Y: The Last Man

y the last man tv show





Kristin Smith

TV Series Review

This is a man’s world. So they say. But what if it wasn’t anymore? 

A normal day quickly turned into the worst conceivable time in human history. A plague has been unleashed and no one knows where it came from or who is to blame. The only thing that women on earth know is that every single mammal with a Y chromosome is dead. 

Except for a man named Yorick Brown and his monkey, Ampersand.

Why did these two survive? New president and Yorick’s mother, Jennifer Brown, has no clue. But she knows that Yorkick and his monkey are the key. And she’ll need to give every ounce of herself if she’s to rebuild the broken world that now lies at her feet. 

If Men Were No More

Imagine if everyone with a Y chromosome were to drop dead. What would ensue? Chaos? Fear? Deep sorrow? It would be a world that no woman has ever known and yet every woman would be forced to confront the patriarchal system that has shaped life as they know it. 

This is the premise for FX’s latest post apocalyptic drama, Y: The Last Man. 

Yorick had no role in shaping that patriarchy. Before now, he hasn’t done much of anything. He’s never had any direction or purpose in life. Now he’s the only man left on earth, tasked with a mission to find out why he’s still breathing. But he’s not the only focus here. In fact, there are multiple storylines that all intertwine. 

There’s stand-in democratic president, Jennifer Brown, who must figure out how to rebuild the United States. Not only does she wrestle with social and political pressures, she’s haunted by her broken marriage and her parenting choices as she raised Yorick, a dependent mess, and her daughter, Hero, who wrestles with alcohol abuse, dysfunctional relationships and extreme violence. 

Then there’s Agent 355, a determined, sharp woman who can take on any role to which she’s assigned; former president’s assistant Nora Brady and her young daughter, Mackenzie, who are trying to survive without their previously common amenities; and, finally, conservative writer and advocate, Kimberly Campbell Cunningham who is left to pick up the pieces of her life after her husband and all of her young boys die. 

More Than Meets The Eye

From the title, you might imagine a world that’s been left to burn, but that desperately holds on to the hope of being restructured and rebuilt. And you’d be right. But the creators of this show, which is based on the comic series by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, have far more they want to communicate than a simple drama. 

Patriarchy, political agendas and natural survival all drive this series. But showrunner Eliza Clarke makes it clear that gender and its specifications also plays a huge role.

“Gender is diverse and chromosomes are not equal to gender. So in our world of the show, every living mammal with a Y chromosome dies. Tragically, that includes many women. It includes nonbinary people and includes intersex people… the writers … are making a show that affirms that trans women are women, trans men are men, nonbinary people are nonbinary, and that is part of the sort of richness of the world we get to play with.”

That’s problematic for many, of course. But if that wasn’t enough for viewers, there’s also plenty of negative opinions implied concerning cisgendered men, a plethora of violence and blood, extremely heavy language and some sexual activity that seems like it will soon take advantage of this series’ MA-rating.

Episode Reviews

Sept. 13, 2021: “The Day Before”

U.S. Senator Jennifer Brown goes toe-to-toe with the President and, later, attempts to save his life as men die all around her; Yorick proposes to his girlfriend but receives an unexpected response. Hero has an affair with a married man but when she finds out he’s not leaving his wife, she resorts to violence. Agent 355 receives a new assignment after successfully completing her violent mission. 

A secret agent kills multiple men with a bomb. A man is hit in the throat with a fire extinguisher; blood pours from his throat and he eventually bleeds out. Hundreds of men collapse to the ground as blood pours from their noses, mouths and eyes. Thousands of dead, decaying bodies (including those of animals) lie in the streets, blood covering their faces and bodies. A mother runs for help as her dead boy lies in her arms. Many young girls are orphaned. Planes and other vehicles crash into buildings and some explode. 

A heterosexual couple lie in bed together, naked but mostly covered by a sheet. They kiss and caress one another. We see the woman sit up and the side of her breast and buttocks are visible. A man graphically talks about wanting to have oral sex with another man. A female agent changes clothes and we see her bare back and upper thighs. A man lies about leaving his wife and continues to have an affair with a coworker. Women sport cleavage-baring tops. 

God’s name is misused more than five times, once paired with “d–mit” and Jesus’ name is misused twice. The f-word is used over 20 times and the s-word is heard more than 15 times. Other profanities include multiple utterances each of “a–hole,” “d–k,” “h—,” “d–n” and “a–.” A man makes a crude hand gesture. 

People smoke cigarettes and marijuana and drink wine. Hero attends an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting after receiving a DUI. 

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Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).

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