Sunday, March 10, 2019

REVIEW: 'Now Apocalypse' - Uly Has an Expected but Magical Date with Gabriel in 'This Is the Beginning of the End'

Starz's Now Apocalypse - Episode 1.01 "This Is the Beginning of the End"

Ulysses Zane is struggling in the dating scene in L.A. His best friend, Carly, is striving to become an actress. Uly's roommate, Ford, is an aspiring screenwriter dating Severine, an astrobiological theorist.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the series premiere of Starz's Now Apocalypse.

"This Is the Beginning of the End" was written by Gregg Araki & Karley Sciortino and directed by Gregg Araki

Now Apocalypse immediately presents an incredibly colorful and sexual world. One in which two men orgasming is akin to a cosmic eruption happening in the skies above. It's insane and yet strangely beautiful and artistic as well. This show is very much a send-up of the Los Angeles scene as well. Uly feels adrift in his life here because he doesn't feel unique as an actor or passionate about anything but having sex and smoking weed. That's basically all that is driving him at the moment. Of course, he is having out-of-body experiences as well. It could all be played as him innocently drifting off and having an incredibly overactive imagination. He would love to celebrate the end of a hike by going off into the bushes to have sex with his roommate Ford. Sure, that too may be a cliche because Ford is a stereotypically straight man who would never once question his sexuality. Uly says they did fool around once. It never meant anything more than that. Uly just happens to be more fluid than Ford is. And yet, it has to mean something if Uly is still fantasizing about it the way that he is here. Moreover, everyone is completely open and graphic about their sexual lives as well. That is very refreshing. It may be awkward when Uly comes home after an interrupted sexual encounter with a married guy by walking in on Ford having sex with his girlfriend Severine. However, that's perfectly normalized as well. Ford and Severine don't change their behavior. Uly is caught by surprise but is also perfectly fine going to his room. Meanwhile, Uly's best friend Carly is finding herself questioning her boyfriend and the things that he is suddenly saying in the middle of sex. She wonders if porn has warped too many minds with zero basis in reality. She is concerned about this while also performing as a cam girl. In order to make money, she plays into the various fetishes that people have online. She would love to just be learning her lines for her acting class. The realities of the world are coming into play though. This is the way that she uses her sexuality in order to make something of her life. She is engaged by some of the responses while completely disinterested with some others. This is her job. She is good at it while also aspiring for more. She is still more than willing to offer Uly advice when it comes to the guy online who seems too good to be true. Gabriel presents as this gorgeous guy who can't possibly be worth the wait after not responding for two whole days. Uly is questioning whether or not he should hold out hope. When Gabriel does appear though, it's a magical date that ends with both of them ejaculating beyond the building. It's all presented as miraculous and like fate. This is a feeling that neither of them have had before. It shows how normal it has become for sex to be an option after just meeting. But it's also played as something more possibly happening between them. Of course, Uly is immediately knocked out while returning home from this date and is confronted by something incredibly monstrous. That too is wildly unexpected and strange. There are so many elements at play within this show. Some of them work more effectively than others. The struggles of three aspiring 20-somethings are more interesting than the classified career that Severine has which may be connected to everything else in some big way. Meanwhile, the strangeness of a monster having sex is effective even though it's unlikely the show will do anything to explain that any time soon.