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Please Like Me (2013)
In one word, this show is fun.
From the teaser, to the entertaining title credits where Josh dances a funny little jig while he cooks up the name of the episode (Spanish Eggs for example), to the final scene, this show is all about the humor to be found in our own quirks and our quirky relationships with others...Josh and his first boyfriend Geoffrey, his dad and his Thai girlfriend Mae, his mom and his aunt, Josh and his aunt, Josh and Claire, Ted and Nev, etc.
The other thing that makes this a joy to watch is that the cast clearly enjoys what they're doing...it shines through their portrayals. There are also a few scenes where I swear they improvised, and improvised really well. Think 'Arrested Development meets generation Y'.
I am struck by the timeless quality of this cautionary tale. I don't think it's about politics or religion, I think it's about a more general human failing and a redeeming human quality. It's about ignorance versus reason, survival at any cost versus pragmatism.
I see this as people abandoning science for a quick fix because they are tired or they are frustrated beyond reason, and commit communal suicide.
The same is happening today in slow motion. When the 'old man' helps the community, this help is taken for granted. People are more frustrated that the 'old man' (i.e. science) is right, rather than the fact that they paid for their own ignorance of his knowledge. When the 'young man', thug (i.e. ignorant politicians/religious leaders), shows up and says everything is okay, everyone falls in (what an apt expression) and conforms to authority.
The authority figure even mocks the old man with the false death...the fact that death from radioactive food takes days is ignored...ignorance again.
It's easier and less frustrating with the young man than dealing with the old man...the community doesn't need to worry about listening to advice or facts. In their ignorance, their abandonment of reason, and their primitive pecking-order faith in the young man, the community runs straight over a cliff.
Wow...now that's a payoff
After what I considered to be a ponderous episode 4, I find that it was all a build up to an incredible payoff in an amazing episode 5. Incredible performances, showdowns, and cliffhangers are everywhere.
Sean Bean and Mark Addy require special mention for their scenes together in this episode, their first together since episode 2 (and one realizes that episode 3 and 4 were weaker for the lack of them). Excellent performers on their own, together they achieve an incredible dramatic synergy.
Lena Headey and Mark Addy also require special mention for their scene together in this episode. Very telling and frank.
Last but not least, if you are squeamish about sex, nudity, violence, or blood...this is not the series for you, and definitely not this episode. :)