"Why Are You Like This?" captures the intimacy of inclusivity

By EMILY MELVIN
On April 21, 2021

Photo courtesy of Mal Vickers, Wikipedia

“Why Are You Like This?” is Netflix's latest Australian-based series that was released on Friday, April 16. Originally featured in the Australian comedy anthology series, “Fresh Blood,” the anthology featured multiple shows with various plots.

The original show was released in 2018 on Australia's ABC TV, but three years later, it has been signed over as a Netflix series and is now streaming all six episodes of its first season. 

The show follows three Aussie friends in their twenties: Penny, Austin and Mia. Penny, an exceptional LGBTQ+ ally and woke feminist activist, lives with Austin, a gay drag queen who is going through a challenging depression. They are both almost always occumpanied by their other best friend Mia, a vocal bisexual Muslim woman trying to find a job and someone of color to hook up with. 

Going into it, I was excited to see how a series listed by Netflix as a “raunchy LGBTQ+ TV show” would go about being a show of queer representation. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the show tackles a variety of taboo and secluded issues: queer culture, racism, life as a woman of color, religon, different types of friendships and overbearing political correctness, all while remaining comedically absurd. 

The episode that stood out to me, and I think is the strongest piece of the entire season, is its final episode “I Will Not Speak for the Entire Queer Community.” 

Though the whole series is relevant, this particular episode captures the struggle many face with celebrity cancel culture and how hard it can be to decide who to support and to what extent we should do so. I felt so connected to the characters as they are in a constant debacle over who to forgive or who gets a say in how insensitivity is responded to.

It was done incredibly well, and I would highly suggest even just watching that episode alone. It is something we all can relate to, and you don’t need to know the characters to grasp the larger aim of the episode.

With that being said, the show seems to lack a bit of consistent plot. Each episode does have an event or driving force, but it feels more so a show where we literally are just peering into the daily lives of these pals rather than developing a clear story arch.  

However, I kind of admire the casualty of the show. It feels as if the viewers are part of the friend group, and the almost painfully normal lives they live still somehow manage to be unique and entertaining.

The show is definitely character driven, and I think it does a nice job of consistently changing the main focus from friend to friend. The cast is made up of actors with not much popularity, but their talent in the show would suggest otherwise. 

I think the trio (Naomi Higgins, Olivia Junkeer and Wil King)  all have great strengths as actors and performers, and I anticipate that this show is only the start of their acting careers. 

I am excited to see more of “Why Are You Like This?” and I hope future seasons can dive a bit further into Austin’s character as well as romance in regard to Penny, as we only really got to see any intimacy from Mia and loosely Austin. 

There is isnt no confirmed date for a new season, but I am hopeful Netflix won’t cancel yet another strong, inclusive, queer series. 

4/5 stars

 

emelvin@ramapo.edu

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