shows, has become an important part of raising awareness. The high pedestal that the media is on, has given them a responsibility to speak about issues that the public want to be heard. Mental illness - a key determinant in the lives of many people - has been hushed for far too long. In the past decade, shows like Josh Thomas' 'Please Like Me' have broadened the horizons of conversations allowing people to comprehend that the stigma that has been attached to mental illness is uncalled for and should not be considered.
'Please Like Me', an Australian show by Josh Thomas - who also starred in the comedy - had four seasons that portrayed mental health using humor and sensitivity, the way that it should be approached. Mental health ties in with a lot of life-altering coming of age conundrums and the show was able to bring about relevant conversations about the coming out journey and suicide. The show starts with a mother, Rose, attempting suicide and ends with her succeeding in doing so, a very raw yet realistic state of the importance of how mental health affects an individual - it's nothing like it looks like.
Realistic depictions were and should be portrayed because, suicides, depression, among many other things are not rare anymore. There is so much good that can be done, when a TV show - one, in this case, that fans supported - portrays the rawness behind mental illness. In the past, the topic of mental illness was tiptoed around because of its need for sensitivity, and no one wanted to be on the receiving end of judgment. Now, it's become all too real, and Thomas was able to tactfully turn a very relatable experience into an amazing comedy. Thomas, in fact, loosely crafted the character of Rose, his mother in the show, based on his own mother who had attempted suicide. The show showcased the highs and the lows of the character's life, not demeaning any of her choices, rather showing that people will always think differently and that is okay.
The show aired its final episode in 2016 in Australia, and fans of all ages and backgrounds have deemed it the 'best show' they've watched. The relatable nature of the characters is impeccable and Thomas is back at it again with 'Everything's gonna be okay' - a comedy show on a dysfunctional family that has autism as part of the narrative, not the focus of it. Thomas once again serves as writer, showrunner, and stars as a 25-year old that takes over the responsibility of caring for his sisters - one of who has autism - after his father's passing from a terminal illness. In 'Please Like Me' fans saw the exploration of mental health through that of a young man that realizes he is gay while taking a deep dive into relevant concerns such as anxiety, depression, and suicide. With this show, the awareness of autism is brought into perspective without making it the point of the show - there isn't a spotlight on the character having autism, rather she fits into a family narrative.
Mental illness is said to be highlighted in this upcoming comedy show along with autism by Thomas, rendering it not an issue to be dealt with but a healthy conversation that should be had. The awareness that mental illness is different with everyone, and so it affects people differently, is the point Thomas is trying to make. With one successful show down, we can't wait for this genius direction.
'Everything's Gonna Be Okay' airs every Thursday at 7.30c on Freeform.