(Scene begins as flickers of light are seen as we see members of Team TLOTA in Nuclear decontamination suits as they scrub off a guy with his back to the camera. The guy goes to grab a shirt and jeans. We soon find the guy setting up a camera, and we discover the guy is, in fact, James Faraci, The Last Of The Americans, as we see from inside his room.)

TLOTA: I’m James Faraci, The Last Of The Americans, and the views I’m about to express might be some of the last. So not long after the bombs hit certain states that were smart enough to see this coming hit a heal pulse to repair some of the bigger parts of the technological infrastructure. Wi-Fi and the internet have been spotty, and most sites have been decimated. I’m barely using enough for the day to…to… I honestly don’t know what it is I’m doing anymore! Maybe it’s (Snaps fingers) Reviews! And it’s Armageddon! (James quickly draws a title card and hums, “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It & I Feel Fine” for five seconds as James shows his handmade title card of a Nuclear explosion and the words “The End Of The World” and James puts it on the desk.) So I guess we will go over some post-apocalyptic movies for the next few weeks or months or however long it takes. In case you weren’t as orientated, what must you do to survive now. But this is for those who may not have known when I was a kid, there was this event called “The Cold War” between the United States and the Soviet Union and a little event in which a television network called ABC decided to create a TV Movie that was supposed to warn us about our stupidity. It gave us forty years to hopefully avoid what happened; fat lot of good it did us! (James sets up a portable Blu-Ray/DVD player as he gets it to the main menu) “The Day After” was released just as someone named Stanislav Petrov was able to correctly guess that there were too few blips on his radar, and it was then that we would get a chance to see this. It had a message that resonated so much that people were trying to stop what eventually happened. But now as the end has happened, does this still have any impact? We’ll find out as we go over “The Day After” (James puts the camera on the screen. James hits the play button.)

TLOTA (V.O.): The movie opens at SAC Airborne Command in Omaha, Nebraska. From what I gathered, the footage of the B-52 and the crew that represents our armed forces came from a documentary called “First Strike” because some governmental jackass wanted it to make the soviets look like the bad guy. But director Nicholas Meyer, who had just come from “Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan” to direct this movie, said that the governments weren’t the bad guys; it was the nuclear weapons themselves. (James pulls the camera away to him)

TLOTA: Spoilers Nick, if you’re still here, they were as much the bad guy as the nuclear weapons were, asshole! (James puts the camera back on the screen)

TLOTA (V.O.): After a jaunty tune with our opening credits that are supposed to quell our fears about what we saw, the first bit of dialogue of what’s going on comes from inside a Kansas City trade building. It lets us know that things have severely deteriorated. Not long after that, we’re introduced to Dr. Oakes at Memorial General Hospital in Kansas City as he is giving a lecture and has some other issues. Then we are introduced to airman McCoy as he’s interested in what goes on as he prepares for a 30-day furlough with his family to New Orleans, The Dahlberg Farm, where Farmer Dahlberg and his family await a happy couple for their rehearsal wedding. (James pulls the camera away to him) TLOTA: If they were to toss a football around in an alleyway in tuxedos, which by the way, neither exist now, then we’d be in for a fun wedding, which doesn’t exist either. (James puts the camera back on the screen)

