The Last Man on Earth (TV series)

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The Last Man on Earth
The Last Man On Earth.jpg
Genre
Created by Will Forte
Starring
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 2 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Camera setup Single
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s)
Broadcast
Original channel Fox
Picture format
Original run March 1, 2015 (2015-03-01) – present
External links
Website

The Last Man on Earth is an American post-apocalyptic comedy television series created by Will Forte.[1] The series premiered on the American broadcast network Fox on March 1, 2015.[1] The pilot episode was written by Forte and directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.[1]

Background[edit]

The show originated from the writing team of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who had the idea initially for a feature film. They approached longtime collaborator and former Saturday Night Live cast member Will Forte with the premise, who "took a spark to it and took it in his own direction," according to Miller.[2] He was partially inspired by the series Life After People. "I love comedy where there's a lot of tension and even though it's very far-fetched, it seems very relatable," said Forte of the premise.[3] Forte's treatment for the series, crafted over a weekend, was pitched around Hollywood to positive responses. They mainly pitched to cable and Internet services, as Forte believed a broadcast network would be stricter on content.[2] In their pitch, much of the outline of the series' first season was formulated.[4] Fox, the show's eventual distributor, was instead doing "something different" and specific to his vision, according to Miller.[2]

Forte spoke on the show's creative freedom in a 2015 interview:

Filming the series was challenging. For example, maintaining silence and not picking up sounds of cars in the distance made it difficult.[3] In addition to Forte's fascination with Life After People, similar films bandied about while writing the show included The Omega Man, I am Legend, and 28 Days Later.[4] Fox particularly appreciated the heart of the story, with its universal theme. According to Lord, "We always talked about that this is a person who is very flawed, and a person who maybe needed the entire world to end in order for him to become his best self. [...] That was our big thought, well here’s a guy who maybe he wasn’t the best guy in the regular world, but if you took the regular world away, could he eventually get back to being the person that all of us hope that we can be."[4]

Cast[edit]

  • Will Forte as Phil Miller, the last man on Earth in "Novemberish 2021" after a virus wiped out the entire population of Earth in 2019. Phil lives in his hometown of Tucson, Arizona, having already searched the entire United States for any signs of life.
  • Kristen Schaal as Carol Pilbasian, the last woman on Earth, who sees Phil's "ALIVE IN TUCSON" signs and travels to Tucson. Her campfire smoke is seen by Phil just as he's about to kill himself. Despite Phil's initial excitement to meet another person, her strait-laced personality quickly begins to rub Phil the wrong way. Alexandra Daddario portrays a dream sequence version of Carol.

Episodes[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
1 "Alive in Tucson" Phil Lord & Christopher Miller Will Forte March 1, 2015 (2015-03-01) 1AYB01 5.75[5]
After a virus wipes out humanity, Phil Miller scours North America for another survivor but finds no one.
2 "The Elephant in the Room" Phil Lord & Christopher Miller Andy Bobrow March 1, 2015 (2015-03-01) 1AYB02 5.75[5]
Carol tries to get Phil to respect the rules of civilization again, to prepare him to repopulate the Earth.
3 "Raisin Balls and Wedding Bells"[6] Jason Woliner Emily Spivey March 8, 2015 (2015-03-08) 1AYB03 N/A
4 "Sweet Melissa"[6] TBA TBA March 15, 2015 (2015-03-15) 1AYB06 N/A
5 "Dunk the Skunk"[6] TBA TBA March 22, 2015 (2015-03-22) 1AYB09[7] N/A
6 "Some Friggin' Fat Dude"[6] TBA TBA March 22, 2015 (2015-03-22) 1AYB07[7] N/A
7 "Adam and Eve... and Andrew"[7] TBA TBA TBA 1AYB04[7] N/A
8 "Ignite the Spark"[7] TBA TBA TBA 1AYB05[7] N/A
9 "All She Wants to Do Is Todd"[7] TBA TBA TBA 1AYB08[7] N/A

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

On its premiere, The Last Man on Earth scored 5.75 million viewers with an average 2.4 rating among adults 18-49, making it the highest-rated broadcast series of the evening. Its second episode, which immediately followed the pilot, maintained its ratings.[5]

Critical reaction[edit]

My recommendation comes with a caveat: there is no roadmap for this kind of show, and it could easily fall apart quickly. But I will say this for The Last Man on Earth: it does not seem like the sort of thing that would be a primetime network sitcom. And that's precisely why it should be one.

