Dan Guterman & Kevin Arrieta spin an intoxicating tale that I find debilitatingly curious. I suspect some would find Carol & The End of The World equally depressing.
Navajo Police: Class 57 was described to me as sad, having witnessed communities' endless struggle with crime, poverty, and alcoholism. However, I didn't see it that way. I found the undying strength and individual will to hope and work for the better despite harrowing odds beautiful and inspiring. It's a sentiment I often feel watching Carol navigate the looming end of the world.
I haven't been so moved by story in a long time. I stumbled upon a book years ago, and its author, who I briefly befriended, keeps coming to mind. It's an odd association. Koontown Killing Kaper is a fictional tale taking place after the crack epidemic. Where The Man's nefarious plan is even darker than in reality, what it shares in common with Carol & The End of The World is the feeling it induces. It's a brave and thoughtful peek into a world of what-ifs. It is a satirical and social introspective so well executed that you can't help but feel that this could have happened or that this would happen.
The Distraction, Carol finds, could be a metaphor for many things—the show streams on a service that, for many, is itself a distraction. I found myself watching all these character types and seeing a bit of myself in them all. Some traveled the world, others indulged in endless hedonism, and some continued life primarily as usual but in the nude.
Perhaps this was to keep the focus on Carol and The Distraction, but there was also a noticeable absence of cinematicly typical apocalyptic violence. I attribute that to a naive and idealist view of how humans would react given enough time to accept the end of the world.
By the end of the show, it became much less about how the characters, or even you, would spend the remainder of your life with months before the end of the world. I think it quietly asks, what will you do with the remaining bit of life you do have?
Will you find community? Or maybe you already have and need to accept it.
Will you find love and hold it dear in whatever form it appears?
Will you chase joy wherever you find it?
Will you live in service of others?
Will you accept a life of contentment?
It's silly to allow books, movies, or even other people's lives to turn our emotional dials so much. But we live in a world of distractions, fears, and wants. Our subconscious is a battleground for insecurities and ego. We miss so much of what matters and chase too much of what doesn't.
Don't be like Carol, her parents, Donna, Luis, or Eric. Don't wait to live your life.
Still, I enjoyed the distraction of binging this show before I sat down at my computer to put these observations into words. Watching the clock tick in the upper right side of my screen before logging into Slack and getting some work done. Breathing into my hands every few sentences to warm my fingers in my chilly garage office. My family is still asleep and warm upstairs, protected from the snowy winter outside. I'd rather it be 85º, and we're all 15 minutes from a quiet beach. In a small home, we can afford on a trainer's salary. I'd spend my spare time learning to speak Spanish, playing the Cajon, golfing, and riding my motorcycle around town.
Damn, look at the time. Sorry, I got distracted.