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New York Times Q&A with Josh Thomas / ‘Please Like Me’

August 9, 2013

Talk about a bad day: In 24 hours your girlfriend breaks up with you and says she thinks you’re gay; you kiss a boy (and decide that maybe she’s right); your mother tries to commit suicide; and you wind up moving in with her. All that, and you’re not yet 21. So begins “Please Like Me,” the series conceived by and starring the Australian comedian Josh Thomas on Pivot, a new cable network for millennials.

“In two sentences, it doesn’t sound like the most hilarious show in the world, but it’s good,” said Mr. Thomas, 26, an endearingly awkward mop-top, with trademark self-deprecation despite comparisons to Lena Dunham, of “Girls” fame, and Louis C. K.

Based on a stand-up routine he devised at 20, just three years after winning large at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, “Please Like Me” takes a no-big-deal approach to situations — most notably, coming out — that tend to receive high-drama treatments on other networks. It’s an attitude in keeping with the generational mission of Pivot, which tackles issues relevant to viewers 18 to 34 through original programming like “TakePart Live,” designed to separate fact from fiction in news reports, and “Raising McCain,” a talk show coming next month from Meghan McCain, a daughter of Senator John McCain. “Please Like Me” is shown on Pivot at various times each weekday; a marathon of the entire first season’s episodes will be shown on Tuesday starting at 8 p.m. The show can also be seen online on Pivot.tv and purchased on iTunes.

Recently, Mr. Thomas, who lives in Melbourne, spoke by phone from Los Angeles with Kathryn Shattuck about girls, boys and the evil he fears lurks beneath. These are excerpts from their conversation.

Read more here.