TV Preview: Years And Years

Years And Years

On Saturday 13 April, we were treated to a preview screening of Years and Years at the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival at BFI Southbank.

Years and Years centres on an everyday Mancunian family, the Lyons, over a fifteen year period. The first ten minutes is a montage at lightening speed of: a birth, birthdays and meeting the different family members who we are to follow over the length of the 6 part series. One of the leads is Russell Tovey portraying a house officer.

Years and Years is very representative but I fear that the subject matter it is trying to grapple with is too big – political uncertainty, rise of facism in the form of Emma Thompson’s character, Vivienne Rook MP – a mash up of Trump and Nigel Farage -together with technological advances – transhuman.

In the Q&A, Russell T Davies said the use of the family unit was to provide the series with its beating heart and, as such, something for us viewers to connect with. It is supposed to be personal even though set in the near future.

Russell T Davies is the legend behind Queer as Folk that revolutionised my tv viewing habits of the 1990s following the path of three gay men in Manchester. Here again, the drama is set primarily in Manchester with only interior shots shown of the oldest brother’s house in London. Is it going to be a hit? Well, that will depend on the viewing public.

There is no doubt a stellar cast of household names such as Emma Thompson, Anne Reid and Russell Tovey along with lesser known faces as Ruth Madeley and T’Nia Miller. It is just that the idea of the series of a right wing, populist female figure creating her own party and the world being torn apart doesn’t really make for engaging television viewing although I may be wrong. In any event the writer has realised his dream of writing a series he’s had the idea for a number of years, I just hope this doesn’t go the way of other passion projects

Years and Years will be shown on the BBC starting in Spring 2019.

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