Unlike “The Walking Dead”, which was essentially what was abandoned at the start of the zombie outbreak, “Y” rather counts down to the moment when the entire male population (everything with a Y chromosome) suddenly and inexplicably dies, Leaving behind a world consisting of women, with notable exceptions.
Brown’s resources include a nameless government agent (Ashley Romans), who is both lethal and ruthless, but even when the government begins to unite, she never ventures out of the woods in case of crisis.
In a sense, you almost have to go through the first few episodes to settle into “Y”‘s dramatic arc, followed by several plots involving the lone cisgender male survivor, Yorick Brown (Ben Schnetzer), who must hide his identity. Yorick also has a pet monkey that is male, and both have “Laboratory Rats of the Future” written on them.
Science-fiction series like this usually start somewhere after everything goes to hell, so at first the show would seem to deserve the credit for trying to do something different by creating the equivalent of a nuclear explosion or deadly plague. Which suddenly changes everything.
However, the wholesale deaths and related grief of those left behind cast a moment on the series, which with few exceptions struggles to develop the kind of characters that originally made “The Walking Dead” pop.
In addition to the overwhelmingly female cast, all directors and most of the key crew members are women, working under Elijah Clark, a playwright whose TV credits include TNT’s “Animal Kingdom”.
Ultimately, though, the series feels handcuffed by the tool that sets the narrative in motion. Despite his potential importance to understanding what happened and the future of humanity, when someone searches for Yorick, he says, “I’m just a boy. I’m not special.”
While not for lack of effort, and neither is “Y: The Last Man”.
“Y: The Last Man” premieres September 13 on FX on Hulu.