When we last left or doting last man on earth, Phil Miller was a happily married man driving off into the Arizona sunset to a happy home of raisin ball casserole with his blushing bride of five minutes. What could possibly go wrong? Enter Melissa Sharp (no, SHART) – or at least, that’s what Phil would like to do, by all accounts.
Some Spoilers Follow
These past three weeks have seen Phil endure as a reasonably likable everyman surviving the series’ variety of sometimes silly, sometimes heavy-handed end times questions. Natural selection’s then the most awkward question the series’ posed. As little more than a dopey man-child when it’s come to women, my sympathies for Phil’s wavered considerably. It was a rather amusing idea to assume that only a slacker should survive the upheaval of the apocalypse, but that he should so quickly change his mind on monogamy to guffaw over the literal second woman he’s seen in two-years (not counting porn) is a stretch, even for Phil. If he didn’t like it, you didn’t have to put a ring on it, I’d like to think.
Add January Jones’ Melissa to the mix and you have another odd wrench between Phil and Carol’s already odder relationship. Clearly designed as the hot, sultry, “perfect” other woman to Carol’s nagging wife, Melissa’s a simple plot-device by design, but she’s hardly sweet – not so sweet as to overlook the googly-eyed man gaping at her. Nor do I buy her being the type to bemoan being soooooo “horny” to the blatantly horny husband sharing a beer with her. It’s enough to make me think she’s got some ulterior motive, if not to be the push-up bra on a stick waved in front of Phil.
Meanwhile, Phil and Carol have developed into something of an interesting study for a couple who consummated their vows with baked beans at hand. Will Forte and Kristen Schaal seem to be slipping into the role of your all-American married couple effortlessly, as troubled as it is. I dare say that I buy them together more than I do Melissa and in their own, delightfully awkward, way complete each other’s neurosis. A broken door’s about the best analogy for their marriage they’ve got, for lack of any other subtlety, but it’s effective enough of a metaphor to sell the relevance of their relationship.
As has been the case since its premiere, Last Man on Earth‘s skewed humor is as hilariously evident as ever, winning dialogue and all. We can thank the ladies for that this episode as well as an available razor kit. I never thought it before, but Will Forte’s mug does look a bit Quentin Tarantino-ish. Can’t unthink that now. Meanwhile, Phil continues to dream up more weirdness, this time from a sexy escapade of infidelity thrown in with the series’ ever-present bathroom humor. And yes, Carol, the saying is “hold your breath.” Yes, it is.
I am, however, beginning to question the extent of which the series’ logic is hampering any real survivalist element to the series. Phil’s utter inability to fix a darn door’s about as understandable as his ability to procure a Wilson Phillips-head screwdriver – which is silly in a city of abandoned hardware stores.
For all of its original strengths, I can’t help but worry over the series falling into the formula of another by-the-numbers sitcom. It’s odd enough complaining about too many characters in a cast of three thus far, but it’s going to be challenge for the series to devise too many more dilemmas with so many heads (maybe) working together. By its very nature, the “Will he or won’t he” question isn’t a particularly attractive one for Phil as it applies to keeping it in his pants with Melissa, and I’d hate for the series to hinge on such a simplistic outcome when it’s relied on such unorthodox solution.
Sweet Melissa was another genuinely entertaining episode of The Last Man on Earth, but it’s hard to ignore the series’ withering comedic energy. Even by the standards of its thirty-minute time-slot, this week’s cliff-hanger felt especially cut short as well. If it’s any consolation, it looks like next week’s going to be another double-header probably addressing just where our last threesome on earth is headed. Might our last man on earth have to be our last polygamist too?…
The Last Man On Earth airs Sunday nights on FOX at 9/8 Central. Catch all the latest episodes at FOX.com and all the latest reviews here at BagoGames.
[…] and not for want of companionship. Phil hasn’t exactly kept his head on straight since last week’s unexpected guest, and if there weren’t neon-lit signs pointing to what his motives were then, they’re […]