The cast of Why Are You Like This (Image: Supplied)

If ever there was a show that would, on the face of it, break Andrew Bolt’s brain, it was going to be Why Are You Like This.

Bolt’s 50-word reaction to the satire of hyperwoke, marginalised and horny 20-somethings was indistinct from his general anti-ABC, anti-comedy tantrums, although there was something special seeing him slash words like “entertain” and “cultural diversity” out of the ABC’s charter to contrast it with the show’s third episode, “D*ck or P*ssy of Colour”.

The tragedy is that if Bolt actually watched the show — nothing in that pithy comment suggests he did more than pop a monocle on iview one night — there’s an outside chance he’d adore it as (satirically) confirming his worst conspiracy theories about the Other.

Bisexual Muslim bully Mia (played by Olivia Junkeer and modelled on co-creator of the show Humyara Mahbub) kicks off the series by getting fired for, in part, repeatedly lying about prayer times.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial and get Crikey straight to your inbox

By submitting this form you are agreeing to Crikey's Terms and Conditions.

Anxious but frenetic white ally Penny (played by co-creator Naomi Higgins) succeeds in turning her boss into a quivering, overly PC loser, but her attempt to radicalise female workers “single-handedly increases the wage gap” and sees the real villain — a misogynistic white client — win out.

Drag queen housemate Austin (Wil King) goes a revenge story too far by flaunting the time he popped holes in an ex’s condoms and secretly hopes he gets AIDS. Don’t worry, “they’ve basically cured it”.

In many ways the series is a Melbourne version of the “terrible-people-doing-terrible things” comedy we’ve seen Americans pioneer with Seinfeld, turbocharge with It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and humanise with (the similarly woke if far less cruel) Broad City.

Like those shows, Why Are You Like This is much more than the trope, and shows us something unique about the self-obsessed shitheads of the 2020s. These characters have grown up on the internet, and feel both gleefully assured of themselves and their progressive ideals (betrayed the minute they get in the way of self-gratification, naturally) while also tapping into why Gen Z — whether it be Twitter, Australian politics or global warming — is destined to be a truly burnt-out generation.

Mia’s assurance that “everyone who isn’t us are idiots who should die” feels more serious — and consequently sadder — than an almost identical Jerry/Elaine gag.

Equally, the show gives us experiences felt by millions of Australians that have almost never been allowed on local television, from young people navigating the complexities of progressive-traditional Islam during Ramadan, to the deeply sad, deeply funny experience of being depressed and spiralling while your friends are out partying.

Honestly, there is also just something refreshing about seeing the left satirised by people other than dancing Sky News hosts. As Mahbub (who, I should note, is a long-time friend and cyberbully of mine) tells me, fringe, progressive ideas and structures entering the mainstream just make it easier for “big dumb bitches” like her to use them “for the same things that dumb bitches have been using things forever, which is power”.

Bolt and his predictable commenters aside, it’s almost impossible to find a purely negative review of the show in the month or so since its Australian release, ahead of a global release via Netflix some time this year.

On why the show has attracted fans outside its immediate demographic (g’day Shaun Micallef), the show’s third co-creator Mark Samual Bonanno — a member of comedy troupe Aunty Donna who’s madcap 2020 Netflix series is a whole other type of next-generation Australian comedy — traces it to adding a “layer of dumb shit” to the worldview held by Higgins and Mahbub.

Jokes about rings lost between fisting dudes, stuck mooncups and furry porn have a kind of universal humour. Time will tell whether this translates with global audiences, but Netflix tends not to bank on shows with zero online appeal.

Still, the conservatives of Australia are almost certain to despise the show. As shitty as the characters are, the humour comes from everyone, even the queer, Muslim, female and horny young Australian, failing to live up to progressive ideals — rather than, say, racist caricatures cutting up Australia.

Speaking to its target audience here in smug-pinko-lefty-Melbourne, it’s also not been everyone’s cup of tea, the writing sometimes outstripping a production that — while filled with on-point costumes, direction and performances — can’t help but show where the ABC’s slashed three-quarters of a billion has come from.

But on the possibility of conservatives genuinely enjoying the show, Mahbub emphasises that they “have most of the money in the country, so give it to us”. Higgins, exactly as keen to sell out, adds a sweetener: they’ll set the second season “on an oil rig”.

Let us know your thoughts by writing to Please include your full name to be considered for publication in Crikey’s Your Say section.