THE LAST MAN ON EARTH Post-Mortem: Will Forte, Chris Miller, and Kristen Schaal on the Season Finale Twists - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

THE LAST MAN ON EARTH Post-Mortem: Will Forte, Chris Miller, and Kristen Schaal on the Season Finale Twists

May 3, 2015 by  


[Warning: this post contains spoilers for THE LAST MAN ON EARTH season finale. Please watch the finale, “Screw the Moon,” before reading this.]

THE LAST MAN ON EARTH has shaken things up again.

The Fox comedy constantly evolved throughout its 13-episode first season — growing from the initial last human on earth concept, to gaining six other survivors as the episodes progressed — but things took a turn in “Screw the Moon” when Phil/Tandy was banished from Tucson. Though Phil 2 gave Phil enough supplies to last a few days in the desert, Phil’s willpower lasted less than 20 minutes…a fact Carol anticipated. So Phil’s ex-wife drove to bring him supplies, and opted to stick with him and start a new life together elsewhere.

“I like that,” THE LAST MAN ON EARTH star Kristen Schaal (Carol) admitted. “I was campaigning for that, because it was up in the air what the ending would be. I felt that Phil and Carol should be together. There’s something about them. He’s coming around to her, but there is a chemistry there. There was just no way Carol was ever going to let Tandy die out there. She knew, more than the rest of them, that he absolutely would. And new Phil was a logical man, and there was a weed in the community, so he was like, get rid of it. But Carol never saw Phil as a weed. And hopefully, in season 2, Phil will start to see Carol as the flower she is.”

“There’s a big dynamic shift at the end; we’re excited about it,” THE LAST MAN ON EARTH executive producer Chris Miller allowed. “Last time I saw you, we didn’t know we had a season 2, so that’s exciting, [too]. We had been talking a little bit about what we might want to do with season 2 as the [first] season was going on [but] when you’re in the weeds, it’s hard to think about doing anything that is not the immediate things in front of you. We finished shooting the last one before the first [episode] aired, which is good and bad.”

“Sometimes it’s nice to see how audience responds and to address things,” Miller added. “Part of it, now, it seems like the audience liked it when all the things were the most outrageous and crazy and challenging that we were doing, and then anytime we slipped into more sitcom-style stuff, people didn’t react as well. It’s good to know going in for a season 2.”

THE LAST MAN ON EARTH star/creator Will Forte (Phil) acknowledged to reporters at WonderCon that in hindsight, the creative team wished they had allowed for more time to play with the new dynamics each character addition brought on. But now that the show has a bit of a clean slate, Forte wasn’t sure if they’d utilize that knowledge while planning the show’s second season.

“We certainly learned so many lessons from that first season, and now the question is will we implement those lessons we learned?” he laughed. “A lot of times you know you should learn from those lessons, and you go back to the same well [anyway]. It was such a fun exciting season, and I feel excited about the next season. We have a lot of ideas that have been in the works, and we have to figure out [what it’ll be]. We don’t have the full arc of next season, but we have a lot of fun, interesting ideas. There are a lot of fun ways we could open the season.”

Where the show goes is still a bit TBD, as the writers are just beginning to sketch out what season 2 will be.

“What we’re talking about is a very small time jump,” Miller teased. “We’re going to see Phil and Carol, and where they are. And it’s not the last [we’ve seen] of those other characters, either…nothing is set in stone yet. We’ve had conversations with Will, we’re going to have a story summit in a week or so, and hopefully we’ll settle on some of the big building blocks of what next season is about. I’m really excited about some of the stuff we’ve been talking about already.”

“We’re still trying to figure out exactly where everybody winds up,” Forte added. “Phil and Carol are driving away from Tuscon last we see them. Jason Sudeikis is up in space. Who knows what’s going to happen to him?”

And though the fun tag of Sudeikis as Phil’s brother, who was revealed to be alive — and the last man in space — could have been a one-off appearance, the producers revealed they hope to play more with that storyline.

“Will had an idea with what he wanted to do with that,” Miller previewed. “There’s a development with that in the second season that we’re hoping to do. We did set that up in the pilot: in the pilot, he hangs up a picture of his family in his new house, and you see Will and his real parents, and his brother. It’s something we planned to do all along from the very beginning. It was exciting to do, and that we were able to accomplish it!”

But realistically, Sudeikis’ busy schedule might get in the way of him appearing on the series too much.

“Well, if I had my way, Jason Sudeikis would be a permanent member of the cast because he’s super funny and freaking awesome, and I love him as a person,” Forte gushed. “But that’s not a realistic scenario. I would never ask that of him, because he’s got so much exciting stuff going on in his life. That’s something we’ll figure out as buddies. I honestly don’t know [what’ll happen with that]. He’s been so cool already to do that part. But I definitely have a plan that we can implement.”

As they set to figure out what the show’s future holds, how large season 2 will be also remains up in the air.

“The order is for 13 [episodes],” Miller said. “We don’t want to do 22. A big reason of that is Will’s in the writers’ room, he’s in the editing room, and it would just be impossible. I think we’re planning on doing more than 13. We’re going to figure out where the story’s going, exactly, and we’ll probably have a few more than 13. Somewhere between 13 and 22…they want more, we want to do more, also, but we have to figure it out. Even if we do more, it might be two kind of half seasons type of things. What we learned this season is if you stay on one storyline for too long, it feels repetitive. It’s nice to take it in a new place and keep people guessing.”

“I wish we could say we have a five season arc planned out, but that’s not the case,” Miller continued. “What’s cool about television is it can be a reactive medium, and the best shows, like PARKS AND REC…and THE OFFICE, by the second season, they were able to zero in on who each of these characters were, and what was so funny about them. And they were able to write stories about those characters.”

What did you think about THE LAST MAN ON EARTH season finale?

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