One of Australia’s most beloved millennial comedians Josh Thomas is making his return to telly and a-fkn-men to that.
Fans of his Emmy-nominated series Please Like Me will be stoked to learn that your boi is helming another show, but don’t expect this project to be exactly like his first as he’s shaking things up with Stan-exclusive series Everything’s Gonna Be Okay.
Josh once again takes on the multifaceted role of creator, writer, executive producer and lead star of the show but instead of basing the story on his life, he’s penned a completely new yarn, set in the U.S.
“This one is not autobiographical at all, except maybe for some of how I act because that’s just how I would act in those situations,” he told Variety.
In the series, Josh plays a neurotic bloke in his 20s who travels to California to visit his teenage half-sisters after their father passes away.
As the series was written by Josh, you know you’re in good hands comedy-wise with loads of hilarious moments, but at its core, the show is filled with several powerful messages.
While Please Like Me focused on the LGBTQIA+ community, Everything’s Gonna Be Okay focuses on another very important topic: autism, which is reflected in Nicholas’ sister Matilda who is on the autism spectrum.
“I wanted a show with autism at the center, and I think if you want to do a drama-comedy, teenagers are the best representative of what that is,” he added.
Thomas spent a great deal of time reading and meeting with teachers and teenage girls to gain a proper understanding of the subject.
“If I’m going to talk about something that’s traumatic or controversial, I want to have some personal connection with it, or it has to be something that I can really research,” he said.
The series also makes history as the first show to ever cast an actor on the spectrum in a lead role as Matilda is played by autistic actress Kayla Cromer.
“Everyone that’s been cast as a character with autism doesn’t really have that disability themselves,” Kayla pointed out to Teen Vogue. “So how can they expect to act like one of us, when they haven’t walked in our shoes?”
Josh was adamant on casting an autistic actress who could give the role the portrayal it deserved.
“If you get someone who’s had shared living experiences with the character, it’s going to be better,” he told Variety.
“When you’re an outsider and you don’t know a lot about autism, you may be expecting a cliche or a trope or for them to be written a certain kind of way, but it’s an incredibly vast, broad spectrum, so it’s about finding specificity of character and finding more than one version to represent authentically.”
Love, loss, grief, sexuality, adolescence, consent, parenthood and a host of other subjects are explored in this heartfelt story, with loads of laughs thrown into the mix.
If you can’t wait that long (same tbh), give the trailer a watch below for a taste of what’s to come.Image: Stan.