TLOTA (V.O.): Airman McCoy reaches his destination, which is outside of the Hendry farm, where we see them trying to live a normal life, as normal as one can have to know they’re close to the people in charge of the weapons of the apocalypse. We soon cut to Oakes as he and his daughter have a heart-to-heart conversation and find themselves in a museum where Oakes’ daughter tries to help him understand perspective as she tells her father that she’s going to Boston. Oakes thinks she’s following her love interest which we never see in this film. We soon hear in TV and Radio transmissions that things are breaking down quickly. As Oakes and his wife and everyone have more serious conversations about the possibilities of what will eventually happen while East and West Berlin borders shut down. The fears are so strong that Farmer Dahlberg can’t worry about the Premarital sex his daughter and her fiancée are having. Oakes’ wife compares it to the Cuban Missile Crisis. McCoy’s wife is super worried because, again, he’s the guy closest to the missiles! With everything going straight to the bottom of the barrel, students at the college, including Steven and others, hear about what’s happening, and people try to understand things. Steven hitchhikes to his home. Meanwhile, Dahlberg’s Daughter’s Fiancée is at a barber shop where a professor tells us that there is nowhere as there are nuclear missiles all around Missouri the Hendrys use this to have sex. Farmer Dahlberg forcibly drags his wife, kicking and screaming to the basement. Suddenly the emergency broadcast systems start playing; everything breaks down as we finally see… (The Nuclear Missiles launch) and as that happens, everyone who sees this can see this is the end of it all! When that happens, McCoy decides to bolt from the base, and others continue to fear; the panic hits its hardest just perfectly as… (Air raids sirens blare, then everything with a power source is shut down, and nuclear bombs detonate. James pauses the movie and pulls the camera away to him)

TLOTA: So yeah, thanks for reminding me of what happened a few weeks ago. And when this aired on TV, from this moment forward in this movie’s timeline, there is no more commercial breaks, no shilling of Coca-Cola, Atari, or anything like that to take anyone out of what I’ve been seeing. (Power starts to flicker) Son of a… Yeah, even though there are no commercials for me to use because everyone has everything to survive for the next few decades, I must step away and hope I can get back on this frequency. (A blank screen stands for thirty seconds. James clicks the camera back on.) Okay, Power has been restored, I got back on this frequency, and let me reset where we were when the power started to flicker, and here we go! So yeah, everything that happened in that moment was stock footage from other disaster movies and test footage of ICBMs that helped destroy things to help the reality and intensity of the moment. (James puts the camera on the screen. James hits the play button.)

TLOTA (V.O.): As we come back, we see the destruction from the bombs as we find the Dahlbergs trying to survive, and Oakes makes his way back to the hospital to help where he can, and with no power, there’s not much they can do. At the university, Professor Huxley is trying to get a radio to find any news. His students are trying to measure the roentgen of radiation that is still out there because Power is kaput! Meanwhile, Airman McCoy found a metal box to hide in until the blasts were over and tried to make his way home. Oakes and the hospital staff try to do whatever it takes to restore power and water; however, the EMP has pretty much fried all their options. In one of the few moments where stories cross, Steven comes upon the Dahlbergs as he tells them that every place with a nuclear silo was hit. And Steven also tells Denise, the eldest daughter, that it’s likely her fiancée is a radioactive corpse. We soon hear discussions as to how bad things are going to get. Professor Huxley contacts the Hospital; he tells us that the rads have stabilized and aren’t going down and tells Oakes that if and when the rads go down to two rads, then it will be safe, which isn’t anytime soon. (James pulls the camera away to him)

TLOTA: And according to what I’ve read on the meters on my devices, it won’t go anywhere for (blows raspberry) Eff it, if I know! (James puts the camera back on the screen)

TLOTA (V.O.): We soon find ourselves back at the Dahlberg farm as the eldest daughter who had the fiancée who died, finally goes around the bend. Steven grabs her from the basement and tells her that the radiation is invading her body, and when they make it back, Steven knows it’s too late to help her out of the madness. Meanwhile, back with McCoy, he hears that the town he was living in outside of the base is now a nuclear dump site. Back in the hospital, the bodies keep rising, and the madness continues to grow as people die every second, every minute, and every hour. McCoy makes a friend on his travels, trying to make his way to Lawrence. We soon discover that people realize how bad everything has become. (The pregnant lady tells Doctor Oakes the score and how they could’ve handled it forty years ago and did nothing. James pulls the camera away to him)

TLOTA: And adding on the forty years I’ve been around, that incompetence has become even worse. (James puts the camera back on the screen)

