Religion, technology, road trip and a meteor hurtling toward Earth sounds like a lot for one show. And it is. But the quirky British-American comedy-drama manages to cover all that and more. The result is satisfying and highly addictive–a show ripe for binge-watching. This show consists of one season, which finished airing on NBC at the end of March. It aired in the UK in the fall of 2015. Now, all ten episodes of “You, Me and the Apocalypse” are available on Hulu for free.
The show was originally created and written by Iain Hollands and adapted by NBC. The characters are described by IMDB as “Not the best. Not the brightest. But they’re our only hope.”
Each episode begins at the place where the season ends, working towards this final scene. A comet is hurtling on a collision course towards Earth. Mankind will be wiped out, but our protagonist, a bank manager named Jamie, sits safely on a couch in a bunker.
Throughout the season, we see who makes it to the bunker and how the many characters and storylines connect to each other. “You, Me, and the Apocalypse” starts off with disjointed stories happening in the U.S., England and Vatican City.
In Slough, England, Jamie lives an average, suburban life. He has his best friend and his mother, but his wife disappeared seven years ago. Jamie eventually goes on to seek out and stumble upon more of his family. In New Mexico, Rhonda, an innocent woman, and Leanne, a white supremacist, manage to escape a maximum-security prison and set off to find their respective families. In Washington D.C., Rhonda’s brother, Scotty, and U.S. General Gaines initiate a program, Operation Savior, to move the comet off its course and save the world. At the Vatican, Father Jude is the Devil’s Advocate, assisted by Sister Celine.
The series begins with a thick plot and a lot going on. Still, the plot continues to build and keeps the audience entertained throughout the series. There are endless plot twists and cliffhangers, resulting in a fast-paced, chocked-full piece. This is the kind of show that induces stomach lurches, heart poundings and conversations with those who’ve seen it. It’s also a good show to watch if you’re looking for something fun, yet compelling, but does not have too many episodes to suck you into a time warp.
Matthew Baynton does a brilliant job in the lead role. He also plays his twin brother White Horse, the leader of the cyber terrorist group, Deus Ex Machina. I know, long-lost evil twin brother sounds horrible and horribly cliché, but I swear it works and keeps with the show’s very distinct tone.
Baynton differentiates the characters well and conveys a likability to ensure the viewer roots for both Jamie, the protagonist and Baynton himself. A lot of the acting is standout, but Baynton gets the primary shout out for the difficulty of a dual role.
Megan Mullally exceeds expectations as she completely disappears into her character, the white supremacist, who is not one of the villains, mind you. Mullally is borderline unrecognizable. A character that seems like it should not work in this show, especially in any comedic way, absolutely does, as Mullally traverses around and wreaks havoc with Jenna Fischer.
Mullally’s performance is arguably one of her strongest since her starring role as Karen Walker in “Will and Grace.” She was often criticized for peaking in this breakthrough series but her performance in “You, Me, and the Apocalypse” proves she has the talent to succeed elsewhere. Her talent is buoyed by an all-around stellar cast, which includes Rob Lowe as Father Jude Sutton.
Dialogue is sharp and occasionally funny. I’d say the show errs far more to the side of drama than comedy. The show feels refreshingly light, though not in a lofty way. I’m especially grateful for this when so many television dramas now are exhaustingly heavy.
Aside from the writing, the filmography is also quite beautiful. It benefits from a surprisingly high budget given the amount of risks that the creators take. Locations are beautiful and the framing looks so good that it’s hard to believe this aired on a major network.
The influences of religion in the show are open-minded and frequently surprising. Throughout the show, there’s a mystery as to who the biblical savior, the second coming of Christ, will be when the apocalypse comes. This sounds strange, and it is, but the show isn’t preachy.
“You, Me and the Apocalypse” references and incorporates Christian teachings in an accessible way with an emphasis on mythology and storytelling over anything too serious and detailed.
The sense of humor can take a bit of time to get used to. At times, it feels out of place, but in most situations the levity feels welcome when impending doom looms overhead for all of humankind. Above all else, the show is fun and worth the wild ride.