What a clever little comedy.
The premise of The Last Man on Earth is incredible in its simplicity. Phil Miller is literally the last man on Earth after a virus wipes out the world’s population. What follows is an ambitious showcase of a man living the life completely free of society’s rules and limitations. The show certainly succeeds as a wish-fullfillment experiment, but it’s also quite intelligent and witty. The script allows our protagonist to roam free while causing hilarious havoc at every turn. However, it also subtly demonstrates a genuine sense of tragedy and loneliness underneath the liberating post-apocalyptic vision.
As expected, Last Man lies entirely on Will Forte’s shoulders. He’s the show’s only cast-member after all, and he does an outstanding job with the material. His Phil is relatable, likeable, and always hysterical. It can’t be easy to craft a whole persona without other actors to bounce off of, but Phil’s various adventures kept me smiling throughout the entire episode. Interestingly enough, Forte is also the creator of the show and the writer of the episode. Talk about a triple threat!
Visually, the show is a treat – vast landscapes and sprawling set pieces all inhabited by no one but Phil. It’s an astounding production, and it feels much larger in scope than the comedies we’re usually accustomed to. I won’t spoil the surprises, but the pilot is packed with a ton of amusing visual gags that illustrate what Phil has been up to in his free time (hint hint: he’s sort of a thief).
Now let’s discuss the elephant in the room (coincidentally, that’s also the title of the show’s second episode)… how long can the series last and how can the writers possibly sustain its limited premise? But I won’t jump the gun, because if the first two episodes are any indication, we’re in for a whacky ride.
Charming and ridiculously funny, The Last Man On Earth is a formidable comedy right out of the gate. Give it a shot!