Doe-eyed, darkly witty, and reliably endearing, Australian funnyman Josh Thomas has been entertaining us for two seasons with Please Like Me, a comedy-drama he both stars in and writes. The series, which deftly balances dry humor and sharp insight as it follows the ham-handed encounters of its leading man (also named Josh), never overstates its LGBT themes. Instead, it displays a rare form of progressive storytelling that should serve as a model for any piece of contemporary television tackling the complexities of 20-something adulthood. With PLM returning to Pivot for its third season on October 16, Thomas reveals his favorite spots in Melbourne, where the show is filmed.
1. The Farm Cafe “An actual farm in central Melbourne, it’s idyllic, like the photo they would put on a pack of butter to try to convince you the butter comes from a happy place. The café does a nice, fresh breakfast you can eat while looking at heritage cows. Oh, and it’s dog-friendly.” 18 St. Heliers St.; FarmCafe.com.au
2. Baker D. Chirico “A beautiful bakery! They sell canelés, which I love and don’t see much. The batter is baked so the outside is caramelized and crispy, and the inside is soft and custardy. They’re flavored with vanilla, a tiny bit of rum, and honey.” 149 Fitzroy St., St. Kilda; BakerDChirico.com.au
3. Thursgay at Mr. Wow’s Emporium “It’s small and packed, and you can’t get in after 10:30 p.m. Everyone dances and lets loose, sometimes on pool tables and usually to Taylor Swift. Afterward, the boys head to Sircuit next door and the girls head somewhere else. I don’t know where. It’s none of my business.” 97b Smith St., Fitzroy; MrWowsEmporium.com
4. St. Kilda Pier “At night, go to the end of the pier, where the penguins are — wild motherfucking penguins just walking around, penguin-ing. You can look at them, but you can’t touch them. Unless you’re a douchebag.” Pier Road, St. Kilda
5. The Commoner “All their produce is sourced as locally as possible. Sometimes they do mushroom-foraging classes and then cook the mushrooms. Also, their Negroni has a wedge of wood-fired orange in it, and it’s magic.” 122 Johnston St., Fitzroy; TheCommoner.com.au
6. Escape Room “Escape rooms are really becoming a thing here. Typically, you and some friends get locked in a dark room and have to figure out how to exit by solving a series of puzzles. This was the first escape room in Melbourne. It’s a granny flat in someone’s garden, which is a bit awkward, but also perfect, dorky fun.” 9 Lee St.; EscapeRoom.com.au
7. Sandown Street Beach “Shallow water in which you can run around with your dog. Big, wet dogs running up to you and jumping on you. Hell, yes!” Between Sandown Street and Bay Street, Brighton