NEW SERIES OF TOP BOY CROWNED ‘BEST EVER’
NEW SERIES OF TOP BOY CROWNED ‘BEST EVER’
NETFLIX viewers are bingeing the entire new series of Top Boy in one go as they claim it’s the best season yet.
The show follows the lives of Dushane (Ashley Walters) and Sully (Kane Robinson) as they fight for dominance of the drug market in the estates of London.
The original ran on Channel 4 from 2011 to 2013, but fans were devastated after its cancellation after just two series.
However, in November 2017 Canadian rapper Drake revived the show after negotiating a deal with Netflix.
Fans cannot get enough of this new series – which dropped on Friday 13 September – praising the drama and the production values as being better than ever before.
One fan wrote:
“Man this Top Boy is absolutely brilliant. Heads and shoulders above what Channel 4 made out of the show.”
“Sat and watched the whole season of Top Boy last night and that was one of the best things I’ve watched in a long time. Production was so good.”
Some fans related to the realistic depiction of London in the show:
“The execution in Top Boy is top tier. Only on episode 2 and I’ve already experienced so many emotions. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I defo see parts of my story in this.”
Many fan favourite characters have returned for the revival, though the streaming service considers this season as a different story than the first two – labelling the new series season one and the others as “Top Boy: Summerhouse”.
This refers to the Summerhouse estate in which the drama takes place.
The third season picks up six years after the original, with Dushane returning from exile to his London home as Sully – his spiritual brother, partner and sometime rival – returns back from prison.
They both set out to reclaim their position as the dominant force on the capital’s streets, but are met with fierce opposition from Jamie (Miachel Ward): a young, hungry and ruthless gang leader who has his own plans for business.
The show is praised for its portrayal of street violence in the capital. There has been more than 100 violent killings in London in 2019.
Ashley spoke exclusively about how important it is to show those issues on screen:
“To those of us who grew up in these areas, it’s not shocking, it’s one of those things. You’re just trying to make sure it’s not you.”
“Maybe the weapons of choice have changed, maybe the types of people have changed, but the actual acts of violence are pretty much the same. This has been going on for a long time and for the same reasons.
“If it is getting worse, it means our understanding of it is becoming worse.”
So many shows churn out the same old, same old. Take a police drama, hospital drama, family drama, set it in the bustling city or in a quaint but grim bit of the country, and you’ve got 60% of what’s on television at any given time. That Top Boy still retains the shock of the new in 2019 is an indictment of the state of commissioning, but this also works in its favour. It feels bracingly different to almost every other TV drama around, and it continues to carve its own path.
As with its predecessors, the action is set in the heart of the drug-based gang wars of east London. But our original protagonists, the friends-turned-rivals Dushane and Sully, are far from the streets they used to run. Dushane (Ashley Walters) is in Jamaica (one of the only signs of the show’s glossy new overlords), lying low, struggling to live a civilian life while his ego keeps reminding him of the status he once commanded. Sully, played with heartbreaking bluster and fragility by Kane “Kano” Robinson, is in prison, trying to keep his nose clean ahead of his imminent release. They both have to find their ways back to the city, while navigating various catastrophic roads to get there. (If TV has taught us anything about prison, it’s that when the camera focuses on a kettle boiling, it’s rarely because someone has offered to make a cuppa.)
Netflix released four of the new episodes to critics – there are 10 in total – and Top Boy seems to have lost none of its leanness. Without Dushane and Sully, life in London has moved on. There are still recognisable faces around, but a new generation of criminals are more than happy to step into the shoes that have been left vacant. Jamie (Michael Ward) is a sweet kid who takes care of his two younger brothers following the deaths of their parents. He is also a violent and ruthless gangster. Top Boy trusts the intelligence of its viewers, and allows them to hold both things to be true. As a de facto parent, Jamie provides the heart of the show; it makes it all the more shocking to see the cutthroat world he inhabits outside the home.
Let us know your thoughts on the new series over on twitter @grimelight_blog
Post by: Sammi Swinton