Many new TV shows, like “The Last Man on Earth” and “The 100,” are emphasizing doomsday scenarios and imagining the end of the world. When NBC started promoting its newest comedy series “You, Me and the Apocalypse,” which premiered on Jan. 28, it seemed like there wouldn’t be any fresh material and the show would end up on the chopping block like many of the network’s failed comedy ventures. Despite this hesitation, the sharp writing and funny acting has managed to bring this show to life.
NBC brings back some of its best talent, Jenna Fischer from “The Office” and Rob Lowe from “Parks and Recreation,” to star in the series. “You, Me and the Apocalypse” centers on the lives of a select few who have inexplicably made it to a safe shelter not long before an asteroid impact is set to destroy planet Earth. Focusing on a librarian sent to jail while protecting a loved one (Fischer), a young banker (Mathew Baynton) and a high official in the Vatican (Lowe), there is no shortage of quirky characters. As they find out that the end of the world is to come in 34 days, they try to make it to their families, find their loved ones and otherwise fulfill their purpose in life to comedic ends.
The interesting and contradictory characters are the unique singularity that sets this show apart from the rest of the genre. Jenna Fischer portrays a nice mother and librarian who is in jail trying to protect her son. While she may not be the jail type, she manages to hold her own and during the first episode, she escapes. Going forward, it will be interesting to see what obstacles cross her path as she navigates the chaos of doomsday.
Lowe plays the Devil’s Advocate, apparently a necessary role at the Vatican because any time someone is up for canonization, he rigorously researches them to make sure no con men performing fake miracles join the ranks of the saints. While he does his job properly and opposes some unnecessary sainthoods, he is also a rebel in the church who spends his free time drinking and chain-smoking. He hires a nun to help him with his work and when they find out their last days on earth are approaching, they very seriously sort the crackpots preying on the weak from those who deserve the sacred title.
The irony lies in how dramatic personal relationships can be in the midst of the apocalypse. In fact, their personal struggles lend themselves to a narrative entertaining enough to keep the audience enthralled, appalled and laughing out loud. The show is definitely worth watching before the end of the world.
“You, Me and the Apocalypse” airs Thursday nights at 8 p.m. on NBC.
Email Anubhuti Kumar at [email protected]