Review: FX’s ‘Y: The Last Man’ hooks viewers with mixed feelings in underwhelming adaptation

FX adapts fairly but poorly


Courtesy of FX.

Brian K. Vaughan’s “Y: The Last Man” was a hugely successful comic book series published from September 2002 to March 2008. It was loved by critics and fans alike. About a decade passed of many unsuccessful attempts of adapting this series into a TV show or movie. FX later picked up the series and began developing it back in 2015, and now it’s here, with the first three episodes premiering Monday, September 13 on FX and Hulu. An unexpected virus suddenly wipes out every living mammal with a Y chromosome except for one man, Yorick Brown (Ben Schnetzer), and his pet monkey, Ampersand, who might be one of the last remaining mammals. 

FX’s “‘Y: The Last Man” suffers from mediocrity at best, with some ideas here and there seeming unnecessary or adding more. The series sort of dumbed the whole premise down to what feels like a thrown-together Netflix Original. It has interesting new takes such as the additions of characters to add more to the overall themes and world building, but they come off as anything you’d see in a soap opera.

An adaptation of a comic book can be different from the original source material, but in this case there’s only one story they can borrow from. An addition that seemed especially impactful was the execution of the virus when hitting the city showed off its brutality, goriness and reality. The build up to this catastrophe in the pilot episode was one of the vastly memorable aspects that’ll stick to someone’s mind. 

Yorick can be an extremely annoying man child throughout the series, which is captured well in the pilot episode. Throughout the remaining episodes, he’s not looked upon that much anymore despite being the central character. He starts to become the character asking the questions viewers make along the way. These obviously have to be made, which is a lazy way to deliver exposition. The show stealer throughout the three episodes’ span was Agent 355 (Ashley Romans), as she’s the one written to have more action around her environment. 

The clunky writing makes everything as a whole feel convoluted in its execution. Yorick’s exploration of the new world doesn’t feel like enough for the first episodes. Although it’ll obviously be explored in the future episodes, it wasn’t enough to have an audience intrigued to tune in again. A lot of the show’s runtime is spent in a military-secured Pentagon with Yorick’s mom, Jennifer Brown (Diane Lane), being the new president of the United States as she figures out how the world will have to cope with this tragedy. Most of the writing here is where it shines with how moving Jennifer Brown’s dialogue is. Unfortunately, her line delivery from time to time seems wooden and comes off as odd. 

One can’t critique an adaptation by saying it isn’t accurate enough, but the show doesn’t even borrow many of the elements from the comic that made it special. The show seems to be a mess, but so far, the first season still has more to offer as it’s still taking its baby steps. A new episode will be released every Monday on FX and Hulu. As of now, this show shines between a 5 or 6/10 with its first three episodes.