Last Man on Earth: Mooovin' In
March 29, 2015 10:02 PM - Season 1, Episode 8 - Subscribe

You know how some folks were complaining about the titles spoiling this show? YEAH. I can't be vague about that. I will just say that Phil comes up with a "game changer" that he thinks will make him a hero to everyone else, and guess how $%@$$ well that goes.

Everyone has a stargazing party. Todd is so sweet to move Carol's furniture. Todd got Melissa a charm bracelet. Carol's never got anything from Phil except rash cream (to be fair, he also cleaned the pool, set up the plant watering, and stole rings for her). Todd breaks out a sculpture he made of the four of them, it's so cute! Carol ships Todd and Melissa, and Phil breaks the sculpture--Phil is broken off. "It actually looks good without the Phil." HINT HINT HINT. LET US ALL KILL PHIL.

Carol is painting a cute little dog when Phil comes over to borrow her DVR, which only has Cake Bosses episodes on it. She spoils it anyway, despite him telling her not to. Carol wants them to move in together like Todd and Melissa already. "Carol, there's a huge difference between basically living together and living together." She yells at him for not fixing the door, but Todd would probably do a better job and be nicer about it! (True.) She says he doesn't have to fix the door if he lets her move in--he's off to the door store.

At O'Rosco's, Phil bitches to his balls. "Look, Todd cannot come in here and steal my thunder. I'm the President of the United States of America, for god's sake." Phil wants to do some kind of spectacular gesture to blow them all away with his awesomeness. And then he thinks of....well, HE JUST FOUND A COW. No, seriously, I thought those were all dead.

Phil announces that he's got a total gamechanger! And what is.... well, he opens the door and nobody sees anything. AND THEN THE COW COMES OUT. Holy cow, indeed. Phil starts asking how everyone likes their steak and burgers, and Melissa is all no, we need milk. Phil is all we can't care for it, it'll just die. But Todd grew up on a farm! He can provide anything dairy! He's the Milk Man! Phil calls dibs on making decisions about it, and Melissa is all no, it doesn't. After everyone else gangs up on him, Phil agrees to let the cow live. He also claims to be lactose intolerant. "Well, aren't you a martyr." Todd offers to keep the cow and Phil says the cow will live here--oh, sure, you let a cow live here but not your wife? The cow heads to Todd's anyway because the cow has more brains than Phil.

The girls want to learn how to milk a cow and are excited. Phil of course, can't drink it. He fakes some pain to leave.

"And I learned you can't milk a bull. I learned that the hard way." --Todd. Of course you did, Todd. He also informs us all that cows can go upstairs but not downstairs.

In the dead of night, Phil sneaks out to milk the cow. Dude, I have read up on milking cows and it is not that easy. Melissa comes out to do the same, and Phil hides. Of course, Todd follows her out and guess what Phil gets to watch? So instead, Phil will sneak off with the cow.

The cow's gone! Phil has hidden it in the bar, where I'm sure Melissa won't think to look for it At All. As soon as he milks this a little bit longer, he'll bring the cow home. Todd feels so bad about mistying the knot. Phil argues that we shouldn't assign blame to Todd! Except he totally does. Phil will go find the cow! He found it the first time, he can find it again. Melissa figures out he knows where it is. Where were you this morning? Carol, help me out here! If we lived together, you'd have an alibi. Everyone goes to search. "Where was that bar you showed me?" Melissa says. DUH. (Or if you're Phil, "Doy.")

Of course, Todd has rescued the cow by the time Phil goes to retrieve it. But Todd offers to let everyone think Phil found it, because he feels bad Melissa came down on Phil. Todd feels grateful to Phil for those "alive in Tuscon" billboards, providing him with a girlfriend, friends, and a cow. It's all because of you, man. So Phil takes the credit and everyone foodgasms over ice cream. Phil eats ice cream despite being "lactose intolerant."

Everyone wakes up to screaming at Carol's. The cow has moved into her second story... which means she's moving into YOUR house. Burn. "And just think, this could have all been avoided if you fixed my gol-dang door." Phil's not the only one who sneaks a cow around.

