The Last Man on Earth recently returned to TV for its second season. While watching it I couldn't help but think about a few things that have been pretty commonplace in the apocalypse, especially in the area of relationships. This will contain SPOILERS for both season 1 of The Last Man on Earth and for the comic book The Walking Dead.
For the show itself, I felt The Last Man on Earth was doing well until he wasn't the last man on Earth anymore. I think I would like it more if they kept it a one man show and was about a guy comically trying to navigate all he needs to sustain life, and failing at first, but then either succeeding at the end or finding a work around. There's a growing need for a more pessimistic and negative brand of comedy these days and I kind of miss comedy that's just kind of happy and fun. I get that figuring out how to be happy while you're the last man on earth is sort of unrealistic but it seemed like that was the way it was going in the trailer. A more open, hedonistic lifestyle free from worry or caring about other people's opinions.
However, since we have more people in the show we can talk about something important. I've noticed how much of a stickler for traditional values these shows are. Marriage and commitment is extremely important and people don't sleep together unless they're going to be in a relationship. Casual sex is a reality in the world we live in, so one would think it'd be more of a reality once the world has ended. It's also worth noting that the heroes are usually monogamous, while bachelors who sleep with multiple women are considered antiheroes. In the same vein, people who don't practice traditional relationships are admonished. There are some notable examples in the comic version of another popular post apocalyptic show The Walking Dead.
Carol - Carol wanted to be in a three way relationship with Lori and Rick and she was deemed to be off her rocker. Technically this was true but not for that reason; it is very possible to have nontraditional relationships and the apocalypse is the perfect time to be open minded.
Tyreese - Tyreese "cheated" on Carol with Michonne. The two were a couple yes but do things like fidelity count as much without the social contracts involved? Especially when people are living together more out of necessity.
Negan: Negan had a harem made up of the wives of people in the Saviors. If any of the Saviors attempted to touch their wife while they were under Negan's care the man's face would be burned. There are plenty examples of legitimate polygamy but the one example of it in the apocalypse is of a cruel dictator forcibly taking his concubine.
The world has ended, there shouldn't be any single women despite the number of available guys. I understand in the Walking Dead that they are attempting to hold onto their humanity and fix the world as best they can. I also understand that certain things aren't in the character's natures to accept. As I said, I feel that the end of the world should be the time to experiment or at least be a little more open minded to possibilities.
That thought was well expressed in the The Last Man on Earth. When Phil Miller first met Carol he was ecstatic to finally meet anyone, but the fact that she was a woman was definitely a plus. When Phil brought up the topic of sex, Carol stated she couldn't sleep with him before they married. Phil's obvious reaction was "Why?"
For Christians I understand of course because of their religion but for anyone else, marrying someone you just met for the sole reason of having sex with them seems kind of silly. Then, right after the two get married they meet another woman, Melissa. Phil is instantly attracted to her and she is extremely amorous but she agrees to respect their marriage, despite also thinking it's kind of weird given the situation. At the height of their group, it was 3 men and 4 women. Given what we know about the situation, there's reason to believe they wouldn't have decided two women to one man, which means there's one woman left out for no good reason.
I'm not saying go crazy because the world ended and start raping people and sleeping with minors. I just mean that there's an in between when you can enjoy sex or non-traditional relationships when and if you're not running for your life. I thought it was great in the movie Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World where the main characters stumbled across an intoxicated orgy. That was a different case because the world was ending and people were not trying to survive but it's still notable that the main characters did not partake in it. I don't know, maybe I'm the crazy one. I know sex isn't the most important thing in life but I think to be loved is pretty high on the list and there are different kinds of love. What do you guys think?