‘Y: The Last Man’ got canceled by FX before the first season even finished airing

Just mild spoilers for Y The Last Man
In case the title is confusing, we will get the final three episode of Y: The Last Man’s first season. Episode eight will air tonight and there are two more coming. However the show is not returning for season two on FX on Hulu. The announcement was made yesterday by the showrunner, Eliza Clark, that FX chose not to renew it. Y: The Last Man is set in a post apocalyptic world where all people with a Y chromosome, including most animals (it’s unclear if all animals are affected) are wiped out in a mysterious global event. There is one hapless guy with a Y chromosome left, an aspiring magician who is the son of woman who ends up becoming president (played by Diane Lane). It’s based on a comic series of the same name by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. I read the comics years ago and am one episode behind in the show. The series is dark and has disappointed me so far. I don’t care about most of the characters, and everyone is out to get the one character I do care about, Agent 355, played by Ashley Romans. Apparently many people feel the same way I do and the show didn’t really catch on. Here’s more on this cancelation, from THR:

Showrunner Eliza Clark and star Amber Tamblyn took to Twitter on Sunday to announce that the adaptation of Brian K. Vaughan’s beloved comics will not return for a second season on FX on Hulu. The news, which FX has yet to confirm but sources told THR happened Friday, comes after a more than decade-long development process that saw the IP bounce around between studios and filmmakers before landing at FX for development back in 2015.

Clark, who took over as showrunner from Michael Green and Aida Croal, noted in her lengthy and thoughtful statement that she hopes the series about gender and identity will find another outlet. “FX has been an amazing partner,” she wrote. “We are committed to finding Y its next home…”

During a September interview with TV’s Top 5 podcast, Vaughan conceded that his comic wasn’t the easiest to adapt for either a film or TV series. “It turns out to be challenging subject matter,” Vaughan said. He noted that film takes chopped his source material down to the point where it “lost everything” and it was bordering on “becoming cartoonish.” “It can only be on television,” Vaughan said. Clark, meanwhile, was a fan of the comics for more than a decade and was interested in exploring society’s conversation about how gender has changed in the past 20 years. “I didn’t want to change Y but wanted to take ideas that were so potent 20 years ago and move them into the world we’re living in now,” she told the THR podcast, adding that she envisioned Y as a five-season, 50-episode series.

That plan will now need some serious help.

[From THR]

Now that I’m hearing about the problems making the show, the fact that it’s uneven makes sense. I enjoyed the comics but found the ending (no spoilers) unsatisfying. I was hoping the TV series would answer some of the questions I had. It’s not terrible, it’s just not entertaining and didn’t pull me in. I would imagine it’s expensive to make too. I wouldn’t be surprised if a streaming network picks it up though. Manifest got picked up for another season by Netflix, it could happen for Y: The Last Man.

Here’s the showrunner’s announcement. It’s true that they handle gender issues well.

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17 Responses to “‘Y: The Last Man’ got canceled by FX before the first season even finished airing”

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  1. Laura-Lee says:

    I loved the comic, but also don’t feel it stuck the landing. I intended to watch the show when it came to a Canadian streaming service (which it may have done by now) but maybe I’ll just leave that alone. It would be hard to adapt, I’m sure. This does not bode well for the Paper Girls series I’d love to see. Lol

  2. Smices says:

    I was actually really enjoying this show. The Yorick/355 dynamic/budding friendship made me laugh and I liked the President. It’s my fault for investing in a sci-fi show. They cancel that shit quick.

  3. Dee Kay says:

    This was a truly terribly written show. I watched about 6 episodes and cringed about 98% of the time at the dialogue and characterization.

  4. LWT00 says:

    Watched two episodes and was done. It had a really promising hook, but none of the characters were sympathetic and it was really boring. I doubt it’ll get picked up anywhere else.

  5. Veronica S. says:

    I’m not surprised. Vaughn and Guerra’s work has a very specific tone to it that makes it impossible to translate well unless you capture that kind of self-aware humor they have. Shame, though. Vaughn is one of my favorite comic writers.

