Please Like Me, the ABC comedy from Josh Thomas, is normally the kind of show you can just flick on and happily lose yourself in.
It’s sharply written, wickedly funny and easily digestible, the hot chocolate of the Australian TV comedy scene. But a recent episode has turned this normally chuckle-inducing world on it’s head and left a raft of loyal viewers in tears.
At the end of the recent episode Burrito Bowl, Josh innocently wanders into his mum Rose’s bedroom and finds her lying lifeless on the floor, a suicide note clutched in her hand.
The topic of suicide has been woven throughout the story-line of Please Like Me since the very first episode, but this death, coming right at the end of a lighthearted season four episode, added a whole new level of emotion.
Season one opened with Josh's mother's first suicide attempt and the character of Rose (played exceptionally by Debra Lawrance) continued to struggle with mental health throughout the show's run.
Listen to Rosie Waterland, Laura Brodnik and Mia Freedman discuss why this episode of Please Like Me was so hard to watch. Post continues after audio.
When Josh Thomas first popped into The Binge, Mamamia's TV podcast, he told hosts Rosie Waterland and Laura Brodnik that "not very much happens", but, in this case, he really buried the lead.
Please Like Me is not the first TV show to depict suicide and nor is this the first time Australians have had to endure a characters death.
In this case, the source of our pain came from the familiarity of the situation. It was so raw, so simple and it happened within the walls of a home that could have been any Aussie suburban dwelling.
It wasn't some terrible accident, crime-laden subplot or supernatural monster. It was just everyday human pain and mental illness, two things we have no real fixes for.