TLOTA (V.O.): With the situation officially as bad as it can get, Denise now goes after Steven thinking he’s her fiancée because, again, she’s nuts. As that happens, we see McCoy now suffering from radiation sickness. Meanwhile, the radiation levels have now become marginally safe. But it’s too little too late; at a church service, Denise shows signs of radiation poisoning, meaning that the words of the bible are now worthless. Steven takes Farmer Dahlberg’s daughter and son to Lawrence to hopefully find help at the hospital. Back at the hospital, the situation has become impossible to handle. With roughly thirty minutes left in the run time, we finally hear from one of the four horsemen that brought this disaster. (The President Of The United States give his bullshit speech. James pulls the camera away to him)

TLOTA: And that was how the movie showed this president; our president said this as well, but his speech ended differently. His speech ended with, “I drew this picture of a blue sky and green grass! Everybody happy!” It’s the god damned mother fucking apocalypse; I don’t care if I insult him; the bastard brought about the world’s end! Him, Kim Jong-Un, Putin, and the terrorists in the Middle East. (James puts the camera back on the screen)

TLOTA (V.O.): With the bodies continuing to rise, Oakes finally collapses under the strain of everything. As he alluded to when he was talking to someone else when he fell asleep, he soon remembers his family and the bombs that took that from him. As we see the death count rise, which includes McCoy and Farmer Dahlberg, after rejecting the FEMA stand-in and their claims that they just scrape off the top layer of soil and start farming again and is shot on site by someone trying to survive on his land, and rioters are killed for trying to get more food for themselves. Oakes knows his death will be as painful as all fuck; he hitches a ride to his home in the very thin hope that someone from his family will be there to comfort him. As he leaves, the last scene in Lawrence is inside a famed college sports arena, now littered with those who are dying and dead, and it’s here we realize those who were vaporized at the midway point; they were the lucky ones. Oakes makes it back to Kansas City, and a memorial whose inscription now means nothing then comes to the crater that was his home and comes upon squatters. As Oakes dies, we hear a message from Huxley that he will never get a response and a message that the movie underplayed it! (James pulls the camera away to him)

TLOTA: NO SHIT SHERLOCK! THANK YOU FOR THE OBVIOUS! (James starts to cry for five seconds) “The Day After” was the most important TV Movie ever made. This movie was dark and disturbing and had no happy ending. Because after everything we have been through, there shouldn’t be a happy ending. This depressed everyone, and it should depress you because we could’ve avoided this, but we chose to ignore the events that happened in this movie; we chose not to disarm ourselves of the nuclear nightmare, even though we had treaties made after this movie and all that, we ignored it and chose to become blissfully ignorant of everything that happened. If you haven’t seen it, it is better to watch it now or not at all because this nuclear nightmare could’ve been avoided if we had watched it more! And (Power Flickers again), Now I must go; it looks like I’m gonna be busy before I continue. See everyone soon. I’m James, Last Of The Americans, signing off! (Camera shuts off)

2 thoughts on “Weeks “After” The End

  1. “The Day After” is not at all subtle. In this case, subtlety would have been counterproductive. The point of this movie was to send a message about how horrible nuclear war is. Around the same time frame, there came the movie “Wargames”, where the world is only saved from nuclear annihilation by convincing an A.I. that nuclear war is “A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.”
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    In “The Day After”, a nuclear war actually happens. In “Wargames”, nuclear war is narrowly averted. But the message is clear. In nuclear war, no one wins.
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    I think they made the right call in not allowing commercials after a certain point when this originally aired. It was important to keep people in the world of the movie as long as possible for the message to hit home.
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    All in all, it seemed to work. The superpowers toned down the saber rattling, the Soviet Union collapsed, and in the 90’s asteroid/comet collision replaced nuclear war as the big apocalyptic disaster in popular consciousness. But nuclear weapons are still out there, we still have nations with nuclear capabilities, and we have to hope no one is insane enough to actually start a nuclear war.
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    By the way, there’s also a British-made nuclear war film titled ‘Threads”, made around the same time frame, and I hear it’s even more disturbing than “The Day After”.

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