Disney+'s 'Y: The Last Man' is clever, funny and scarily close to home

·3-min read
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Ben Schnetzer as Yorick in Y: The Last Man (Rafy Winterfeld/FX)

The apocalypse is a pretty crowded place these days.

The Walking Dead franchise has three series on the go, there are more zombies on the loose in Z Nation and Black Summer, viral related horrors in Netflix's Sweet Tooth, and patriarchal horrors abound in The Handmaid's Tale.

So you’ve got to do something special to stand out in today’s end of the world market, and thankfully that’s exactly what graphic novel adaptation Y: The Last Man offers.

Read more: The best TV to watch this autumn

Based on the stunning Brian K Vaughan comic from DC, this fab, wryly comic, turn — launching on Disney+ Star on 22 September — follows the adventures of Yorick, the last dude standing after every other male, human or animal, dies off. If you have a Y chromosome, basically: you’re a goner.

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Diane Lane as Jennifer Brown in Y: The Last Man (Rafy Winterfeld/FX)

Apart from perennial loser and useless wannabe magician Yorick (Ben Schnetzer) and his monkey pal Ampersand who — for some reason — have survived the end of half of the world.

Getting rid of one sex (almost) entirely, like a mad reverse misogynist Thanos, creates a brilliant and conflicted world, and an (almost) all female cast gives the show such a fresh and original feel.

But it’s the characters that make this series stand out. Yorick himself seems to be exactly the kind of aimless underachiever who would luck his way through the apocalypse, and the battle lines being drawn by the surviving women are amazing.

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Y: The Last Man -- "The Day Before” -- Season 1, Episode 1 (Airs September 13) -- Pictured: (l-r) Juliana Canfield as Beth Deville, Ben Schnetzer as Yorick Brown. CR: Rafy Winterfeld/FX

When a right wing president and his conservative leadership are wiped out overnight, it’s his greatest political opponent, liberal congresswoman Jennifer Brown (Diane Lane), who takes over in the line of succession.

But she faces immediate opposition and suspicion from the president’s high profile Ivanka Trump-style daughter and advisor Kimberly, played by Amber Tamblyn, who’s just lost her father, husband and sons.

Operating in the shadows is the mysterious Agent 355 (Ashley Romans) sworn to serve the president, whomever that might be, and is one of the most enigmatic and interesting characters you’ll see on TV this year.

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Y: The Last Man -- "Would the World Be Kind” -- Season 1, Episode 2 (Airs September 13) -- Pictured: Olivia Thirlby as Hero Brown. CR: Rafy Winterfeld/FX

Meanwhile on the streets, the chaos, lack of water, food and power take hold as society grinds to a halt with every male dominated workforce suddenly decimated, and the search begins for Yorick’s girlfriend and troubled sister Hero, played by Olivia Thirlby.

An original and engaging take on the end of the world, Y: The Last Man is funny, horrific and very, very clever.

The best apocalypse shows offer a look at current society through an extreme lens. Depicting a deeply divided world, badly affected by a sudden health related crisis, this hits home all too well for modern life.

Don’t miss it.

Y: The Last Man, streaming through Star on Disney+ in the UK, launches with the first three episodes on 22 September, with new episodes every Wednesday.

Watch: Trailer for Y: The Last Man