In my eyes, NBC used to be the go-to place for off-beat comedy. With shows like “30 Rock,” “The Office,” “Community” and “Parks and Recreation,” the peacock network used to be a haven for people like me who loved to laugh but also feel mildly uncomfortable or confused in the process. But low ratings and the never-ending competition between networks caused NBC to stay away from these types of comedies and move into more traditional fare, with varying levels of success. Luckily though, they seem to be returning to form with one of their newer series, “You, Me and the Apocalypse.”
Created by Iain Hollands, U.S.-U.K. co-production (which appears to have already aired in full in the U.K.) tells the story of a group of seemingly random people in the days leading up to what is predicted to be an apocalyptic event. From a disillusioned priest in the Vatican (played by Rob Lowe), to a lowly bank employee in rural England (played by Mathew Baynton), to a woman in prison for a crime she didn’t commit (played by Jenna Fischer), the characters all have their own interesting backstories and plans for their final days on earth. As the series progresses (NBC has currently aired six of the first season’s 10 episodes), you learn that these people aren’t so random and that they’re all interconnected in completely surprising and unexpected ways. There hasn’t been an episode yet that hasn’t left me totally shocked and excited for what’s to come.
The show has a near-perfect mix of comedy and heart and its fair share of scenes that will have you on the edge of your seat. It feels almost disingenuous to simply call it a comedy; it’s a much more exciting, new hybrid that I really hope to see more of on TV. The wide scope of the series, with characters stationed all over the world, also gives it a universal quality not often seen, especially not on American TV.
In addition to the scope and the originality, the series also comes at a seemingly tired and played-out topic (apocalypse) in a way that is new and interesting. Too many times have we seen the post-apocalyptic world, where people are desperately trying to pick up the pieces and keep going. This is the pre-apocalyptic world, a world of true uncertainty. With it comes the exploration of topics like religion and the savior, the government and how much it hides from its people and who you really want in your life when the world ends. It’s a lot to chew on, but putting it into a more comedic context like “You, Me and the Apocalypse” does makes it much less daunting.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how the series ends) there doesn’t seem to be any current plans for a second season. Much like the real end of days, the end of “You, Me and the Apocalypse” is truly the end. And, honestly, even though I am completely in love with this series I kind of can’t wait to see how it all plays out. The first six episodes can be caught up on now on NBC.com and the last four will air on Thursdays at 8/7c. I know a lot of my blog seems to be deeply rooted in hyperbole (I’m just a very excitable person!), but this show is seriously excellent and not to be missed.
Have you been watching “You, Me and the Apocalypse?” Got any juicy theories about how it all will end? Are you reading this sitting in your own personal doomsday bunker? Share your survival tips in the comments. And, in case the world ends tomorrow, let me share with you these important words of wisdom…