Comedian Josh Thomas, who created and starred in the acclaimed Australian drama series "Please Like Me," will arrive in the United States.
His first series in the United States, "Everything will be fine", opens Thursday (8:30 p.m.) on Freeform.
"I've noticed many differences between American and Australian humor," says Thomas, 32, who was only 26 when "Please Like Me" was released. "One of the most important things is (that) among Australians, when you meet someone, it is polite to be self-critical. You say:" I am really terrible and unpleasant and I do not deserve anyone's time. "But if you know someone American, especially in Los Angeles, they will tell you: "Oh, don't say that about you!"
While "Please Like Me," which aired from 2013-2016 on ABC2 / Pivot, was largely autobiographical, following a young gay man who deals with dating, friendship and family problems, including a mother with depression, "All it's going to be fine "fictional family comedy, says Thomas.
Set in Los Angeles (where Thomas has lived for two years), the story follows Nicholas (Thomas), a millenary who suddenly finds himself as guardian of his two teenage stepsisters when his father dies of cancer. One sister, Matilda (Kayla Cromer), has high functioning autism.
"I wanted to do a show with autism in the center," says Thomas. "I had seen this documentary called" Autism and Love. "I remember thinking:" Can people with autism fall in love? "That is such a crazy question. Of course they can. But I think many people would not have such a basic understanding and would have the same question. It was something I wanted to know more about, which is a great first step when deciding What a creative project it will be.
"Autism is much more common now than it used to be, and it's crazy that girls with autism aren't represented on television," he says. “There are literally zero. I feel we should have that. So I went and did it. "
Since he had no personal experience with the subject, Thomas did his own research, such as reading interviews, watching videos and talking with autistic student teachers. The only element of "Everything will be fine" that is semi-autobiographical, says Thomas, is Nicholas's love life.
"There are a couple of boyfriend scenes that are based on my life, usually, if I'm fighting with a guy on TV, I have to rewrite a past fight to make my points more articulate," he says. "My character is gay because I'm not going to go to the screen and kiss a girl. Yucky, nobody wants to see me do that!
And although the theme of the show is serious, "Everything will be fine" often plunges into Thomas' comedy. For example, Matlida's speech at her father's funeral causes the crowd to laugh.
“The first thing we look for is realism. It's my number one thing, "he says." If I have a friend who has a dead father, we try to make the day lighter. In real life, most people try to cheer up (and) that's what we're trying to do with comedy on the show. The hope is that people will see in the television stories that they are similar to the things that happen in their life, and say "I am not alone in this."
"And you expect people who aren't going through those things to see and understand them better or create empathy for anything," he says. "That's what you expect when you do a television show: you're creating a little empathy."
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