    My only mildly science-y critique of the original is that more than one man would exist in that apocalyptic reality. The part that codes for male physique in genetics is only a small part of the Y chromosome, so in some cases, it can break off during recombination and attach to an X. So there are XX men out there, though they are extremely rare. They’d be endangered, but you could preserve some male DNA.

    • Laura-Lee MacDonald says:

      Yes to all this! When I first read the comics, I did not know anything about how chromosomes worked outside of Grade 11 biology. When my kid came out as Trans, I looked into the ever-growing body of science around sex expressions and was amazed at the knowledge that exists but is not widely known. Heck, I did not know that the part of the Y chromosome can break off?! I had hoped the show would be able to address this increased knowledge of ourselves as well as the evolving way we look at gender.

  6. PPP says:

    I really loved the show. Dr. Mann is my favorite, I adore her, but Ashley Romans as 355 is magnetizing. Their little group with Yorick is really vibing. I also actually really liked Kimberly– not liked her, but I thought she was a well-done character. I’d never expect to have sympathy for someone working to uphold the patriarchy, but the whole premise of the show is the most violent takedown of that ideology, and she lost more than anyone on that show. It’s just nice to see a complex conservative character in a show that’s clearly written by liberal types. I for one will miss it…

    At least Saga is coming back!

  7. Dutch says:

    I gave it a few episodes, but it didn’t really hit with me, so I never circled back. Shows set in a post-apocalyptic world aren’t as much fun when you are already mid-apocalypse.

    • AmB says:

      Very true. I don’t consider myself particularly hard-hit by any one recent event (U.S. political landscape, pandemic, my city burning after George Floyd’s murder), but I’ve found in the past couple of years there are just some stories I’m not interested in exploring because I don’t feel quite resilient enough.

  8. Chaine says:

    I haven’t read the comic. I’ve been watching the show because the premise looked interesting, but the problem is that Yorick is a really annoying character and not at all sympathetic and since everything centers around him it quickly got difficult to slog through–I honestly don’t care why he and the monkey are still alive or want to see a show that’s all about his specialness and ongoing survival– i would rather see a show about a world where the people without Y chromosomes figure out how to engineer the continuation of humanity on their own.

  9. FeatherDuk says:

    I don’t understand this show. Specifically the politics. What’s the point in still being so controlling or “conservative” when there aren’t any men to put on this show for? What is the point in still being anti-abortion when no one is going to become accidentally pregnant from this moment forward? It just doesn’t make sense overall. I know that in real life, we should all be working together toward our shared goals, but the fact that the politicians on this show can’t pull it together and work together is astounding. I look at it and think, if all the men passed away, I would think that women wouldn’t be this violent and/or stuck old ways? I don’t know, the whole show doesn’t sit right.

  10. Kfg says:

    Good. It was a show of what men think the world would be like without them. It was really bad.

    • FeatherDuk says:

      this makes sense of this nonsense show.

    • sashay away says:

      This is the reason why I haven’t read the comic. A story about what the world would be as a matriarchy, written only by men? No thanks. They couldn’t find a female co-writer? Hard pass.

    • The Nood says:

      That’ what I didn’t understand. My partner is a sci-fi geek and quite liked the show. I watched one episode with him and couldn’t work out why society had gone down the gurgler because there were no males? Really! There are no females that can deliver petrol or fly planes or work in shops or hospitals. You have got to be kidding me? I wondered how my partner was falling for this nonsense but when we discussed it the next day he conceded it was weird.

  11. sashay away says:

    For those interested in this premise, but would like to see the whole “matriarchy in a world with men as a minority” thing written by a woman, check out Ōoku.

    It’s a manga by Fumi Yoshinaga. It began in 2004 and finished in 2020 with a total of nineteen volumes. Viz Media holds the license to release the series in English. It’s SO good!