Years and Years
By Martin Brown,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
British family drama speculates bleakly on the future.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Though there are reassuring moments of human connection throughout the series, the overall arc is about how close we might be to the end of civilization as we know it -- it's pretty bleak.
Positive Role Models
The show is about a large family that is incredible diverse within itself. It mostly manages to dodge stereotypes and resists defining characters based on race, gender, sexuality, disability, etc.
Violence & Scariness
Little person-on-person violence, but the show does deal with nuclear war and political acts of violence.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Simulated sex and some nudity, as well as some discussions about sexuality and gender identity.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Profanity is used throughout the show: "f--k," "s--t," the c-word, etc.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Consumerism is a major theme, especially technological consumerism. The show doesn't use brand names or actual products, but it does attempt to mimic and comment on consumer culture.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters smoke and regularly drink to excess.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Years and Years is a topical family drama set in the near future. It has some science fiction elements, but could be classified as "speculative fiction" alongside similar shows like The Handmaid's Tale and Black Mirror. The show looks at current political and cultural issues in England (where it's based) and globally, and imagines how they will have played out five years from now. These issues include technology, social media, politics, environmental issues, the refugee crisis and nuclear war. The result is a complex and thoughtful show that deals almost exclusively with adult themes, though some mature teens may be interested.
Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
Years and Years
Based on 1 parent review
Report this review
What's the Story?
In YEARS AND YEARS, the extended Lyons family grapples with political, social, and technological issues that affect them on a daily basis in the year 2024. Stephen and Celeste's daughter is obsessed with cutting-edge technology; Daniel becomes infatuated with one of the refugees he works with; Rosie raises two children as a single mother with spina bifida; Edith is a well-known activist who travels throughout the world; and matriarch Muriel just wants everyone to get together once a year for her birthday.
Is It Any Good?
More than any other show in recent memory, this series is wildly ambitious with its content: in fact, it attempts to confront just about every meaningful contemporary cultural and political issue within the confines of its six-episode run. What's even wilder is that it mostly succeeds in maintaining a unique and intriguing point-of-view while tying its sprawling, ambitious subject matter to gentle, human family conflict. One drawback: since it's a heavily idea-driven show, there's not really a single relatable character to experience the turbulent future through. In this way, Years and Years can sometimes feel more like an interesting experiment more than a compelling drama, but it would be tough to find a show with more to say about the present and the future.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the future. How does Years and Years take things that are happening in our current culture and speculate on how they will evolve years from now? Do you agree with any of the directions it predicts for the future? Which do you disagree with?
What are the current political and cultural issues that Years and Years grapples with? How does the show's depiction of these issues affect your understanding of them?
What are some differences between British and American culture? What are some similarities? Does anything on this show remind you of something happening in America? How? Do you think some of the events would be different if the show took place in America?
- Premiere date: June 24, 2019
- Cast: Russell Tovey, Emma Thompson, Rory Kinnear, Jessica Hynes
- Network: HBO
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Activism, Brothers and Sisters, Science and Nature
- TV rating: TV-MA
- Last updated: October 13, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
Drama TV for Teens
Drama Movies That Tug at the Heartstrings
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate