HitFix First Look: Phil and Carol compromise on porn in ‘Last Man on Earth’

04.09.15 2 years ago

FOX

Marriage and cohabitation are all about compromise, so it's no surprise that Carol and Phil are having some difficulties in this Sunday's “Last Man on Earth.”

When last we saw “The Last Few People and Cows On Earth,” Carol had gently goaded Phil into cleaning up his toilet pool, one of many chores that we've established Phil is capable of performing when he stays up all night.

But in this HitFix Exclusive scene from Sunday's (April 12) episode, will Carol's efforts to domesticate Phil go too far?

Check out the scene:

[Editorial aside: When I wrote yesterday about FOX renewing “Last Man on Earth,” I stood up for the idea that Phil Miller may be unlikable, but he's hardly the first unlikable sitcom lead and I don't really think “Last Man on Earth” is asking you to find Phil to be an aspirational figure. He's a socially maladjusted man-child whose tendencies have been amplified by the decimation of humanity and in his isolation, he regressed to an almost primal solipsistic state. Dealing now with new people, he's not doing especially well. But maybe he's trying? Or maybe he's just a bad person. Sometimes people are bad people. 

Well, several people pointed out they were tired of Phil's monomaniacal desire to bang Melissa being his defining (and sometimes only) characteristic. 

It's here I must step in: FOX's reduced episodic load for “Family Guy” has been one of the season's underdiscussed stories. Only six “Family Guy” episodes aired in the fall and, including this Sunday's episode, “Family Guy” has aired only 14 episodes this season. “New Girl” aired its 20th episode earlier this week and “Big Bang Theory” hits the same number tonight. “The Simpsons” has aired 17 episodes and “Bob's Burgers” 16. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” has aired 19. For whatever reason, “Family Guy” has lagged behind.

I don't know this for a fact, but it seems unlikely that FOX would have ideally wanted to be airing all of these double “Last Man on Earth” blocks. A new “Family Guy” is a good lead-in. But the result is that we somewhat conflate themes or character motivations from one episode onto the other. The March 29 episodes, for example, were very different. “Drives Me Crazy” was about Phil's jealousy of Todd, which wasn't exactly the same thing as his obsession with banging Melissa, but it's close enough. But “Moovin' In” was about the discovery of the cow and Phil's insecurities at no longer being considered the provider and leader, despite his tenuous status as President of the United States. Other than a fantasy involving January Jones and cow-milking, Phil's motivations had nothing to do with Melissa. They were internally driven and, I thought, very funny and relatable. Had the episode aired alone, that different theme would have been clear. Airing with “Drives Me Crazy,” though, its differences blurred into the earlier episode which was, I won't deny, on the similar side.

Anyway…]

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