Took me quite some time to like The Last Man on Earth. At first, it seemed like a weird series about one person who doesn’t know what to do with himself, being alone in the world. Forte was the perfect fit for the starring role, and his goofy and weird behavior was spot on. After doing everything he could in the world, he settled in Tucson, not really expecting to hang out with another people again. But soon, the series introduced more and more last people on Earth, thus redefining the entire premise, but meanwhile, leaving Phil as the odd man out.
Season 3 was no different. Now without black Phil and Mike, the group was attcked by 3 intruders: One was shot by Melissa, one was a murderous villain (Pat), and the third was, shortly, a nice addition to the group, Lewis. Pat’s story-line brought on memories about Mike, but also drove the group out of Malibu, at last. Their new location, the self-sustaining building in San Jose, was much better, and enabled for some new and fascinating adventures. But eventually, they had to abandon this place as well, since a nuclear meltdown caused a fire in a nuclear plant nearby. Deciding to leave USA and its nuclear plants, they aim for Mexico, but since the radiation is too high, they will have to do it by sea.
In order to enjoy The Last Man on Earth, you have to forget that it is a serious TV show about the apocalypse, and embrace the fact that it is a trippy and odd series about a world after doomsday, where anything might be possible, but the main stars, a group of misfits, are better off creating more and more troubles along the way. It is THE PERFECT PARODY of The Walking Dead, actually (and other apocalyptic series, as well). It may be interesting to explore the post-apocalyptic world, but actually, people prefer to find stability and peace. Every-time the Walking Dead’s group settled in a single place for too long, i.e. the farm or the prison, audiences began to complain. But this is the nature of those series, and The Last Man on Earth understands it fully: People find a place, settle, cause trouble, leave. Frustrating, but also funny.
As for the people, this is another fact. While the organic choice of a leader would be a skilled capable person (Rick from the Walking Dead), this series is stuck with Phil Miller, the incapable clumsy idiot of the post apocalyptic world. Sure, there was a better Phil Miller, but he died. Isn’t it funny? Sure it is. The other people are also misfits: Todd, Erica, Gail, Carol, Lewis, no one of them is anywhere near being a leader.
The series also utilizes other aspects of TV: The time jump in episode 16 is weird, feels out of place? Sure, but that’s what happens in every other time jump on TV.
Phil: Look how far we’ve come, huh?
The last six months have been, by far, the most interesting that we’ve all shared. A real roller coaster. So many powerful moments… too many to go into detail, you know.
And we were all there anyway, so, you know, what’s the frickin’ point, yeah?
Self awareness is this series’ biggest strength.
The addition of Jasper was also nice. A troubled kid who’s seen too much in the apocalypse, and was alone for far too long, but thanks to the time jump, opened up to the group in ways we don’t really know.
We’ve also had a special episode with Kristen Wiig, before she was introduced to the group in the last moment of the season. Her episode was strong, and also showed us what really happened when the plague hit. I’m sure her addition to the group next season will be welcomed and funny.
Plot-wise, we’ve had Lewis’ story, Melissa’s depression, Gail’s disappearance, and Carol and Erica’s pregnancy. Erica’s delivery by Gail, Todd and Melissa was a nice fix to black Phil’s death by Gail and Todd last year. Melissa’s depression story was too long (and ended thanks to the time jump), but it gave us a nice glimpse to her life before the plague. And Phil? Well, Phil was, is, and will be Phil. Or Dinosaur-Phil, another great comic instance.
Sure, The Last Man on Earth isn’t quality-TV, but it’s a nice parody on apocalyptic TV, and some more, and while some episodes seem too much, the series as a whole is a great contribution to television, and it also puts us all into proportion: It’s only television.