James Poniewozik of Time[8]

On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 based on reviews from critics, the show has a score of 74 (indicating "generally favorable reviews") based on 24 reviews.[9] Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter called the show "A genre-busting breakout that's creative, nuanced and inspired."[10] Robert Bianco of USA Today praised Forte's "audacity, inventiveness and achievement."[11] Hank Stuever of The Washington Post called it "A charming and intelligent sendup of pop culture’s obsession with the end of everything."[12] Slate '​s Willa Paskin called the program "well-made, polished, odd, surprisingly funny."[13] "For a show that shouldn't really work at all, Last Man works pretty well," remarked Margaret Lyons of Vulture.[14]

Entertainment Weekly '​s Jeff Jensen called it "profoundly funny," and sustainable if it continues the "ingenuity, surprises, and craftsmanship."[15] "I was impressed by The Last Man on Earth, and hope it can continue to spin stories and character development out of its somewhat narrow premise," wrote Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe.[16] Mike Hale of The New York Times deemed the show "well made, meticulous in its comic details and pleasantly acted," though noting that part of the show's appeal "dissipates" past the pilot episode.[17] Brian Lowry of Variety opined that "The premise calls for a level of creativity from the producers that these episodes don’t consistently deliver. That's not to say 'I wouldn’t watch him if he were the last man on Earth.' But like the fate of humanity within the series, while the future certainly isn't hopeless, neither does it look particularly bright."[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Andreeva, Nellie (February 12, 2014). "Fox Orders Will Forte Comedy 'Last Man On Earth' To Series For Midseason 2015". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Mekado Murphy (March 1, 2015). "Phil Lord and Chris Miller on Maintaining Mystery in ‘The Last Man on Earth’". The New York Times. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Rob Owen (February 26, 2015). "Making Fox's 'Last Man on Earth'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d Terry Terrones (February 26, 2015). "Q&A: Will Forte and show producers discuss "The Last Man on Earth"". The Gazette. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c Bibel, Sara (March 3, 2015). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'The Last Man on Earth' & 'Dateline' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 3, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Last Man on Earth – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved December 8, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h "United States Copyright Office Public Catalog". Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  8. ^ James Poniewozik (February 27, 2015). "Review: The Last Man on Earth Is One of a Kind". Time. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  9. ^ "The Last Man on Earth Reviews". Metacritic (CBS Interactive). Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  10. ^ Tim Goodman (February 27, 2015). "'The Last Man on Earth': TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  11. ^ Robert Bianco (February 26, 2015). "'Last Man on Earth' stands alone". USA Today. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  12. ^ Hank Stuever (February 27, 2015). "Fox's 'Last Man on Earth': A guy who is truly in his own element". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  13. ^ Willa Paskin (February 26, 2015). "'Last Man on Earth'". Slate. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  14. ^ Margaret Lyons (February 27, 2015). "TV Review: The Last Man on Earth Makes a Lasting Impression". Vulture. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  15. ^ Jeff Jensen (February 25, 2015). "The Last Man on Earth: EW review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  16. ^ Matthew Gilbert (February 26, 2015). "In 'Last Man,' nothing to do, no one to do it with". The Boston Globe. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  17. ^ Mike Hale (February 27, 2015). "Review: Fox’s ‘The Last Man on Earth’ Stars Will Forte". The New York Times. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  18. ^ Brian Lowry (February 27, 2015). "TV Review: ‘The Last Man On Earth’". Variety. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 

External links[edit]