There is always something to do for lone survivors of calamitous events; in Oblivion, Tom Cruise searches the decimated earth for any sign of life, in I am Legend, Will Smith looks for a cure of zombification and so on. The Last Man on Earth is the new sitcom by Foxx, in which William Forte’s Phil Miller is also alone. The only difference is that Phil doesn’t have any skills and is bored to death. His destiny isn’t to rebuild civilization; it is to nap and give in to his worst impulses like filling a kiddie pool with margarita and tequila mix and spend days drunk and sunbaked. Well, he is a regular guy after all.
Phil Lord and Chris Miller are executive producers while Forte himself is the creator, but there is no denying that The Last Man on Earth is a breath of fresh air. It actually goes to the basics and clearly shows that if the 21st century man has to bear the weight of the world on his shoulders, it wouldn’t take long for his daydreaming, lazy and slovenly animal to surface. Phil was a temp before all of humanity was wiped from the planet by a virus. The problem is that in the post-apocalypse land, his skills are of no use.
He has searched for survivors in his hometown of Tucson, Arizona for two years and is now residing in an abandoned mansion and is fulfilling his fantasy of being the kid in Blank Check; he hangs stolen Rembrandt paintings in the hallway, wears Michael Jordan’s jerseys around the house and his make-shift toilet is the in-ground pool. Basically, he just wreaks havoc such as standing in the parking lot of a bowling alley and hitting glass balls with 10-pound balls. Forte make’s The Last Man on Earth work by delivering suicidal ramblings, one-sided pep talks and pleas to God.
But, the show isn’t The Last Person on Earth so Phil comes across Kristen Schaal’s Carol who is the polar opposite of this man. She understands her responsibility to mankind so she wants to park in designated spots, stop at red lights and she wants to use the perfect grammar. Phil’s habits disgust her so she wants him to clean up. It is up to them to repopulate the world, but she will not sleep with him without marriage. This is the twist; Phil is horny as hell and has been begging for a female companion. Only now, he is stuck in a Neil Simon play, which seems like his own personal hell.
The Last Man on Earth doesn’t bear a strong resemblance to the shows of the last decade like New Girl, Parks and Recreation and Happy Endings. This latest creation isn’t without challenges because the whole world is dead. Thus, you feel sadness for every laugh, yet it is still heart-lifting thanks to the goofy personality depicted by Phil. Just like the lone survivor, Forte is a one-man operation. Only, he makes us laugh instead of curing zombies.