It’s very rare that I become so enthralled with a TV show that it becomes compulsory weekly viewing, well, aside from Gogglebox and Game of Thrones. It took me until this year to finally catch up with Breaking Bad, I lost interest in Orange is The New Black after the latest season, and American Horror Story lost its shine after Asylum – although, Wes Bentley’s perfect arse is doing alright in Hotel I must admit. I digress.
I recall seeing the trailers for You, Me and the Apocalypse while dogsitting for a friend of a few months ago. I’m a big fan of most apocalyptic media, British comedy is always a huge hit and Mat Baynton (who plays protagonist Jamie) is a cutie patootie previously seen in the wonderfully funny show Horrible Histories. So, with these three factors in mind, I settled down to watch the first episode when it started here in the UK on September 30th.
The show starts with the credits – a very dishevelled looking Jamie is sitting in an underground bunker, watching on TV as a meteor begins to crash down on Earth. Each week, we see more familiar faces in the bunker there with him, a seemingly random bunch of people thrown together at the end of days.
In the first episode, we’re introduced to bank manager Jamie, who lives a very mundane life in Slough living with his best friend Dave (Joel Fry, who some of you may recognise as Hizdahr zo Loraq from Game of Thrones) and his mum Paula (Pauline Quirke). We learn that his wife Layla went missing while they were on honeymoon seven years earlier, and he has never given up hope that she might return – despite his mum’s resignations.
We’re then taken over to America, where we meet Rhonda (Jenna Fischer from the US Office) who is in prison for a crime she didn’t commit but is willing to take the wrap for. It’s clear that she’s not exactly prison material, but she soon finds herself a friend in Leanne, a seemingly sweet Southern lady who just happens to have a Swastika tattooed on her forehead… (Megan Mullally, on fire as usual in this role)
Suddenly, the worst news imaginable is reported after Jamie is arrested for a bizarre crime he swears he didn’t commit – an eight mile wide comet is on a collision course with the planet and it doesn’t look good for mankind. But Jamie has more important things on his mind – like, why his wife is alive and well in Russia? And why was she spotted with a man that looks strikingly similar to him?
Back in America, it might not be all doom and gloom, as Scotty McNeil (Kyle Soller) and the US General Arnold Gaines (British stalwart Paterson Joseph) are in charge of the plan that will save the world. Hopefully. Maybe. While all that’s going on, we go over to The Vatican, where Sister Celine (Gaia Scodellaro) is a nun with the sunniest disposition in the whole convent – she’s sent to work in the recently reopened office of Devil’s Advocate along with foul-mouthed, chain-smoking Father Jude Sutton (Rob Lowe is brilliant, alright?) where their job is to find the potential saviour for mankind.
Somehow, this group of people comes together for the end of the world. Over the ten episodes, we find out the answers to questions we didn’t even know we’d have, about people we didn’t know we’d come to care about so much – Scotty is a precious being who needs to be protected at all costs, and I will fight anyone who wants to hurt him – and you’ll be fooled into thinking you’re watching a comedy when there will be times when you feel like your heart has broken in two. I loved every moment of this series and I can’t recommend it enough. If you’re a fan of Shaun of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, Monty Python and anything inbetween, then You, Me and The Apocalypse will be right up your street.
The cast is perfect, the story is extraordinary and brilliantly written, the mix of comedy and drama is just right (“You do not put people’s feet in food processors – there’s a line even in these kind of situations!”) and then there’s the fact that this series has somehow got me researching religion and theology for fun. There’s also a very satisfying amount of twists and turns that will keep you coming back for more – and trust me on one thing, just because you know the series ends when the world does, it doesn’t mean you know what’s coming…
You, Me and the Apocalypse is available in the UK on demand via Sky 1, and will soon be showing in the US on January 28th on NBC.
Claire is a foul-mouthed British twenty-something who spends most of her time pretending to be an adult. Her nerd status started from an early age with her dad’s love of sci-fi and developed through a love of gaming, reading and horror. As well as volunteering for a charity, Claire writes about her life with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and mental health over at her blog, as well as tweeting nonsense over as @MouthAndSpoons. The dream is to either make it as a successful writer, or go into mental health research. She lives at home with her equally nerdy husband, their dog Lady, cat Pip and a lot of fish.