by Sarah Cook
Imagine a world where all the men were gone. Though some may proclaim, in wild cheering, that this would be the dream, the actual ramifications are intense. Seeing as the patriarchy still controls the world, and therefore men are mostly in control of everything, an instant plague which wipes out all men would be chaos.
That’s the premise behind Y: The Last Man.
This latest apocalyptic show to land on Disney Plus today revolves around this premises. Based on a comic book serious by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, the show follows the aftermath of the sudden death of all males in the world, including animals. As the surviving women try to cope with the mayhem, only one man seems to have survived – Yorrick Brown. With a terrifying new world filled with grief and confusion, Yorrick must fight off different groups of people who either want to kill him or want to experiment on him.
All the while, different female characters try to navigate their choices and survival, including a secret government assassin, a paramedic in the midst of her own personal crisis, and a powerful politicians. But is there more to the events? What caused the deaths? And most importantly, why did Yorrick survive?
Three opening episodes of Y: The Last Man have landed on Disney Plus with tantalising promise. The first episode greatly sets up the show with enough intriguing pieces in play. Personal storylines interweave with the grand scope of global devastation. It implores us to examine the patriarchal systems in place that a catastrophe such as all men dying would send the world into turmoil. With most men in charge of politics, religion, and the economy, Y: The Last Man present grim view on how inequality can doom us all.
It’s nice to see Ben Schnetzer in a leading role again, after dazzling us in movies such as Pride and The Riot Club. Here he plays a somewhat hapless magician who is jilted by his girlfriend after proposing. Whilst it is unclear how he is still alive following the incident (which left every other man with their brains on the floor, corpses rotting away,) he is enough of an endearing leading man, with his own monkey companion, to want to see him succeed. Diane Lane, Ashey Romans, and Olivia Thirbly are all interesting players that glide like chess pieces across this political and personal board.
Developed by Eliza Clarke, the show is intriguing. There is a brilliant balance of apocalyptic grand scale stakes with personal conflicts. There is immediate emotional investment of the characters shown, as they are plunged into uncertainty and bedlam. The gruesome aftermath is gripping and terrifying and we cannot wait to see how this series unfolds.
The first three episodes of Y: The Last Man is available on Disney Plus
There will be a new episode every Wednesday