A thrilling ride

By Aimen Siddiqui
Fri, 02, 18

The greatest comedian, George Carlin, once said, “You can joke about anything.....


The greatest comedian, George Carlin, once said, “You can joke about anything. It all depends on how you construct the joke.” So, can a setting as dark as a post-apocalypse world be used for a comedy show? We are talking about a world which has piles of dead bodies lying on various locations. Will it be possible to give a comedic touch to such situation? Will Forte’s The Last Man on Earth take you on a thrilling ride?

The show is set in 2022 - one year after the outbreak of a deadly, unidentified virus. The first half of the one-hour-long pilot shows the life of Phil Tandy Miller (Will Forte), the man who tries to find a life in this now-deserted US. He travelled across the country, desperately searching for a companion. By the end of the first half, Phil decided to end his life, which I found was the strongest point of the episode. There is no possibility that a human can survive in a world where there is no other companion, except for the Cast Away-inspired sport balls, to talk to. Just a few seconds before the expected collision between Phil’s 4x4 and a large rock, the last man on the earth saw a cloud of smoke - the sign of a life.

He set aside his suicide plans and went to find out who, or what, is waiting for him. To his relief and excitement, he finds that this ‘thing’ is a human and a girl. This last woman was Carol Pilbasian (Kristen Schaal) and she was all set to begin a life with Phil Tandy Miller.

But, there are other people alive as well, taking the lead members of the show cast to six: Melissa (January Jones), Eric (Cleopatra Coleman), Todd (Mel Rodriguez) and Gail Klosterman (Mary Steenburgen); average Americans who survived the virus out of luck.

The show has its unique modus operandi: one episode will tell about the danger that is set to threaten their lives while the other one will show the gang fighting over stupid reasons. After a long journey of four FOX seasons, the gang has finally moved to Mexico.

The reason behind leaving the US was simple: nuclear meltdown. Under normal circumstances, this would have meant nothing more than a dramatic touch given to a show to build some tension. But in today’s world when the world is on the verge of a nuclear war, this display of post-apocalypse world endangered by multiple nuclear plants is horrific. This makes one think, where exactly is the world going. Our id-driven lust for power will leave the world uninhabitable for future generations to come.

In this new country, the gang has found a nice place to live. But the place has its own story of which the gang has no information. Also, there is the looming threat of a serial killer, Karl Cowperthwaite (Fred Armisen), who loves preparing the pot roast of the humans he had just killed. This man-eater was trapped in a Mexican jail and had to kill the last surviving prison guard to prove to the world that he is not a killer anymore.

The series will be back in March. The wait is long, but at the end it will be rewarding. Let’s see how the gang will survive. Till then, enjoy binge-watching the show, if you haven’t already.