The idea that you are the only person left on Earth is terrifying yet super cool at the same time. FOX’s newest series takes that concept, tousles it around, and then runs with it. And wherever it’s running to, I’m following.
“The Last Man on Earth” follows Phil Miller, a lonely and exceedingly bored former banker who is trying his best to find human connections and maybe a little trouble along the way. Will Forte, SNL alum and more recently star of Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska”, created and stars in the show. He, along with show runners Phil Lord and Chris Miller, bring a different point of view on what being the last man on Earth could actually mean.
In the first episode alone, the emotions that the show produces offer a scary amount of range for what seems to be labeled a comedy. We peek into Phil’s life as a loner crossing the country looking for any signs of human existence. When he finds none, he retreats back to his hometown in Arizona to continue on with his life of solitude. There are some moments in that first episode that kind of made me cringe, just because the thought of one person left to his own devices was so lonesome and sad to watch.
Luckily, and not to give too much of the show away, Phil Miller was not the last person on Earth. He meets whom he assumes to be the last woman on the planet, Carol (played hilariously by Kristen Schaal), an uptight and chirpy thirty-ish woman who finds one of Phil’s “Alive in Tucson” signs that he left from his search. And with the introduction of the last woman on Earth, the elephant in the room can finally be addressed: repopulation. This is where the show really hits its stride in humor; Schaal’s unapologetic annoyingness mixed with Forte’s drab and sarcastic demeanor truly work wonders in the comedy department.
A few episodes in, we are introduced to one more character, the blonde and beautiful Melissa, played by January Jones. Much to Phil’s dismay, however, because one day earlier he agreed to marry Carol in order to reproduce with dignity, at her requests of course. This character addition adds about as much laughter to the series as it does pain for its protagonist.
I really think this show has the potential to have a good run. God knows that the post-apocalyptic idea has been wrung out over the last few years, so a new spin on it may just inject some faith back into the genre. Catch “The Last Man on Earth” Sundays at 9 p.m. on FOX. Rachel Alfiero is a second-year student majoring in communication studies and minoring in Latin American Studies .