Yeah, that's it. Eight episodes in and this show is a turd, about a turdy guy endlessly bitching about not fucking the hot blonde, and the show isn't going to move on from that. Sorry, Carol, Melissa, and Todd, I can't take this dude any more, even for you. Time to go watch something else at this time. Maybe force myself to watch Battle Creek again even though I zoned out in the first ten minutes every time I tried. Oh, hell with it, I have Netflix and Hulu and anything else to watch besides this.
posted by jenfullmoon (35 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm out... have been for a few episodes. The series was great for the first fifteen minutes, if it was just Phil doin' stuff in a deserted city I'd be thrilled. His time spent traveling the country is what the show should have been about, him being the actual last man on earth, having fun, burning down the white house, or breaking into a nuclear missile silo. Have every episode be a new state! (or province)

Then after a couple seasons introduce a new person, Kristen Schaal, not her as a character, her as herself, a real human being who thinks and acts more-or-less reasonably.

Or make it a reality show, drop them off in a ghost town and see what happens.

This had so much potential.
posted by FallowKing at 10:35 PM on March 29, 2015 [4 favorites]

When he broke Todd's sculpture... ugh. Why do they insist on making the main character so smarmy and petty and awful. He's like Walter White without any of the genius, gravitas, or badassery. Best moment of the hour was Melissa calling him on his painfully obvious bullshit.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:42 PM on March 29, 2015

My hope right now is that Phil is actually the only person alive, and the rest are hallucinations he has created. All the problems he has with other people are just a distraction from the horror of his new life.
posted by squinty at 10:59 PM on March 29, 2015 [4 favorites]

No offense meant to January Jones--I don't watch Mad Men so I have no bias against her and I actually like Melissa for being sane and smart--but introducing a "hot chick" into the plot fucking ruined this show because nothing happens that doesn't revolve around Phil's desire to bang her. It was actually pretty interesting for the first three episodes and then ARGH.

I have found that if you despise the main character of a show (or at least, one of the top main characters), it doesn't matter how much you like everyone else because the supposed "star" is jumping up and down and waving in your face and drowning everyone else out and being horrible. It's why I quit watching Once Upon A Time (oh god, Regina, you make me crazy), and this guy is such a turd that he's unwatchable. I feel sorry for him, but there comes a time when we all get sick of the same shit in every episode.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:01 PM on March 29, 2015 [3 favorites]

jenfullmoon, thanks for taking it for the team on this one. I was already strongly against watching it, but your recap is up before the AV Club one and proves that it's much worse than I would've imagined.

I hope someone involved in the making of this show was having fun, because from this end it looks like a big weird dumb mistake.
posted by tjgrathwell at 11:10 PM on March 29, 2015 [3 favorites]

Yes, thank you, jenfullmoon, for putting together such a good recap & so quickly. You saved me the half hour I would have spent watching it and I am grateful.

Bleah. What a disappointing series. It could have been SO GOOD.
posted by mochapickle at 2:10 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

Oh, just saw there were two episodes and two recaps -- you saved me an HOUR! Thank you!
posted by mochapickle at 2:18 AM on March 30, 2015

I'd not seen this show yet, so, quite coincidentally, I watched most of the first two episodes via On Demand yesterday. They were...ok-ish. I have to agree with others, that they shouldn't have introduced new characters so quickly. I like Kristen Schaal a lot, but felt her character shouldn't have been introduced so soon.

Then, I accidentally ran across this episode last night. And...yeah. This thing could have been soooo much more. I got very tired, very quickly, of the whole Phil-doing-crazy-shit-because-he-can aspect of the first episode, though. It would have been far more fun to see Phil exploring the country. Maybe that would have been a budget-killer?

Question for those who have been watching the whole thing...Do they ever explain 1.) Where did the bodies of all the rest of humanity go? And, 2.) Why automated systems like electricity and water aren't working? It's like humanity had enough time to shut-down everything before they disappeared. Bonus question: If electricity isn't working, how are they pumping gas into their cars?
posted by Thorzdad at 5:59 AM on March 30, 2015

Question for those who have been watching the whole thing...Do they ever explain 1.) Where did the bodies of all the rest of humanity go? And, 2.) Why automated systems like electricity and water aren't working?

Like many actual attempts at science fiction television and film as well as this comedic attempt, there isn't even a hint of caring about any of this. Not a hint.
posted by cashman at 7:07 AM on March 30, 2015

Will Forte, in interviews, says they left all that stuff out so they could focus on character development. Yes, really. In one interview he says that it's some sort of plague, but it happened slowly, so people had time to clean up their houses and tuck themselves into bed.

So that robs us of any comedy of them dealing with the fallout, setting up infrastructure in any meaningful way, siphoning fuel, or finding a house/city/place they want to live in and realizing it's simply not livable for various reasons, etc.

What's left was apparently this.
posted by mochapickle at 7:24 AM on March 30, 2015

I think we all just have to assume they were all raptured. Except Todd is such a saint he would have been taken, so that shoots that theory out.

