You, Me and the Apocalypse Season One
Starring Mathew Baynton, Joel Fry, Pauline Quirke, Jenna Fischer, Kyle Soller, Rob Lowe, Gaia Scodellaro, Paterson Joseph, Megan Mullally, Diana Rigg, Fabian McCallum.
When a group of ordinary people learn that an eight-mile wide comet is on a collision course with Earth, they hunker beneath the town of Slough to watch the end of the world on television.
This show blows your hair back. Coming across like something Peter Baynham, Chris Morris and Brian Eldon might be involved in. We’re late to the party and someone else cracked open those televisual amphetamines in our absence. As You, Me and the Apocalypse takes a biblical catastrophe and literally starts where we end.
Jumping between Slough, New Mexico and Umbria in Italy. Taking in a bank clerk, overly protective mother and nun suffering from an evangelical crisis of conscience. We get an opener which is scathingly un-PC with large helpings of surreal humour. Which is both refreshing and oddly disconcerting in its seemingly single-minded desire to remain undefined.
Not since Arrested Development, The Thick Of It or Scrubs. Has something been so subtly inventive yet boundary pushing in its subject matter. To go into too much detail beyond the basic premise would deprive people of the joy on offer here. As You, Me and the Apocalypse takes a Michael Bay disaster scenario and pours black humour between the cracks. Taking relative unknowns and peppering them with the occasional household name. Amongst them Rob Lowe’s Father Jude. Part confessional clergyman and Vatican internal affairs instigator. He takes pleasure in subverting his public persona and dishing the Catholic dirt.
Elsewhere this is a series of low-key character turns. An ensemble of off kilter crackpot inventions right out of an early Coen’s effort. Before anyone has time to answer I’m talking Raising Arizona and Barton Fink rather than Blood Simple or A Serious Man. For these people the world was already over. An eight mile wide cosmic cherry on the cake of their cataclysmic end game.
As I said at the beginning You, Me and the Apocalypse comes in brandishing a flaming sword screaming like pensioners after free lunch. All wild-eyed convention be damned mentality and enough narrative invention to stop NCIS in its slicker than whale shit tracks. Concealed underground and holed up with a nun, bank clerk and jail-bird mother. This looks to be a whole lot more dramatic than 10 Cloverfield Lane. Even if it is lacking a hobo crazy John Goodman and post traumatic performance from Mary Elizabeth Winstead. What gets offered up here is one hell of a shot to the televisual nut sack.
Contentiously clever, new and brilliantly conceived. You, Me and the Apocalypse has done something which people have been trying to do for ages. And beyond the likes of Douglas Adams been unable to achieve too often. Namely make the end of the world funny. Do yourself a favour and track this show down. If only for the enjoyment of watching Rob Lowe play devil’s advocate.
Martin Carr – Follow me on Twitter
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