Do we actually need to watch a thriller a couple of devastating virus that kills off half the planet and condemns the survivors to life in a chaotic hellscape? Surprisingly, after watching the primary 4 episodes of FX on Hulu’s Y: The Last Man, my reply is: Yes, really, we do.

Y: The Last Man — debuting subsequent Monday, Sept. 13 on the streamer — does have eerie parallels to as we speak’s headlines that reduce slightly near the bone. But it’s additionally a wise twist on the post-apocalyptic style, spiked with intense motion, intriguing philosophical quandaries and slivers of darkish humor. The challenge has been in growth hell for half a decade and suffered by way of a number of false begins, however the lengthy gestation interval appears to have been price it: This is sweet.

Based on the acclaimed Brian Ok. Vaughan and Pia Guerra comedian e book sequence — Eliza Clark (Animal Kingdom) serves as showrunner — Y: The Last Man plunges us into an alternate future the place a mysterious virus has killed off each residing creature with a Y chromosome throughout the planet. The aftermath depicted right here is genuinely chilling, with useless our bodies and wrecked automobiles lining town streets. Somehow, for causes unexplained, a younger man named Yorick (Ben Schnetzer) and his pet monkey Amp (quick for Ampersand) are the one organic males left alive. Yorick is type of a goofball: He’s an aspiring escape artist — he sees mere card tips as “below my skill level” — and when his girlfriend ditches him after a botched proposal, he spends his first few post-virus days looking for her, spray-painting messages to her throughout city. Schnetzer doesn’t have many display screen credit, however he shortly establishes himself as a breakout star right here: He’s humorous and interesting, and appropriately bewildered at Yorick’s unusual destiny.

Y The Last Man Diane Lane

But Yorick isn’t the principle focus of Y: The Last Man, and albeit, he shouldn’t be. (This is a world now run by ladies, in spite of everything.) Diane Lane performs Yorick’s mom Jennifer Brown, an influential Congresswoman who turns into President of the United States after the road of succession is decimated. The ensuing energy vacuum creates an influence battle, resulting in petty political squabbles with very excessive stakes, and Lane brings nice gravitas and emotion to a difficult function. Yorick additionally has a sister named Hero, performed by Goliath‘s Olivia Thirlby; in a clever twist, the virus gives her a free pass on a catastrophic mistake she made, but the immense guilt still haunts her. She’s paired up together with her finest buddy, a trans male named Sam (The Fosters‘ Elliot Fletcher), as they seek for a protected haven in a out of the blue hostile world.

Y: The Last Man kicks off with a extremely sturdy premiere: The hour effectively lays the groundwork by letting us get to know the characters earlier than the virus strikes, and the entire thing has a low-key, shaggy-dog appeal to it. It throws plenty of disparate story threads at us, however they’re all compelling in their very own method: Agent 355 (Shameless‘ Ashley Romans), an enigmatic covert agent with superhuman fighting skills; Kimberly (Amber Tamblyn), a conservative crusader and the (soon-to-be former) President’s daughter; Nora (Homeland‘s Marin Ireland), a savvy political advisor… and their entire world modifications straight away when all the boys of their lives begin spitting up blood and falling over useless. The premiere is an impressed weaving collectively of creeping dread and catastrophe film spectacle, laced with a unusual humorousness.

Y The Last Man Sam HeroThe subsequent episodes don’t fairly reside as much as that promise, although. Oddly, the truth that solely males have been killed by the virus isn’t spoken aloud or thought of. (That’s the present’s entire hook!) It frustratingly dodges attention-grabbing questions on gender and turns into generically post-apocalyptic at instances, slipping into Walking Dead territory with people looming as the largest risk. It additionally has bother sustaining narrative momentum: There are too many characters on too many separate aspect missions, and it depends on a couple of unlikely coincidences to drive them to intersect. (Thirlby makes a giant impression as Hero within the premiere, however then she inexplicably disappears for a whole episode, simply once we have been beginning to get emotionally invested in her.) There’s a extremely good present someplace in right here, however it retains getting slowed down by the load of its personal ambitions.

Still, Y: The Last Man has plenty of potential. The opening episodes current us with a number of mysteries that I’m trying ahead to untangling. (Why is Yorick nonetheless alive? And what’s Agent 355’s deal, anyway?) Plus, the post-virus world hits on some unexpectedly well timed points. Thanks to widespread energy outages and meals shortages, everybody’s beneath siege and in survival mode, giving rise to rampant paranoia, conspiracy theories and indignant rioting. (When Lane’s new President provides a stirring speech about responding to powerful instances, she may as properly be talking on to us.) It could not have meant to, however this present successfully harnesses the facility of our collective COVID-era trauma, with everybody simply craving for issues to return to regular. “Without men, there is no future,” Kimberly reminds Jennifer, however she has a agency reply: “We’re just trying to survive the present.”

THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE: Y: The Last Man places a intelligent spin on the post-apocalyptic style with darkish humor and an unexpectedly well timed premise.





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