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Top Boy (or UK's 'The Wire'... Guv'nor!)

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:58 pm
by papalazeru
It's a new series on Channel 4 (in England).

I've just watched the first Episode (It's 3 in already) and it's pretty good.

Channel 4 wrote:Meet 13-year-old Ra'Nell (Malcolm Kamulete), who lives with his single mother Lisa (Sharon Duncan-Brewster) on the Summerhouse estate. Lisa is depressed and can't get out of bed, but Ra'Nell has to get to school with his good friend Gem (Giacomo Mancini), so reluctantly leaves her behind at home as he starts his day.

Meanwhile in the courtyards of the estate 26-year-old Dushane (Ashley Walters) and his partner Sully (Kane Robinson) are running their covert drugs business, but things start to go badly wrong when they have their stash stolen by a rival, Kamale (Tayo Jarrett), leader of the London Fields Mandem. Their boss, Lee Greene (Cyrus Desir) tells them they now owe £3,000 to his boss, Bobby Raikes (Geoff Bell) - so setting the scene for a dramatic escalation of the simmering turf war that forms the backdrop to their daily lives.

Later, Lisa ventures out shopping but, unable to cope with the outside world, finds herself taken to hospital where she is sectioned. Terrified that he will be taken into care, she omits to mention Ra'Nell to the staff there, but help materialises in the shape of Leon (Nicholas Pinnock), a friend of her estranged husband and reformed gang-member who works as a personal trainer at the hospital. He seeks her out and promises to keep an eye on Ra'Nell.

At the same time, Lisa's friend and fellow estate resident Heather (Kierston Wareing) is hatching a plan fraught with hazard to escape her surroundings and begin a new life before the birth of her child.

And unknown to all of them, their individual ambitions, desires and relationships are about to become deeply and irrevocably enmeshed.



If you swap 'Summerhouse Estate' for the words 'Franklin Terrace', 'Courtyards' for 'The pit' and the setting to Baltimore - you get the picture.

It's very well acted and interesting to see our take on the underside of estate life.

Somehow I don't think it's going to live up to The Wire but it's worth a look if you guys have British TV or have a way of 'accessing it' via the web.

For UK people (and possible those with VPN or European IP) you can watch it Here!

Re: Top Boy (or UK's 'The Wire'... Guv'nor!)

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:51 am
by Ribbons
I watched the first episode tonight.

At the risk of making a snap judgment, I'm going to say that whoever created this show was indeed heavily influenced by The Wire generally, and season 4 of The Wire specifically. It sticks in my craw for reasons I'm having trouble pinning down; obviously the problems in Baltimore can be found in most Western cities, but it feels like plagiarism somehow. But the way Ra'Nell's situation is being handled seems pretty smart so far. Clearly the writers have a pretty good grasp of the story they want to tell and know what they're doing. The one element that I can't figure out where they're going with is the pregnant drug dealer. I suspect some sort of grisly twist in the wings, but that remains to be seen. Anyway, I liked the direction and the naturalistic performances so I'm going to stick this one out.

I also think Top Boy may be the first UK show I've seen with commercial breaks (I don't know if Dr. Who has commercials, but I don't watch Dr. Who).

Re: Top Boy (or UK's 'The Wire'... Guv'nor!)

PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:02 am
by Ribbons
Oh yeah, another good reason to watch this series is the score by Brian Eno. The ending of episode 2 was masterful.