Artwork: AMC '23

Episode 243: The First One After the Robo War

Author: SAB '24
As seen in: README #

An overnight robo-nuclear war killed everyone in the world except the production team and one of the actors of the hit comedy-drama, “Love in New York.”

It starts with the cold open. Everyone waits for Garry, the show’s clumsy-but-lovable comic relief, to set up the joke. 5 minutes of silence pass. Remembering that the actor playing Garry is actually dead, Marty, who plays the lead Derek, jumps in with what would’ve been the joke’s punchline: “Don’t worry Gare-Bear, I think your cheese is grate!” Wow, he thinks to himself, I bet all the viewers back home loved that. There are no viewers back home.

It cuts to the opening credits, which are noticeably shorter than before. In the background is an image of Derek laughing—looks like this show’s about fun ‘n games! The background changes to an image of Derek crying in a military uniform—looks like this show’s no longer about fun ‘n games. The theme song has been changed to the one from Friends because there’s no one left to sue them for copyright infringement. The credits end with a rolling list of leaked intel that would’ve saved the world if this episode came out two days earlier.

The first scene is set in a barren wasteland. The war’s destruction of the world’s greenery forced the show to end the 242-episode character arc that saw Derek’s rise and fall as a left-leaning columnist covering city parks for an independently-published lifestyle magazine. Now, he trudges along in a vast desert—he’s starved, exhausted, and ready to mingle. In this episode, the only oasis Derek’s looking for is the oasis of love. The show cuts to a commercial break: one of the assistant cameramen declares that he is selling chunks of his flesh for water.

The second scene is set in a different, more barren wasteland. It’s New York, and the Empire State Building is a lot shorter than he remembers it being. The camera pans to… a burnt tree? 

Hard cut to Derek, who is on his knees crying in front of a worn gravestone: True Love, 1989 – 2023. Geez, he definitely didn’t see that one coming! But Derek is no quitter—sure, all the signs are telling him no, but his heart, well, his heart is telling him yes. Love is in the air, and it smells just like plutonium-239.

And that’s when the woman of his dreams appears. Despite the long blonde wig “she” is wearing, it’s obvious that “she” is just Marty, the actor playing Derek, dressed as a woman.

For these next forty minutes, Marty won’t get a breather. His two characters are positioned 15 meters apart on screen, and he’s going to have to run back and forth between their dialogues to play them.

We cut to the 10 minute Central Park romantic stroll montage that occurs in every episode. Derek and his love hold hands, forcing Marty to assume a variety of awkward and unintentionally offensive hand positions. Suddenly, a group of Christmas carolers begin to sing in front of them. Shit. Marty is sent into a frenzy, playing all 50 people at once. 

Sure, Christmas was months ago, but the bigger problem? Derek’s got commitment issues. She wants to move-in now, but he needs time to rebuild his apartment building. They take a break for a while, and it destroys Derek. He’s no longer eating, but that’s not so bad given all organic matter is toxic now. We see him aimlessly kicking debris and corpses around in the ruins of Manhattan to show that he’s lost his purpose in life.

It’s unclear how much time passes because the ash clouds left the world in eternal darkness, but eventually Derek realizes he’s got to get her back. Miraculously, she appears in the distance, and Derek begins running towards her. She turns around, sees him, smiles, and begins running towards him. They both open their arms, but just before they embrace, Derek is evaporated by a loose killer robot.