For those who loved Black Mirror’s “San Junipero,” you’ll wish to give a thought to “Lengthy Lengthy Time,” the third episode of The Final of Us on HBO Max, starring Parks and Recreation’s Nick Offerman in a visitor position as Invoice.
No, “San Junipero” doesn’t have something to do with zombies, and “Lengthy Lengthy Time” doesn’t have something to do with importing your persona to an countless Nineteen Eighties membership scene. They share a much more area of interest class: self-contained episodes that pivot from the general thrust of their TV sequence to current a sci-fi-tinged queer love story.
Again in 2016, everybody I knew was watching “San Junipero,” speaking about how they hadn’t watched “San Junipero” but, or telling me I ought to watch “San Junipero,” the fourth episode of the third season of Black Mirror. It’s not that I knew loads of Black Mirror followers, it’s simply that I do know loads of queer people who get pleasure from style TV. Finally, I watched “San Junipero.” It was pretty! I’ve by no means seen one other episode of Black Mirror.
“San Junipero” is extensively thought-about among the finest episodes of tv to return out in 2016, and remains to be appreciated for being mainly the one episode of Black Mirror the place know-how is an effective factor that’s good, as a substitute of a Twilight Zone horror. However for a lot of, “San Junipero” is most fondly remembered as a result of a romance-centered style story is uncommon sufficient to see on TV, not to mention one the place a homosexual couple will get to experience off into the sundown collectively.
Did you get pleasure from what “San Junipero” did for bisexual and lesbian sci-fi followers? Would you wish to see The Final of Us do it for (white) homosexual males?
Effectively then, can I curiosity you a 60-ish-minute quick movie the place Nick Offerman performs a closeted survivalist in a zombie apocalypse who learns the irreplaceable worth of attachment from one other man’s tenderness, as you comply with their relationship from its starting via to a peaceable finish in previous age?
[Ed. note: The rest of this piece contains broad spoilers for “Long Long Time.”]
Additionally Joel and Ellie are there too, I suppose, however no matter. They bookend the episode, showing solely to start with and finish, leaving the remaining for director Peter Hoar and author Craig Mazin to spend increasing on Invoice and Frank. And broaden they do. Invoice’s recreation look is minor, and Frank died earlier than the participant even finds out he existed. What gamers know is that their relationship ended badly. One can infer that they had been lovers, however there’s no direct affirmation of it. The Invoice and Frank (performed by The White Lotus’ Murray Bartlett) of The Final of Us TV present are a near-complete retread.
Offerman frankly stuns within the position as a self-sufficient prepper who freezes like a deer when introduced with the freely supplied intimacy he had by no means dared to permit himself to want. Invoice and Frank kiss, and fuck, and argue; they prepare dinner, and make artwork, and shock one another with loving items; they discover a lot battle however higher pleasure in constructing out a pocket of paradise within the wasteland.
If the episode has a failure level, it’s that these guys are virtually literal Log Cabin Republicans (though the log cabin is a Trendy Colonial within the suburbs of Boston). Or, and I’m placing on my finest Surfer Dude accent right here, “Getting yours after which actively resisting making a group to share with although you completely have the assets to take action? Not (queer) radical, dude. Not (queer) radical in any respect.”
However it is a failure level of all of The Final of Us, recreation and present, in that no matter race or creed, it molds its characters in accordance right into a lionization of the largely legendary concept of the personal, isolationist homestead defended righteously in opposition to chaos.
Offerman and Bartlett’s performances are what make the episode transcend The Final of Us’ restricted concepts of ultimate society, turning “Lengthy Lengthy Time” into the most effective episode of the present’s first season. Time — and additional seasons as they arrive — will inform if it seems to be the most effective episode of the present, interval.
However within the meantime, no pun meant, it may be loved in isolation from the remainder of The Final of Us. For those who can watch the satisfying factor all people’s speaking about with out signing up for hours of notoriously dour tv on both aspect of it, properly, that’s a straightforward promote. Stand-alone standing propelled the unfold of “San Junipero” throughout the face of queer discourse, and it might simply stroll “Lengthy Lengthy Time” into the queer sci-fi corridor of fame as properly.
Leave a Reply