As the winter months creep in and the prospect of curling up on the sofa in your PJs sounds about a hundred times more appealing than going outdoors, you’re going to need some top class new televisual material to watch too. Thankfully, new Sky 1 show You, Me and The Apocalypse – a comedy-drama starring Rob Lowe (Parks and Recreation, The West Wing) as a chain-smoking priest battling the end of the world – is three steps ahead of you and promises to be one of the year’s most entertaining new shows.
Here are five reasons why you don’t want to miss its debut this Wednesday (September 30).
It’s very ambitious
This nine-part comedy-drama is set 34 days before a comet is due to crash into Earth. It begins in a bunker underneath Berkshire as a group of people chosen as the “future of mankind” count down to judgment day. It takes in a librarian entering a New Mexico prison for a crime she didn’t commit, and a priest in Rome arguing the case against canonisation. It rattles along at a pace, teasing a conspiracy in the style of Channel 4’s Utopia.
The cast rocks
A sharp-cheekboned Rob Lowe – who made his debut in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Outsiders and was one of the infamous Brat Pack in the ’80s – wears a kick-ass cassock as bad-boy priest Father Jude. Mathew Baynton (Gavin & Stacey) plays Jamie, a hapless bank worker mistaken by police for a cyber terrorist, Megan Mullally (Karen from Will & Grace) steals scenes as a white supremacist with a swastika tattooed on her forehead and US Office star Jenna Fisher is a mother serving jail time for her hacker son.
Rob Lowe is biblically funny
As a hard-drinking, chain-smoking man of the cloth, Lowe savours his lines like a fine wine. “Do you find the phrase ‘Christ on a bike’ offensive?” he asks a nun at one point, “Because I just used it in a meeting and you’d think I’d just performed an abortion on the table or something.”
It’s tense and hilarious
A laugh in a new UK comedy is as rare as a pro-Corbyn Sun editorial, but this show easily jacknifes between high-octane drama and genuine lolz – such as the nutter wearing a sandwich board emblazoned with “THE END IS COMING” who later holds up another placard reading “I TOLD YOU SO!”. Plus, the seemingly established end-point provides a sense of urgency – think how much more you’d enjoy Citizen Khan if you knew everybody would eventually get wiped out by an asteroid.
Pauline Quirke is in it!
The 56-year-old Birds Of A Feather vet shines as Jamie’s mum, Paula, leading to the surreal sight of her beetling round Slough in a VW Polo with Rob Lowe.
You, Me & The Apocalypse begins 9pm, Wednesday, September 30 on Sky 1.