Fox’s post-apocalyptic sitcom The Last Man On Earth, which returns from its months-long hiatus on March 6, has had quite the dramatic second season, with the fall finale ending on two separate, life-or-death cliffhangers. As the show’s lengthy absence from the air finally ends, Den Of Geek’s Daniel Kurland spoke with Last Man writer-producer Andy Bobrow about what has already happened to series star Will Forte and the other ragtag survivors this year. Right off the bat, Bobrow admits that the show had “no plan at all at the end of season one” and that the writers may have been too hasty in expanding the cast during that first batch of episodes. These are the growing pains one might expect of a freshman series, but it’s refreshing that an insider is so open about it. Furthermore, the decision to have Forte and costar Kristen Schaal rejoin the other survivors so quickly in the second season was partly done to appease the network suits, who weren’t keen on paying people like Mary Steenburgen and January Jones to sit around and wait.
Bobrow is wonderful about dishing when it comes to sharing the show’s behind-the-scenes secrets. He talks about some scuttled plots (an episode all about Jason Sudeikis’ stranded astronaut; a Vegas honeymoon for Forte and Schaal), describes some dealings with network execs (Forte’s beard made Fox nervous), and gives away some cost-cutting measures (scenes in the house and by the pool are cheap to shoot). According to Bobrow, the reason the show doesn’t do flashbacks to reveal the characters’ pasts is that Lost and Orange Is The New Black have already cornered that market. And, yes, there has been an effort to make Forte’s character more likable this season, but Bobrow insists that it wasn’t a case of caving to internet pressure. The show was already going in that direction, largely to keep the character viable as a series protagonist. The key, he says, is that the show will do whatever it thinks is funny, regardless of whether it’s plausible. He cites the plot point of Forte contacting Schaal via a message written on the side of a train as an example. “Within the miraculous reality of our show. It’s no less plausible than a spectacular car stunt in a Fast And Furious movie, and people love those things.”
Den of Geek’s Last Man coverage continues all week.