Will Forte navigates the post-apocalypse as ‘The Last Man on Earth’


Three stars

The Last Man On EarthSundays, 9:30 p.m. (premieres March 1, 9 p.m.), Fox.

The apocalypse is all over TV, from the zombies of The Walking Dead to the irradiated Earth of The 100 to the vampires of The Strain, but none of those shows aim for humor (at least not on purpose). Fox is attempting to fix that with the sci-fi comedy The Last Man on Earth, starring and created by Saturday Night Live alum Will Forte. As the title implies, Forte is the show’s only regular cast member, although within the first episode, he has already encountered what appears to be the last woman on Earth (played by Kristen Schaal), and casting reports indicate other people will show up to make the show’s title a bit of a misnomer.

Still, it’s an inherently limited premise, and the first episode already zips through the obvious indulgences of being the (apparent) last person on Earth (breaking stuff, stealing priceless works of art, living in a huge mansion). That episode also begins with the near-extinction of the entire human race and ends with the main character almost committing suicide, so the show isn’t afraid to explore the dark implications of its premise, along with the jokes about post-apocalyptic bathroom habits. Consequently, the humor in Last Man is often more disturbing than laugh-out-loud funny, and some of it can be off-putting. But the show is more ambitious than any other current network comedy, and in just two episodes it pushes forward in bold, even reckless ways. It may end up crashing and burning, but at least it will do so without having held anything back.

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