One of TV’s most subversive shows is returning soon! To celebrate we’re ranking every living think in The Last Man on Earth’s first season. Where do Phil Miller, the other Phil Miller, and that friggin fat guy Todd land? Read on to find out!
We’re in a bit of a dark time for major network live-action sitcoms. Over the last few years, landmark comedies like 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, and Community have left the air permanently due to low ratings. While there are bright spots in the form of shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine and New Girl, it’s tough to find a comedy on “the big four” networks that’s actually bucking trends and delivering innovative humor like you’d see on cable favorites like Louie or Curb Your Enthusiasm. Fortunately, last year delivered a diamond in the rough in the form of The Last Man on Earth, a surprising hit program centered around Phil Miller (Will Forte) and his adventures after a cataclysmic event left him stranded alone in Tucson for months, seemingly all alone on Earth (SPOILERS FOR SEASON ONE FOLLOW).
The first episode was a masterstroke of comedy where Phil Miller succumbed to the insanity of a solitary existence, only to meet a person who was seemingly the last woman on Earth (and the exact opposite of his “type”). Subsequent episodes introduced more and more survivors, and while some critics disapproved of the show defying its titular concept, each of the few new characters added a twist to the post-apocalyptic group dynamic. Still, some of them are more entertaining than others, so we’re ranking the survivors of the first season (available on Amazon) ahead of the sophmore season’s debut. Please note that we’re only ranking living beings on the show. The many named balls that Tandy talks to don’t count, but will likely be ranked separately at some point because we love writing about this show.
I’ll give this to Mary Steenburgen’s Gail character. She definitely puts the “sex” in “sexagenarian.” However, one of the few issues of The Last Man on Earth’s first season was the near-blank slate given to Gail and her traveling companion. They seemed to be preoccupied with sex with almost every appearance, and barely changed as characters. Between Steenburgen’s mostly wasted performance and the potential of a post-menopausal character in a world needing repopulation, Gail was a bit of a fail.
8- MIKE MILLER
The character of Mike Miller has a lot of promise; the successful astronaut brother of the new world’s biggest loser is an interesting dynamic. Moreover, Jason Sudekis is a great comedic actor who has shown he can shine in even the worst of roles. So even if Mike Miller is stuck in outer space for an extended period, he can probably deliver solid comedy all his own, providing a different perspective on the insanity of solitary confinement than Will Forte’s series permiere performance (also, he’s within Earth’s orbit so he totally counts in this list). Unfortunately, we don’t have much to go on right now but potential – maybe season 2 will change things.
7- THE COW
Tucson’s lone known bovine brings a lot to the table (besides dairy products). As the only living animal on the show, it brings another level of intrigue to the apocalyptic mystery and the promise of additional random animal appearances. It’s hard to quantify what some of the survivors provide, but not this bovine interloper. The Last Cow On Earth offers up milk to a group of folks who haven’t had any dairy in years, so Mr. Cow makes up for her inability to communicate. However, her propensity for going up stairs but not down them causes more trouble than most characters not named Tandy, so she gets knocked down a bit for that. -Henry Gilbert
Like the aforementioned humans, Erica hasn’t really provided much for us to go on so far; she’s the young companion (and possible sexual partner?) for Gail, and her first season appearances were mostly to tempt Tandy and to be tempted by the new Phil Miller. She’s got some promise as the only non-American-born survivor and her interest in politics could make her an interesting leader, but that has yet to be delivered upon just yet.
5- NEW PHIL MILLER
For a lot of the first season, the new Phil Miller was himself a bit of a blank slate; he was pretty much the perfect guy and the antithesis of the original Phil Miller. He was handy, handsome, h…nice, and the object of lust for pretty much every female character on the show. However, he brought out interesting new dimensions for other characters (Todd’s murderous jealousy and a counterpart for Carol’s weird dirty talk) while also becoming more of an evil presence at the conclusion of the season. If we get to see the man everyone calls Phil Miller more in the next season, it would be great to see if Phil gets to show a bit more of his bad side.
Where do Tandy, Carol, and that friggin’ fat guy Todd rank? Read on to the next page to find out!