The AV Club fill-in reviewer.....liked it. Thinks the whole thing is about Phil being a natural jerk and attempting to get over it. Well, I suppose....I guess....but that doesn't really get into how one-note and one-plot it all is.

If they hadn't shown the previews for in two weeks sounding like Phil is just as awful as usual...but apparently that's what the dudebros making the show want to do.

Quotes I liked at AV Club:
"At the end of the first one I was like "Hey, character development!", then he goes right back to being an asshole in the next episode."
"I want way more plots revolving around cows and way less plots about Phil wanting to fuck Melissa."
"Very nitpicky but cows travel in herds, nobody even mentions the thought of searching for other cows? Also in a universe where I wouldve assumed electricity is in relatively small availability, there were a lot of casual references to things that I would've thought would be seen as a huge extravagance at this point (DVR, butter, ice cream)."
Oh, good point there. I assume they have generators or something for the DVR'ing though?

Glad I saved a few folks from watching it!
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:25 AM on March 30, 2015

Just to clarify my earlier comment, I was referring to recent shows. It seems like so many productions have just dumbed things down. Nothing is supposed to matter in terms of the situation having an effect on the characters. You could have a show set in an active volcano and the characters would look like they were having a normal day and just walked out of old navy.

Please hollywood, don't get any ideas. Do not set a show in an active volcano and have the characters look like they're hanging out in a coffee shop.
posted by cashman at 7:41 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

OK, OK, so there's this group of attractive young professionals in Pompeii looking for love, and...
posted by mochapickle at 8:00 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I'm pretty disappointed this isn't better than it is. I'm probably going to keep watching, as I'm a sucker for post-apocalyptic stuff, but it could be so much more than it is.

And, I do like Todd. I could hang out with that guy. The others, not as much.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:05 AM on March 30, 2015

jenfullmoon, thank you for these write-ups. They're more succinct than other write-ups and quite entertaining, serving both to save me the effort of watching this show as it flails about and providing me more amusement than if I were to actually watch the episodes.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:27 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

In this show's universe, Todd is literally the worst person in the world. LITERALLY.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:41 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Quotes I liked at AV Club:
"At the end of the first one I was like "Hey, character development!", then he goes right back to being an asshole in the next episode."

Yep. I nearly cheered when Phil turned around and picked up Todd, but apparently, the closest we get to character development is that he doesn't quite feel like leaving someone out in the desert to die, if only because his disappearance would be impossible to explain to the only other two people he knows. I'm so, so close to giving up.
posted by Etrigan at 11:30 AM on March 30, 2015

In this show's universe, Todd is literally the worst person in the world. LITERALLY.

Except for that one guy who is going to show up in the very near future.
posted by SpacemanStix at 12:08 PM on March 30, 2015

These episodes were slightly less painful than last week's. Still painful though. And I still care more about anyone and anything in this universe that isn't Phil.

Also: do these people really not know how evaporated milk/powdered milk works? They seem to have figured out canned beans.
posted by pie ninja at 5:42 PM on March 30, 2015

If you look on imdb, there's a 3rd woman listed for the series. I didn't want to spoil that last week. But I think reading everyone here speculating on how that'll change the dynamic and what horrible things this show's writers will do will probably be more entertaining than the show itself.
posted by Catblack at 6:42 PM on March 30, 2015

I saw that imbd and this week I wondered, "is that the cow?" Which leads me to: what happens if you don't milk a cow? Which leads me to think WHERE THE HELL DID THAT COW COME FROM, anyway? Is there a secret farm of people somewhere?

Thanks, filthy light thief--I may reconsider continuing to watch it in a couple of weeks, if I've cooled off from my "good god, Phil, move on" rage. At least people enjoy the bitchcaps :)
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:49 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I was very distracted by the nonsense of the cow producing milk. That means she had to have calved recently, and that therefore there's at least one more cow out there somewhere. Something farmboy Todd doesn't mention. Probably because the writers are lazy and full of contempt for the characters and the audience?
posted by twoporedomain at 8:46 AM on March 31, 2015

(and yes, jenfullmoon, I'm enjoying the bitchcaps! The reasons I keep watching the show are: 10% hope that the premise and actors will eventually live up to their potential, 10% waiting for Mad Men and Game of Thrones to come back to Sunday nights, and 80% to come here for people to pick apart the episodes)
posted by twoporedomain at 8:50 AM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]

Are we voting on bitchcaps? I, for one, would prefer the bitchery was left to the comments.
posted by roger ackroyd at 9:44 AM on March 31, 2015

I wish the entire first season had been just Phil alone, going nuts and trying to keep it together. Then Carol could have come in during the finale, then the entire second season could be just those two. There was way more comedy to be mined before going straight to scoundrel wants to bang the hot blonde sitcom territory.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:46 AM on March 31, 2015 [8 favorites]

Best laugh of the episode: Right after Phil discovers the cow, they cut to a commercial for McDonald's.

