What You Need To Know About the TV Series “The Last Man on Earth”
“The Last Man on Earth” is an American comedy series starring Will Forte that premiered on Fox in March 2015. It is now in its third season. The two directors of the show, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, actually envisioned “The Last Man on Earth” as a feature film. What makes the TV series so unique is that it is the first TV comedy series about humanity’s post-apocalyptic future.
The leading role of Phil “Tandy” Miller is played by “Saturday Night Live” star Will Forte. Kristen Schaal plays the role of Carol Pilbasian, Phil’s nagging and whining wife. January Jones plays the role of Melissa Shart, a beautiful blonde who is the real object of Phil’s romantic attention. Mel Rodriguez plays Todd, who becomes the boyfriend of Melissa. Cleopatra Coleman (as Erica) and Mary Steenburgen (as Gail) play two traveling companions who meet after almost all of Earth’s population has been wiped out by a deadly virus.
PLOT LINE & NARRATIVE
The basic plot line is that in the year 2019, a deadly virus has wiped out everyone on earth except for Phil Miller – the so-called “last man on Earth” – and a small group of survivors who begin to appear. In Season 1, which is set in the year 2022, Phil Millers scours the continental U.S. in his RV for signs of another human companion, especially a female one.
At the beginning of the TV series, Phil Miller is convinced that he is truly alone, and much of the comedy revolves around his loneliness and search for signs of hope. Miller decides to put up a sign advertising that people are still alive – “Alive in Tucson” – which results in him meeting Carol Pilbasian, a shrill, nagging woman who is, nonetheless, better than being alone. They decide to get married and pregnant, so as to re-populate the earth.
But that’s when different survivors begin to appear. A small collective begins to form in Tucson. For example, Melissa is a beautiful blonde woman who makes Phil question the steps he has
taken with Carol. But Melissa becomes romantically involved with Todd, which only leads to envy, jealousy and problems for Phil. Season 1 ends with Phil and Carol re-thinking their marriage and Phil being banished from Tucson, Arizona.
Season 2 continues to add new characters to the cast of survivors, who have now moved to Malibu, California. One plot wrinkle is the addition of “the last man in space” – the astronaut brother of Phil Miller, played by Jason Sudeikis. Eventually, Phil’s brother also finds his way to Malibu.
“The Last Man on Earth” has earned critical praise for its unique, comedic approach to the traditional post-apocalyptic story of Earth. The show uses comedy to approach the difficult issues of hope and loneliness from a new perspective. Given the starring role of Will Forte, think of this Fox TV show as a “Saturday Night Live” approach to life after the apocalypse. However, some viewers and critics have questioned the stereotypical role of women, as portrayed by the juxtaposition of Carol (the nagging wife) and Melissa (the beautiful blonde).
Current episodes of Season 3 are now available for $1.99 each on YouTube, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu and Google Play.