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TV Series Review

Sometime in the not-so-distant future, a killer virus scrubs the world clean. No more lawyers or politicians, no more perfume testers or rodeo clowns, no concerned parents reading through Plugged In's vast archive of well-written TV reviews. There aren't even any self-respecting zombies shambling about to liven things up. Everyone's just … gone.

Well, almost everyone. If there weren't at least a few people left, this Fox comedy would look more like a traffic camera feed during the Super Bowl than a fun TV show. So, as the title implies, Phil starts things out as the last man standing. And more than two years go by before he meets Carol, the last woman standing. Or so they think at the time as they decide they're destined to be the new Adam and Eve with a duty to reboot the human race in the suburbs of Tucson. Because nothing says new beginnings like saguaro cacti.

It's a shame they can't stand each other.

Phil wonders why God, in His infinite love of a good cosmic jest, kept alive two people who are so very different. Phil's the sort who sees an unpopulated world as an opportunity to build the world's tallest Jenga tower and lounge in (while drinking from) a wading pool filled with margaritas. With no one else left in the world, he reasons that he can use a copy of the Constitution as a napkin and the backyard swimming pool as a toilet. Carol, meanwhile, is determined to preserve decency and civility by following all the old rules to the obsolete letter. If a faded but still red octagonal road sign read "STOP," it means stop—even if there's no one to stop for.

Repopulate the earth with Phil? "I'd rather eat a cat," Carol squawks. And she loves cats. To pet, I would assume.

And so begins a story of two would-be sweethearts with nothing in common, thrust into each other's arms via wacky circumstance—namely, the extermination of (most of) the rest of humankind.

But as Phil and Carol come to find out, they aren't exactly the only people left on earth. They themselves now have twins, and Carol is pregnant once again. They've also found a few new friends along the way, like Gail and Melissa, Todd and Erica (who also are having a baby together) and Phil's brother, Mike. And they've taken up residence in an estate they call the Zihuatanejo village.

We can say this for Fox's The Last Man on Earth: It doesn't feel like your standard sitcom.

The show's bleak backdrop serves as an unusual premise for a comedy, admittedly, but in some ways it works. It can be funny and offer some interesting insights. While Carol may drive Phil crazy, she at least hasn't given into despair. And while Phil may be an irresponsible slob, we also see him seriously exert himself on Carol's behalf. They need each other, and not just because they're so alone in the world. No matter how much the two get on each other's nerves, Phil admits, "Having other people around is really what makes life worth living."

And here's another unexpected element: The show dips a toe into some surprisingly spiritual and moral themes. Phil talks to God. (Sometimes irreverently, you should know.) Carol expounds upon how they were "chosen" to repopulate the earth. And when Phil finally decides to get this repopulation thing on the road, Carol flatly refuses to have sex with him until they're married.

"It means something to me, Phil!" she says.

What won't mean anything quite so significant to viewers is the level of gross and gratuitous content this series sinks to, from foul language to sexual stuff to drunkenness to suicidal tendencies to wanton destruction of property.

If this comedy were the last TV show on earth …

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

The Last Man on Earth: April 22, 2018 "The Blob"
Last-Man-on-Earth: 3-1-2015



Readability Age Range





Will Forte as Phil; Kristen Schaal as Carol; Mel Rodriguez as Todd; Cleopatra Coleman as Erica; January Jones as Melissa






Record Label




On Video

Year Published


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