‘Years and Years’ Review: HBO’s Cautionary Drama Only Really Works as a Black Comedy

‘Years and Years’ Review: HBO’s Cautionary Drama Only Really Works as a Black Comedy
The greatest trick of “Years and Years,” Russell T. Davies’ decades-spanning limited series examining the dangerous political and cultural trends taking over the world, is that it’s not really about the future at all. Despite its title and steady march through the 2020s — each episode jumps forward a few years, checking in on the fracturing lives of a big British family — every issue examined should bring even the most oblivious viewers back to the present. “Hey, isn’t there an immigration crisis going on right now?” “I could’ve sworn the TV in the bar said something about a financial meltdown?” “Are we actually worried about nukes going off, or was that just an episode of ‘Chernobyl’?”

But within this shrewd way to talk about immediate worldwide political issues without coming across as either an edifying college professor or a nagging crackpot, there’s a problem. Each member of
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