You, Me, and the Apocalypse | WORLD
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You, Me, and the Apocalypse

Rob Lowe Ed Miller/WTTV Productions Limited/NBC

<em>You, Me, and the Apocalypse</em>
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It’s the end of the world, our heroes will watch it on television, and there is a laugh to be had. You, Me, and the Apocalypse is brilliantly written, marvelously acted, and shot with almost-movie-quality locations and sets. The British (Sky 1) and American (NBC) comedy production is not for kids, but the vulgarity is low-key and the gags are generally sharp and middlebrow.

Civilization will be destroyed by a comet and an odd collection of human beings will survive underground. They are less the brightest and the best than the hapless and hurting. Best known to most viewers will be two American stars: Rob Lowe is “the devil’s advocate” priest arguing against sainthood and miracles with the help of a charming nun, Sister Celine (Gaia Scodellaro). Rhonda, American Office star Jenna Fischer, is a woman doing time to cover for her hacker son.

The end of the world isn’t always the worst thing that happens to the characters. One Brit (Mathew Baynton) is determined to have no more surprises in his life while mourning the loss of his wife. He ends up in jail when he is confused with an “Anonymous” style global hacker. During all of this, almost as an aside, he learns that the world is ending. If that sounds confusing, it is a little (the pilot crams a lot of character exposition into a short episode), but it is also funny.

If once we dreaded the end of days, now we look to it for a laugh. Should we? Dark humor flourishes in cultures that have lost confidence as elite American and British culture has, and that isn’t funny at all. Our continual interest in the “end of days,” zombies, and superheroes suggests a lessening of hope in the future, and the ethos of Apocalypse boldly giggles at human hopelessness.

Maybe we can keep the humor of a You, Me, and the Apocalypse while renewing hope.

John Mark Reynolds John Mark is a former WORLD contributor.


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