Years and Years: Episode 3
May 30, 2019 5:29 AM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

It’s 2026 and a General Election is looming.

  • Stephen and Celeste try to rebuild their shattered lives. The Bank-Runs have caused nearly everyone to become part of the low wage "gig-economy"
  • Bethany Bisme-Lyons discovers that illicit Transhumanism surgery is illicit for a *reason*.
  • After Vickor's deportation, Daniel and Viktor settle into a video-chat routine from Kiev.
  • Education budget cuts mean Rosie loses her job.
  • Edith's former life as an activist calls her back into action on a secret mission.
  • The Lyons children are united when they discover that their long-absent father, Vincent, has died.
  • The day of the General Election sees Viv Rook skirt campaign rules buy having a 24 hour presence on her private cable channel - leading to a landslide win.
posted by Faintdreams (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is just such good TV. Obviously its main pull is that it's all just SO BLOODY POSSIBLE. Like some of the best ideas in Black Mirror it takes something that's happening now and just gives it a slight nudge to extend it into an all-too-feasible nightmarish future, especially Viv Rooks as the populist outsiders outsider who is really an insider.

And in the middle of all this we have "ordinary people" who are trying to live their lives just like we do every year and every year the politics get that little bit more populist, the technology that little bit more intrusive and economics that little bit more exclusive until we're the frogs merrily bubbling away in boiling water.

One little touch I really though rang true was the brief conversation that Muriel and Rosie had about the aftermath of Hong Sha and how, in 2019, everybody was saying that nothing would ever be the same but that now, several years later it was hardly ever mentioned and things just carried on. Celeste makes the association between the aftermath of the explosion and their current troubles but the others don't as they are largely unaffected by the fallout (as it were).

Stephen *nods*

Steven *nods*
posted by jontyjago at 7:24 AM on May 30, 2019 [7 favorites]

The delayed grief over their Father and the PTSD from just living through modern life was so well done.

The final scene with the Bicycle Courier and how everyone in the car just didn't react was chilling and very realistic.

It will be interesting to see what the writers final say on Viv will be, because right now she seems like a media savvy, more clever, millionaire Nigel Farage type. With all her talk of IQ tests as a requirement to vote, I bet once she's fully in power things will get real bad real fast. The fact that Rosie took a selfie with her feels like a Chekov's gun...

Also I really like Viktor and couldn't' bear it when terrible things were happening to him just because he happens to exist
posted by Faintdreams at 8:47 AM on May 30, 2019 [3 favorites]

FYI, I watched entire series, but will not be posting the final three eps to fanfare , so if anyone else wants to go ahead and do that please do!
posted by Faintdreams at 2:41 AM on July 3, 2019

My wife asked me what I like about this show, and I replied that it captures the "off-kilterish" feeling of contemporary life. It's like the ground beneath your feet is slowly sliding away, and there's nothing you can do to stop it.

It feels deeply science fiction-y and at the same time takes place just a few years from now, portraying events that seem all too plausible yet absurd at the same time.

Well done having Viv not win the general election outright but instead be the swing vote needed for all future legislative votes.
posted by xammerboy at 10:03 PM on July 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

I didn’t like the two previous episodes, due to the characters’ lack of agency. I appreciate that people are finally taking some action in their lives.

The person I’ve been watching the show with asked me what I would have done instead of banging on the bank doors in the previous episode, which seemed useless. I told her I’d be going online to figure out if anything could be done about the bank failure and getting back my money. That’s how I found out that UK accounts are normally insured for 85k pounds, but when you get a temporarily high balance, as Stephen and Celeste did, they insure up to a million. That is, the UK has already taken steps to protect people from the situation the characters find themselves in. Even without that provision, joint accounts are insured up to 170k pounds - and as a banker, I’d expect Stephen to deposit into a joint account to hedge against risk. Did the writers not know this? Or is the idea that these protections have been rolled back over the years? If the latter, Stephen the banker should have an opinion on that, and people should be laying blame. Otherwise, it seems like they’re not really paying attention.
posted by mistersix at 8:13 AM on July 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

Did the writers not know this? Or is the idea that these protections have been rolled back over the years? If the latter, Stephen the banker should have an opinion on that, and people should be laying blame. Otherwise, it seems like they’re not really paying attention.

Stephen mentions the removal of the temporary high balance protection when he is trying to explain what happened.
posted by Thella at 1:24 PM on November 17, 2019

Ha, I just realised Teegeeack AV Club Secretary dealt with this more eloquently than I, over four months ago...
posted by Thella at 3:12 PM on November 17, 2019

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