From left, Josh Thomas, Kayla Crome and Maeve Press is Genevieve star in Thomas’ “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay,” now streaming on Hulu. (Courtesy Freeform)

From left, Josh Thomas, Kayla Crome and Maeve Press is Genevieve star in Thomas’ “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay,” now streaming on Hulu. (Courtesy Freeform)

Stream the excellent ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Okay’

Australian comic Josh Thomas has created two great shows

They tell us we live in a new golden age of television, and the abundance of great shows streaming at our fingertips is, frankly, overwhelming. “I’ll never have enough time to get to all the good stuff,” we tell ourselves, and it’s true. Or it was. Suddenly we have time on our hands to take deep dives into the stream.

There is so much good stuff out there that is not high-profile, does not get enough critical attention and is just waiting to be discovered.

Josh Thomas, a 32-year-old Australian comedian/writer/actor, is one of those discoveries waiting to enter the mainstream in spite of the fact that he has created two superb series, both of which are now streaming in their entirety on Hulu.

“Please Like Me,” Thomas’ first series, debuted in his native Australia in 2013 and ran stateside on the tiny network Pivot. For four seasons (between six and 10 episodes each season), Thomas starred as Josh, a 20something gay man spending time with his friends (an ex-girlfriend and a dour roommate), looking for love and dealing with his divorced parents. His dad has remarried and started a new family, while his mom, perhaps the most interesting character on the show, wrestles with her demons and offers a very personal (often darkly funny) account of her mental illness and suicidal tendencies, often alongside her pal Hannah (played by the marvelous Hannah Gadsby).

Thomas’ humor is unique in that he can come off as a self-involved jerk, but he’s somehow always loveable. And sometimes he’s even remarkable. Look only to Season 2, Episode 7, “Scroggin,” when Josh takes his mom on a camping trip to distract her from the grief surrounding the death of a friend. This is one of the best episodes of any series in this streaming golden age. Thomas and Debra Lawrence execute a mother-son duet of conversation and emotion — funny and deeply serious — that is breathtaking.

For his follow-up to “Please Like Me,” Thomas headed to American shores and the Freeform network with the 10-episode “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay” about a young Australian man who, after the death of his father, finds himself as the sole guardian of his younger American half-sisters.

Though the setting and circumstances are quite different this time around, Thomas’ character, Nicholas, is still very Josh-like — reluctance to grow up, annoyingly self-involved yet utterly relatable and likeable. The stretch here is the presence of the two remarkable young actors who play Nicholas’ sisters.

Maeve Press as Genevieve, the younger sister, is just figuring out how to navigate the rigors of the high school social scene. She’s like an insecure, deeply cranky old comedian in the body of a freshman. As older sister Matilda, Kayla Cromer plays a bright, brave young woman on the autism spectrum from the perspective of someone who is actually on the spectrum.

Like Thomas’ previous series, this one finds offbeat humor in most situations but never shies away from getting serious when necessary. If you’ve never thought about autism and sexual consent, this series well-written series will be an eye-opener (check out episodes 5 and 6).

Now that “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay” has concluded its debut season (renewal for a second season has not yet been announced), it’s apparent that Thomas had an arc in mind for the characters, and the centerpiece turns out to be Genevieve. Amid all the heavier plot turns — Matilda’s quest to find sex and love, Josh repelling his sweet boyfriend — Genevieve is an observer, a reactor, and, as it turns out, a rather extraordinary person. It takes until the final episode, “Discoid Cockroaches” (every episode has an insect name), but the rise of Genevieve is completely worth it.

Thomas, whose comedy tour recently brought him to Oakland, is the kind of original voice who breathes new life into a format as tried and true as a sitcom. Whatever format he continues to work in, he’s going to keep surprising us simply by being his odd, insightful, wonderful self.

Movies and TV

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Talika Fletcher, sister of Roger Allen, is consoled at a vigil to honor her brother, who was killed by Daly City Police on April 7, on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Supporters march for SF man killed by Daly City police

Struggle over fake gun ends in shooting of 44-year-old Roger Allen, DA says

Curfews on indoor dining have been lifted as The City continues to reopen business. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City to allow expanded indoor dining, limited indoor concerts and small conferences

With new COVID-19 cases remaining stable, San Francisco will continue to expand… Continue reading

Johnny Cueto P was the starting pitcher for the San Francisco Giants against the Cinnanti Reds, Wednesday. (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli/Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Cueto leaves with injury as Giants take series from Reds

A latissimus dorsi injury to Johnny Cueto cast a dark cloud over… Continue reading

Kyle and Kristin Hart shown with their children. Kyle was shot and killed by police three days after the birth of their daughter, Ellie. (Courtesy of the Hart family)
Wife of Redwood City man killed by police files federal lawsuit

Kristin Hart calls for city to improve its response to those suffering a mental health crisis

Chase Center and the Golden State Warriors hosted a media Welcome Back conference to discuss the safety protocols and amenities when fans return for a basketball game on April 23rd at Chase Center on April 13, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Golden State Warriors ready to welcome fans back to Chase Center

COVID-19 tests, app-based food ordering among new safety protocols announced this week

Most Read