This piece contains spoilers about “The Last Man on Earth.”
The only critic on Earth who doesn’t like Fox’s “Last Man on Earth”? You’re reading her right now.
It’s not strange for there to be an outlier on a show that has otherwise enjoyed a positive consensus. It happens, and I respect the opinions of critics and viewers who enjoy the show. But I found the one-hour series premiere of “Last Man” truly difficult to get through. I could see attempts to improve certain aspects of the show in the episode that airs March 8, but in that installment, “Last Man” doubles down on some extremely questionable decisions. There’s no getting around it: There are just big problems in the execution of this engaging premise, and I doubt I’ll be able to get beyond what I’ve already seen, given how regularly the show turned me off in the early going.
This reaction is almost shocking to me, given that I’m a fan of “21 Jump Street,” “22 Jump Street” and “The Lego Movie,” the hit films on the resumes of “Last Man” creators, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. Those movies aren’t just wryly self-aware and laugh-out-loud funny, they have a lot of heart, but that element is often missing on “Last Man.” The comedy is truly disappointing when it comes to both character development and gender issues.
But hey, CBS, you can totally tell it’s shot in Los Angeles. The tipoff: It’s way too sunny all the time, and over the course of 13 episodes, I didn’t spot even one flake of snow. Perhaps “Battle Creek” is also set in a post-apocalyptic world, one in which global warming has left the upper Midwest permanently summery and Josh Duhamel permanently tanned.
I could live with that kind of apocalypse.
Ryan McGee and I discussed “Last Man on Earth,” “Peaky Blinders,” “Marvel’s Agent Carter,” “Saturday Night Live” and “Parks and Recreation” on the most recent installment of the Talking TV podcast, which is here, on iTunes and below.