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'The Last Man on Earth' review: One survivor isn't so funny

Will Forte as Phil Miller in FOX's

Will Forte as Phil Miller in FOX's "The Last Man on Earth." Credit: FOX / Jordin Althaus

THE SERIES "The Last Man on Earth"

WHEN|WHERE Premieres March 1 at 9 p.m. on Fox/5

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Phil Miller (Will Forte) is the last man on earth. A virus has eradicated humanity, and Phil now has the whole shebang to himself. Or does he? Returning to his hometown of Tucson, he moves into a McMansion -- along with the priceless art he has taken from various museums -- and ponders his fate. While he is apparently the last man, what about any last women around? Spoiler alert! Kristen Schaal (as Carol) and January Jones (Melissa) also star. Schaal -- Hazel from "30 Rock" and Louise of "Bob's Burgers -- arrives in Sunday's episode.

MY SAY "The Last Man on Earth" is like a joke in search of a punchline, or a single comic idea in search of the next iteration of that idea. When it finally arrives, you quickly realize it's actually an old comic idea -- "The Odd Couple." In the interim, there are lots of riffs, and time-killing scenes that repeatedly establish one fact over and over again: Phil is a slob.

Forte does seem to be having a good, slovenly time, but after a while, the whole affair starts to feel a bit wanton and self-indulgent. The whole wide world is dead -- and all he wants to do is guzzle whiskey and eat junk food?

He's marooned on an empty planet spinning through an empty universe. Phil could just as easily be in episode of "The Twilight Zone" or "The Walking Dead" -- without the walkers. But there's nothing remotely amusing in that, so back to the booze, potato chips and (ugh) plumbing challenges.


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