TV Club: The Last Man On Earth rediscovers despair in a morbid episode

Three seasons in, it’s sometimes easy to forget that The Last Man On Earth didn’t quite operate like a traditional sitcom when it began, more of a character study about a lonely man begging God for someone to talk to. Now, LMOE more or less functions like an ensemble comedy, albeit one with cliffhangers and an apocalyptic backdrop. This is understandable, and the ultimate likelihood for most network comedies, but there are times when I miss that old show, when it was a bit rough around the edges, when it was confrontational, and most of all, when it was a little more despairing. These people are in a really dire situation, and whenever the series commits to yet another goofy Tandy plot, it can feel like sort of a cheap stab at levity.

For better or worse, “The Spirit of St. Lewis” refocuses the series on the sheer …

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