“Y: The Last Man” Review: FX-on-Hulu’s New Post-Apocalyptic Political Drama Flips Gender Stereotypes

Ben Schnetzer in “Y: The Last Man.” Photo Courtesy: FX Networks

Rating: 7/10

In the new FX show Y: The Last Man — the first three episodes of the season premiere on Hulu September 13 — an event kills every one of Earth’s mammals with a Y chromosome. Only one cisgender man, Yorick (Ben Schnetzer), and his male capuchin monkey, Ampersand, survive.

When it comes to being the only human left alive with a Y chromosome, Yorick couldn't be a more disappointing specimen. At 27, he’s a self-absorbed, spoiled dude whose rent is being paid by his parents. His job is pretty much non-existent — he’s an escape artist who’s supposed to be developing a sort of magic show opening number, but he’s more of a procrastinator than anything else.

Fortunately, and even though the title of the show might indicate otherwise, Yorick is not the protagonist of this story. He’s just one of the many players in an ensemble cast led by Diane Lane (House of Cards), who plays Jennifer Brown, Yorick’s mom and most importantly a congresswoman-turned-president of the U.S. when the line of succession gets suddenly decimated. Olivia Thirlby (Juno) is Hero, Yorick’s sister and a former EMT with a dark past and the will to remain as far away from her mother as possible. Elliot Fletcher (Shameless) is Sam, Hero’s best friend and a trans man grappling with the consequences of living in a post-apocalyptic world where he’s more of a minority than ever. Amber Tamblyn (The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants) is Kimberly, the daughter of the former president and a conservative celebrity. Diana Bang (The Baby-Sitters Club) is doctor Allison Mann, a brilliant geneticist who doesn’t shy away from controversial research. She could be the key to discovering why Yorick survived.

But the absolute revelation of Y: The Last Man is Ashley Romans (Shameless). She’s Agent 355, a member of a covert task force that answers directly to the president. She can pilot a helicopter, perform CPR, shoot any kind of gun, manipulate explosives, kick ass at hand-to-hand combat, run in style, and talk her way into any room. She simply exudes confidence and charisma. She looks good in anything too but tends to favor faux-leather black jackets and skinny pants. Plus, her past is one of the many mysteries you’ll want the show to uncover.