Y: The Last Man

If all the men were wiped out, except for Yorick, he'd need to have a tad more fun than this.

The premise of wiping out all the men in the world sounds like a bold -if not necessarily new- concept.

Y: The Last Man is based on a comic book series by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. While that was published in 2002, a recent NZ series Creamerie, had fun with the same proposition, and others have wiped out most if not all adults (The 100, Between, Jeremiah, The Tribe).

In the time of a pandemic, are we ready for a future without half the population? Hell yes, if it means we can have some fun exploring it. Female presidents, armies, media owners, justices who are all mothers -would their decisions differ from the world as we know it?

Diane Lane stars as Congresswoman Jennifer Brown who accuses the President (Paul Gross) of being a misogynist. She is also mother to aspiring magician Yorick (Ben Schnetzer) who falls out with his Australia-bound girlfriend, and his paramedic sister Hero (Olivia Thirlby) whose one night stand turns, umm, sour.

The ensemble cast includes skilled Agent 355 (Ashley Romans) who is assigned to go undercover in the White House. There are also a number of other characters in what is a pretty involved set-up.

But the viewer is in no doubt as to what is coming, given it is shown in a prologue, that Yorick will be last man standing when an inexplicable disruption wipes out all mammals with a “Y” chromosome -save for Yorick and his pet monkey. I’m guessing they will probably tell us why at the end of season one.

The scene teased in the trailer in which the men collapse in unison, blood spurting from orifices, is good fun. I just wish more of the episodes had this kind of spirited mayhem. Instead we are subjected to a range of mostly-unlikeable characters in drainer scenes that remind me of an under-produced Stephen King miniseries (you know the ones, some are great, quite a few aren’t). Some motivations are downright perplexing. Propose to somebody one minute, abuse the crap out of them the next?

Ashley Romans, who gets a kick-ass introductory scene, is arguably the exception to the rule. It’s almost a shame she isn’t the lead, but two X chromosomes rules that out.

There’s even a couple of lines of dialogue that feel right at home in 2021: “It’s going to get worse before it gets better…” and “We’re all doing our best.” Yikes.

While the comic book no doubt moves more swiftly through its plot, I’m hoping this series improves with subsequent episodes and lives up to the pitch.

Y: The Last Man begins today on Binge. 8:30pm Sunday on FOX Showcase.

One Response

  1. It’s fair to say that Y-The Last Man wont be getting a 3 season run but so far it’s not looking too bad, I haven’t read the comic book series but do know about the plot and in today’s age it is a courageous plot as in this fictional universe powerful women are not doing a great job when they suddenly find themselves without any men or at least not men with a ‘Y’ chromosome (a comment made by Senator Jennifer Brown in the story).
    Most of the story ideas in Y-The Last Man have been done in some form before but with Diane Lane in the main cast that’s a plus for me, her on screen son and amateur escape artist Yorick Brown is not a character easy to like, Ampersand his Capuchin Monkey is more interesting, and neither is Agent 355 who does seem to have an agenda of her own to carry out, but that adds to the curiosity about who she actually works for. I will be watching the remaining episodes of this series with interest.

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