In this British-American miniseries, we are introduced to a hodgepodge of characters who are facing the literal end of the world. You, Me and the Apocalypse Season 1 Episode 1 delivers a whimsical take on the familiar apocalypse story.
It's interesting to see a blend of both American and British humor in what seems more like a drama than a straight-up comedy, and I'm not sure how successful this endeavor will turn out to be. The overall feel of the show certainly feels British, juxtaposing the mundane with the absurd.
The humor doesn't primarily lie in jokey dialogue, but rather in the ridiculous nature of everything that's happening. This might be a turnoff for those who were expecting the typical laugh-a-minute sitcom.
I thought the Devil's Advocate story was the most interesting of the bunch. The contrast between Sister Celine's faith and Father Jude's cynicism has tons of potential in exploring the more serious, philosophical questions that arise from impending doom.
I just wish Rob Lowe was a bit more adept in delivering the outrageous one-liners required of his character. Lowe is great at the subtle, charming humor, but as Jude he needs to ham it up a bit so his abrasive nature is comical rather than depressingly mean.
Jude: Sorry about my language, by the way.
Celine: Oh, it's okay, I speak English.
Jenna Fischer shines in her role as Rhonda, a somewhat Pam Beasely-esque character who is sent to a maximum security prison. She's got the forlorn, mousy personality down pat, but what separates Rhonda from the stereotypical shy girl is her refusal to be pushed around by her fellow inmates and her unwavering love for her son.
While it might seem like this plot is just another fish-out-of-water trope, it actually looks like Rhonda will be involved in something much more complex. In fact, they get rid of the prison setting within the first episode.
Leanne, on the other hand, has proven to be nothing but stereotypes. From the swastika drawn on her forehead to her crooked hillbilly teeth, there doesn't seem to be anything terribly comedic about Leanne so far. It's only through the saving grace of Megan Mullaly's on-screen charisma that makes this character watchable.
Weirdly enough, it's the story set in England that appears to be the show's weakest link. That's not at all the fault of Mathew Baynton, who plays Jamie with excellent deadpan delivery, and actually reminds me a lot of Martin Freeman.
It's the whole secret twin/hacking conspiracy thing that seems like it could be a really dragging plot. The only thing that saves it is Jamie's compelling desperation to find his wife, Layla.
It's my birthday and the world's ending!Jamie
Something the show might find tricky to navigate is the fact that we already know everyone's fate at the end of the series (they all end up in a bunker together). As a result, some of the suspense gets taken out, so it's going to require some really great performances and witty writing in order to keep viewers interested.
It may turn out to be a smart move to reveal early on that these wildly different characters collide with each other somehow. The question then changes from, "Does everyone survive?" to, "How do their lives intersect?"
Jamie muses that it might be destiny that connects the group. It's this toying of ideas like fate, faith, cynicism, and love that makes this series so intriguing. What really sets this show apart from the plethora of apocalyptic shows, however, is that the end of the world isn't actually the main focus of the story.
Instead, the threat of humanity's doom is what motivates each person to finally begin a new chapter in their lives. The show definitely has promise, and I'm in for the ride.
Fate. Destiny. Are we the chosen ones? God, I feel like such a penis saying that.Jamie
What did you think of the series premiere? Did you enjoy seeing Rob Lowe as a potty mouth? Any ideas on what could have happened to Layla? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Don't forget you can watch You, Me and the Apocalypse online right here on TV Fanatic!