If being generally terrified of any kind of technical advancements is your thing, then Years and Years has to be your next binge watch.
Over the years the BBC, if nothing else, has gifted us some incredible pieces of drama, from Peaky Blinders to Luther – now we have another stunning piece of television to add to that growing list.
Years and Years basically combines the technological dread of Black Mirror and then pitches them up against the current state of British politics.
Sort of like Charlie Brooker was curating Brexit.
In fact the show even drafts in Rory Kinnear, who played the unfortunate prime minister in Black Mirror episode The National Anthem. Kinnear puts in another stunning performance as a seemingly ordinary family man, only to be driven into being a not ordinary family man.
Throughout, the show tackles controversial issues head-on, from immigration to racism, doing so with these dystopian overtones that constantly fill you with fear – but in a much more emotional way than Black Mirror ever does.
And that’s by no means slating Brooker’s take on horrific futures, this just puts more focus on the relationships rather than the technology itself.
Emma Thompson spearheads the worst takes on those societal issues, replicating the style and persona of a ‘certain politician’ as she builds on the fear of the British public to front her own independent party.
The overwhelming feeling that all of what happens seems so feasible is what makes the show as terrifying as it is fascinating. Over a 15 year period we see the Lyons family dealing with issues that are already so recognisable to us today.
Unlike Black Mirror though the show does offer a glimmer of hope in its closing scenes. Thanks to a call to arms from an unlikely source, Muriel, the oldest member of the family who inspires the blockbuster ending of the series.
Without giving away too much, Muriel becomes the voice of rebellion, an inspiration to the younger members of her family to stand up to what is happening around them.
Despite the similarities to Charlie Brooker’s creation, Years and Years never threatens to feel too familiar – instead it gives us yet another reason to fear the future, before offering us an alternative in a completely unique way.
While the first episode is a little slow at times, mostly due to a lot of character backstories being laid out, from the second episode onwards you’ll barely have a moment to catch your breath.