'Now Apocalypse' Season 1: Is the Starz show a post-millennial version of Gregg Araki's unaired 'This is How The World Ends'?
Gregg Araki had shot a pilot for an MTV series titled 'This is How The World Ends' in 2000, but the show did not materialize. The episode is on YouTube now.
Gregg Araki, best known for the 'Teen Apocalypse Trilogy' of the '90s is now making a television series titled 'Now Apocalypse', starring Avan Jogia, Tyler Posey, Beau Mirchoff, Kelli Berglund and others. This is Araki's debut television show, not counting the pilot episode that the director shot for MTV in the early 2000s, which was titled 'This is How The World Ends'. While the show did not materialize, the pilot episode is now available on YouTube and has all the elements of an Araki film. The episode also brings us to the question, is 'Now Apocalypse' a post-millennial version of the show that never took off?
The pilot episode begins with the lead actor, nicknamed Casper, dreaming about the girl that he has been crushing on since forever according to his friends. The dream also features his mother and Casper's favorite banana walnut pancake. Of course, the dream is far from Caspers reality. Casper's close friends — Miles and Svlgo 'rockmuch' — try to convince him to end his one-sided love for Christmas who is in a relationship with a homophobic teenager Flash.
Casper, who has other ideas, decides to pursue Christmas and even confesses his feelings to her, only to realize that she was never really interested him. The pilot also introduced us to Magenta, Svlgo's girlfriend.
All of them travel on a bus which meets with an accident before the episode ends. The plot of the series is completely different when compared to 'Now Apocalypse', which is about four individuals in their 20s exploring their identity. What is similar, however, is the way Araki treats dreams, sexuality and friendship in his work.
The characteristics of Casper and Miles are different from that of Ulysses and Ford in 'Now Apocalypse', but the friendship is quite similar. The same goes for the equation that Ulysses shares with Carly.
It is very much similar to that of Casper's friendship with Svlgo. The recurrence of themes that includes a big spotlight on dreams, especially in Araki's 'Nowhere', is carried forward to his upcoming show and that's what makes the Avan Jogia starrer and the pilot episode of 'This is How The World Ends' a product of the same universe but in different times.
The other writer of the show, Karley Sciortino, who is from a different generation from Araki, added her voice to the upcoming show as well. However, it is Araki's recurring themes from his previous work which is most visible.
In fact, he spoke about this in an interview with Queerty, and said that 'Now Apocalypse' is a culmination of 30 years of his work and is also a parody of sorts. Which makes sense, especially after the appearance of a lizard-like creature at the end of the trailer for the new show.
What makes this a post-millennial show is not all the crazy party, sex and sarcasm that is present. It is the fluidity of each character, how they lead their lives and how they think. The Apocalypse here is the end of the world as the characters know it and how they change through this journey is something that we will have to see when the show airs on March 10 on STARZ.