Carol & the End of the World

Carol & the End of the World

TV-MA

netflix

A uniquely mundane yet warm existential approach to the doomsday scenario

The Very Best

8.4

TV Show

Canada, United States of America
English
Animation, Comedy
2023
Beth Grant, Kimberly Hebert Gregory, Lawrence Pressman

TLDR

Looking for: Someone to talk and eat banana bread with.

What it's about

With doomsday marked in seven months, and extinction is imminent for humankind, everyone chooses to indulge in their darkest pleasures, pursue their wildest dreams, and live a life contrary to their past day-to-day. Everyone, except for Carol, who sticks to the contentment of her ordinary life.

The take

The end of the world isn’t the most optimistic thing to think about, but the scenario leads you to thinking about unrealized dreams, pleasures, and aspirations: the way you want your life to be, if things have gone the way they planned. Dan Guterman, from Community and Rick and Morty, reimagines this idea in Carol and the End of the World. Carol is that mundane, downright boring character that we wouldn’t take notice of in real life, only because she actively chooses the ordinary life, but this show is extraordinary, shifting perspectives and even genres between episodes, taking unexpected turns, and celebrating the day-to-day monotony of life.

What stands out

Plenty of films and shows imagine what it would happen if doomsday arrives, and usually this would center around a main character whose primary lesson is to seize the day, live life to the fullest, and do whatever it is they want to do. Carol & the End of the World has the same doomsday scenario, but not the same protagonist, as Carol just really wants to live her regular humdrum life. In real life, this would be boring. But the contrast between the monotone Carol and the changed world around her is hilarious, with Martha Kelly’s deadpan droll making her stand out from the high personality, highly expressive main characters we’re used to. And she seeks life’s simple pleasures, the show helps you appreciate the regular routine, and makes you question the simple pleasures that we’re missing.

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