Oh, Farts! Tandy & the Gang Flee Their Oceanside Home to a Silicon Valley Office Building
No other man on television will make you cringe more and yet still keep you cheering for him than Phil Tandy Miller. Will Forte plays The Last Man on Earth, who mostly goes by Tandy. The FOX comedy is a light-hearted look at how survivors of a virus that wipes out 99% of the world’s population survive the ruins of society.
Season three of The Last Man on Earth finds the group of survivors fleeing their oceanfront property in L.A. after a lunatic murderer runs them out of town. Tandy, his wife Carol, and his best friend Todd look for a new place to call home along with the rest of their crew; Melissa, Erica, Gail, and Lewis. It doesn’t take long for them to find a self-maintained office building in Silicon Valley that suits their everyday needs. Running toilets, plenty of space for alone time, and even a sprinkler system they can jerry-rig to work as showers. This place has it all.
The overarching plot of the third season revolves around the ticking time bombs of two pregnant women. Tandy and Carol are expecting the first child born after the virus. However, they aren’t the only ones. Fellow survivor Erica is pregnant as well. She conceived with the recently diseased “Other Phil” and his death looms among the survivors. They lost Phil due to a lack of medical facilities and no doctor around to help. Now, the thought of childbirth under these circumstances has everyone stressing out.
This might seem like a heavy plot for an apparent light-hearted comedy. However, that’s where The Last Man on Earth sets itself apart from the other comedies in the herd. The setting is dire, yet the characters are what make this show hilarious. Forte as Tandy, spends half the episode making you wish you could slap him. He is a sometimes selfish, always clueless guy with no filter and no sense to stop cracking jokes. Not good jokes either. Some of the worst jokes you’ll ever here. “Boom, gotcha!” It’s truly hard to explain why the most annoying man on Earth is so lovable. One of the obvious reasons, however, is the man always comes through when it really matters.
The other star of the show is Kristen Schaal as Tandy’s wife Carol. Equally clueless, half as annoying, and 100% heart, Schaal like Forte somehow makes annoying cute and loveable. These two characters make the show what it is. While the other characters may be more relatable to the everyday crowd, Carol and Tandy are the weirdos that somehow survive the apocalypse and the others have live with. You know the rest of the gang is weighing going crazy alone or suffering through the awkward jokes and annoying personalities. Loneliness is worse than the disease that killed the world. So you got to make do with what remains to rebuild the human race.
Another notable cast member is the mustachioed Mel Rodriguez as Todd, Tandy’s best friend. When there’s only one dude left to buddy up to it helps when he’s a big sensitive teddy bear. Todd gets Tandy and Tandy gets Todd. They sing songs together, they dance together, and they make the end of the world seem not so bad. I guess that’s why you would find Tandy tolerable, in the face of the apocalypse his personality reminds you it could be worse. You could be dead.
Additionally, the rest of the cast is great in rounding out the team. Mary Steenburgen as Gail reluctantly plays the crew’s mother figure. January Jones as Melissa has an odd arc in the third season but it ultimately pays off in the end. Cleopatra Coleman as Erica serves as Carol’s peer in pregnancy. If Erica can make it, both of them can. Perhaps the best addition to the show is Kenneth Choi as Lewis. Lewis goes from one bad predicament to one not so bad group. After originally surviving with the psychotic and murderous Pat, Lewis is happy to join Tandy and his crew. He just has to get used to Tandy’s personality but it beats getting an ax in his back from Pat.
The third season of The Last Man on Earth competes with the second season as the best of the series. However, hinting at the inevitable arrival of Kristen Wiig for the fourth season gives fans hype of an even better season to come. The show is obviously not for everyone, but if you can palette the annoying yet loveable Tandy and Carol you might just love this comedy. You just have to think to yourself, “if everyone else on Earth was dead, how would that affect me?” I think we’d all go a little cooky, in the end. Might as well put some rose colored glasses on and just have fun.