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TV shows we love: Top Boy

tv shows

After a near two-year hiatus, Top Boy has made a triumphant return to Netflix. Formally the second season, but effectively the fourth as the streaming giant acquired the series’ rights after the first two instalments, Top Boy deserves more global recognition.

The show revolves around the drug market in a major urban centre and the struggles of the main players to remain at the top of their game. So far, nothing out of the ordinary, gang dramas have sprung up like mushrooms in the past five years, making the genre somewhat tired and repetitive.

In that sense, Top Boy is a breath of fresh air. The setting, a concrete jungle of council flats, and the characters, a well-blended mix of hardened criminals and kids wishing to make a name for themselves, are possibly the series’ best features.

Mind you, the season is not a stand-alone gig. In order to make sense of what goes on, you need to watch the previous season.

The two main protagonists, Sully (UK rapper Kano) and DuShane (the superb Ashley Walters) are obviously the centrepiece of the show. With their relationship at a critical point after what happened in season 1 – no spoilers here – their stories are now more aggravated than ever.

DuShane is trying “to go legit”, as Michael Corleone did in the Godfather, but the road to respectability ends up being more complicated than he anticipated. Meanwhile, Sully is out of the game… or so he thought, as family and honour suck him back to the place he wanted to leave.

At the same time, young gun Jamie is obsessing over becoming the proverbial top boy, while trying to keep his brothers out of trouble.

Saying even just a little more would probably spoil the show, but bear in mind that, aside from DuShane, Sully and Jamie, there is a plethora of other characters ready to glue you to the sofa.


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