Another dystopian drama on the BBC… wow, original.
Although we may now be getting tired of hearing some of the same, predictable plots of dramas that attempt to show us what our nightmarish future will look like, Years after Years has managed to show us this in an utterly chaotic and yet also thrilling episode. The wildly fast paced TV show is unlike others purely because of how many things it tries to warn us against.
Nuclear disasters are in there, with the war between America and China catching Britain in the middle. Robots also make an appearance, with the horrifying revelation that men can pleasure themselves with a robot, and that they deem it normal when they are not having interaction with another living human. Politicians, you guessed it, also make an appearance with how dangerously they can change the world. Emma Thompson plays a newly rising politician, whose response to the ‘Israel-Palestine conflict’ presented in the show is that she does not “give a f***”. Does this incompetency of politicians remind us of anything? Perhaps it does resonate with our world today…. And there is a whole lot more where that came from!
On the whole, the warning against the future being so bleak is executed to a good level. But there is one aspect of the show that has made me question its sincerity. When a young girl tells her parents that she wants to be “trans-human” has the show gone too far? Her parents mistake her for thinking that she wants to be transgender, but when she says she wants to effectively kill herself to be digital, is this taking the discussion about gender politics too far? Is it mocking discussions about gender politics by taking it to an extreme? Obviously, the show has to take risks when warning about our society today, but for me, this element has been taken out of control, and it made me feel uncomfortable to watch this element of the episode.
But despite this, the show manages to mostly combine politics and drama very to present us with a very possible image of the future.