• Social media users are loving new SBS series 'Years and Years'. (SBS, Twitter)
"It's both brilliant and terrifying."
Samuel Leighton-Dore

7 Nov 2019 - 12:17 PM  UPDATED 8 Nov 2019 - 11:30 AM

Australian TV audiences are taking to social media to debrief on the new SBS series Years and Years; the somewhat dystopian drama which has been likened to a more realistic - and therefore terrifying - version of Black Mirror.

The critically acclaimed six-part series, which stars Emma Thompson, is set in 2019 Britain and follows its central characters through until 2034 - giving viewers a bleak glimpse at what life might be like in 15 years.

Donald Trump has just won a second term. The US has launched a missile. The international refugee crisis is worsening. Panic around the climate crisis is escalating. And technology has reached the point where phones have become 'skin plants' and humans are able to download their bodies to 'the cloud' as data, becoming trans-human. 

Basically, it explores all the worrying trends we're observing in our real day-to-day lives.

The "frightening but fascinating" series follows the entirely unremarkable middle-class Lyons family, who initially move about their daily lives largely unaffected by the increasing political chaos that surrounds them - until they're left with no choice but to sit up and take notice. 

The work of Doctor Who's Russell T. Davies, Years and Years brings together sci-fi and drama - with a little bit of dark comedy - to build up an all-too relatable Orwellian tale which forces viewers to reflect on the state of our world today, asking: what if things don't get better?

"WOW, can not hype this show up enough, was really excited when episode one finished and I realised episode 2 was playing right after it!" One viewer tweeted. "By the looks of the preview were in for even more depressing futuristic adventures!"

Another added: "Found it [Years and Years] by accident but what a compelling show. A possible future we may encounter. Highly highly recommended."

The themes depicted on the show are so close to home, that some viewers began to wonder whether Australian politicians were tuning in.

"I hope Pauline Hanson doesn't watch #YearsAndYears," one Twitter user wrote. "She might get some ideas."

Others drew attention to the notion that, while Years and Years is a work of fiction, current global politics are heading in the same "scary" direction.

"What an amazing & scary show," one viewer tweeted.

"A very believable dark future we have already started."

The show's real-world ties weren't accidental, either. Speaking about the show, Davies recently said: “It’s a look at the future, but you feel it."

"It could be sterile or it could be angry or it could be preachy or it could be cold, but this is how we all experience it. We’re all experiencing Trump. This is how we’re all experiencing Brexit, here. It’s via your family and your friends and the chats you have.

"This is the experience of history.”'

However, if the show's first two episodes are anything to go by, it's not our history that we should be worried about. It's our future.

Episode three of Years and Years airs on Wednesday November 13 at 9.30pm on SBS and SBS On Demand. Catch up on episodes on SBS On Demand.

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