4- MELISSA SHART
January Jones’ performance on Mad Man was unjustly overlooked and underrated for years, and while she isn’t quite the best character on The Last Man on Earth, Melissa Shart is still a pretty intriguing character for both a post-apocalyptic community and a post-apocalyptic comedy. As the one person to treat Tandy with disdain for their entire history together, Melissa makes for one of the lead character’s best comedic foils, but her relationship with Todd brings out the sweet side for a show that gets terrifyingly dark roughly once every commercial break. Hopefully season 2 brings some new life into the most stable relationship in the new world.
Sure, he may come off as some friggin’ fat guy, but Todd is actually one of the most empathetic souls to arrive in Tucson. Unlike Phil’s selfish exterior, Todd is one of the nicest guys around, ready to help out with fixing things, or teach folks to milk a cow, or even be the most caring guy Melissa ever met. Hell, he’s so trusting he doesn’t even realize that Tandy is trying to kill him! Todd’s only downside? He was too quick to turn on new Phil when he moved to town, and let his insecurities take him into a really dark place. He turned away from it eventually, but there were a few dark days for the normally lovely teddy bear. However, if he’s the only person capable of making ice cream, forgiving Todd is all too easy. -Henry Gilbert
2- CAROL PILBASIAN
Kristen Schall steals so many animated scenes every year as Louise Belcher in Bob’s Burgers and Mabel Pines in Gravity Falls that it’s easy to forget that she’s a top-notch live-action actress as well. Even with her great performances in unforgettable TV live-action comedies like 30 Rock and Flight of the Concords, her performance as Carol Pilbasian may be Schall’s best work yet. Carol’s dynamic with Tandy is what drives the show; their differences are the bedrock on which the first episodes of The Last Man on Earth built its great critical (and ratings) success. We’ve seen so many post-apocalyptic adventures, but not one in which the two remaining living beings have such conflicting personalities, and Carol’s cheerful needling works perfectly against Tandy’s passive aggressive nature. When the new Phil Miller arrives, she’s able to show more of a laid-back style, but at the conclusion of the first season her sweet side is even more apparent. Even if the second season doesn’t focus much on the survivors remaining in Tucson, the Carol-Tandy dynamic is enough to make The Last Man on Earth a must-watch show.
1- PHIL “TANDY” MILLER
It’s not hard to argue that main protagonist Phil “Tandy” Miller is the worst human being left on Earth in this show, but as the most emotional and irrational person (who just so happens to be the elected President of the world), Tandy is the most entertaining character in The Last Man on Earth. Whether he’s falling deeper into a web of lies to remain in the good graces of the other survivors, enacting a stupid evil plan to make others look bad, desperately trying to get in the pants of every single female survivor, or just being a disgusting loner, every scene with Tandy is as unpredictable as it is hilarious, thanks to the inimitable performance of Will Forte, who infuses every second of Tandy’s on-screen appearance with a unique strain of pathetic vindictiveness that somehow makes him a likeable character. He’s unlike any previous comedic lead on television, and I can’t wait to see what happens to him next.
What do you think of our list? Who do you want to see more (and less) of in the second season on The Last Man on Earth? Sound off in the comments below!