I'm heading into hatewatch territory, which means it won't be long until I'm in dontwatch territory.
posted by nubs at 2:26 PM on March 31, 2015

In this show's universe, Todd is literally the worst person in the world. LITERALLY.

Do you mean Todd or Phil?

The show can be a bit ambivalent at times, but I thought these last two episodes were pretty clear about Phil being a bad guy, and I think that's a smart choice. I think there's something kind of subversive about making your main character unequivocally unlikeable (with glimmers of empathy below). Not a Walter White "he's selfish and manipulative but what a badass in his hat" and not a "he's a schlubby flawed man-child with a hot wife but we're rooting for you buddy!".

Instead we've got a schlubby genuinely nice dude with a hot girlfriend in Todd and a selfish, slobby manipulative dumbass in Phil. We're rooting for Phil to be less of an asshole, and he has his moments, but from what little we've seen of Phil's life before the plague, he had a small, dirty apartment. Was he as bad before as he is now? That's unclear, but entirely possible.

Still not a huge fan of Carol's characterization, but I do think the show is clear that she's in quirky normal nice people camp with Todd and Melissa, not in weirdo asshole town with Phil. I've enjoyed that Melissa gets to call Phil out on his shit.

I think the great thing this show could do (and is doing, in its finer moments) is use the small population to really contrast how entitled and misogynistic Phil is. There's only 4 people, which means the culture of patriarchy and whatever else could be ended forever if the 3 nice people really worked at it. Alternately, it could be reborn. Tabula rasa.

Basically, I feel like there's so much potential, just sitting there, I'd love to see even a shadow of allegory come to light. Post-apocalyptic stuff was born as a subgenre shining a mirror back on society, and this should be no exception.
posted by JauntyFedora at 11:35 AM on April 2, 2015

Apparently, Will Forte is banging January Jones in real life, so maybe they will get over being obsessed with it on the show and moooove on to something else.
posted by briank at 5:19 AM on April 3, 2015

See, i'm really rooting for the random cow producing milk showing up meaning that there's a nearby camp of people farming who are going to show up and horribly fuck their shit up. Maybe the slapstick equivalent of the governor and friends on walking dead.

I refuse to accept that in a world where theres enough people left that 4(and soon more?) can find each other in one location, in the US, that there aren't some wacko survivalist types who would immediately hit up a military base and then set up a compound. And they want their cow back.

Then after a couple seasons introduce a new person, Kristen Schaal, not her as a character, her as herself, a real human being who thinks and acts more-or-less reasonably.

I would have enjoyed a first season that was entirely, or at least majority, about the people featured so far existing alone. The finale should have been them running in to eachother. Or at most the last couple episodes. I would have loved a lot more suspense and disappointment of Phil thinking he found someone, or signs of someone, and it being a false alarm. Or seeing a fleeting glimpse of someone hauling ass over the horizon on a motorcycle he cant catch, etc. Maybe a cessna flies over?

It really surprises me that the walking dead is way better at doing that kind of stuff than this show ever even tried to be. Because that show is corny as shit sometimes, and especially now. With every episode i'm still in awe of how badly its fallen flat from the first episode.

I'm still holding out hope for phil killing someone, or doing something really fucked up. And it not just being played for laughs or minimized, but everyone else going "dude, what the FUCK".
posted by emptythought at 4:48 AM on April 6, 2015

Todd is Marco!
posted by ian1977 at 9:24 AM on April 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Todd is Marco!

That was a delightful discovery. That guy has some acting chops, and I predict we'll be seeing a lot more of him.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:07 AM on April 8, 2015

Picked up for Season 2.
posted by Etrigan at 11:11 AM on April 8, 2015

Ugggh, really?

I don't get it. The article cites the strength of the debut. Maybe FOX didn't see the other episodes?
posted by mochapickle at 11:42 AM on April 8, 2015

So Sepinwall's argument is that the quasi-binge watch schedule that LMOE is on due to Fox's scheduling issues is forcing a conflation of themes and character motivations between episodes. Fair enough, but let me propose a counter argument: binge watching something that is lousy just makes the flaws all the more visible and apparent.
posted by nubs at 5:52 PM on April 9, 2015

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