Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Good TV - 2015
I just finished watching two "television" series that I really enjoyed and recommend.
The first is FOX's Will Forte comedy, "The Last Man on Earth", created by The Lego Movie's Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.
I've been meaning to blog about this show for a while, but didn't, and now the short, thirteen episode first season has run it's course. You can still catch it on Hulu, Amazon, iTunes or on Fox.com. TLMOE is the story of an average guy, Phil Miller, who, through an unspecified virus that wiped out humanity, is (duh) the last man on Earth. The pilot episode is absolute genius, as Phil travels America looking for other people, and, failing that, returns to his home town of Tucson to set up shop in a huge mansion. Will Forte is the only cast member and his efforts to keep himself entertained and comfortable are very funny and sad and touching.
Of course, things happen to Phil, and one of the joys of the series was how it kept surprising me. I won't mention any of the plot twists, but I enjoyed it all the way through it's season finale. The ongoing storyline did bog down a bit in the middle, but even then it still made me laugh. Fortunately, it has been renewed for Season Two and I can't wait.
The other series isn't on television, but is the Yahoo! original series, "Other Space", by Paul Feig, creator of the beloved Freaks and Geeks and the movie Bridemaids.
Other Space is the story of the misfit crew of an Earth spaceship who travel through a wormhole to an alternate universe. The humor is played very broadly, and it's pretty silly, but the show has a very good understanding of the conventions of dramatized science fiction, and how to mock them. Plus, the entire cast is terrific.
One of the standouts is Milana Vayntrub, the adorable young woman from the AT&T ads, who plays the incompetent, erratic, heartbroken navigator Tina. Also aboard, and likely one of the main reasons the show is so smart about science fiction tropes, are Trace Beaulieu and the guy who ate Joel Hodgson (I kid!), both from Mystery Science Theater 3000. Joel plays a slacker and Trace plays a robot, so typecasting, I guess. Both are great.
The first episode gets the action going, but is one of the weaker episodes. As the actors get more comfortable in their roles and the writing gets sharper, the episodes get better and better. There are only eight half hour episodes, so it's easy to binge watch.
The future of Other Space is still uncertain, as it hasn't yet been picked up for a second season. I sure hope it is.