Damson - What we're watching... #2
Now that Season five of the acclaimed Peaky Blinders has finished, it seems like a good time to discuss why everyone should have seen this by now. There's plenty for you to catch up on after all...
WHO WERE THE PEAKY BLINDERS?
They were a Birmingham (UK) gang that were around the time of the First World War and a period following. Legend has it they received their names form having razor blade stitched into the peaks of their flat caps to help in hand to hand combat. This allowed them to slash at their opponent's foreheads, causing blood to run into their eyes and blind them. Yes, lovely!
IS IT A TRUE STORY?
While the Shelby family are mostly made up, the Peaky Blinders themselves definitely existed, although not necessarily around the time that the TV show is set. Throughout the series there have been plenty of real-life characters to add to the drama, such as Billy Kimber, Oswald Mosely and Winston Churchill. On top of the characters, the series manages to weave in historical events to great effect, such as the formation of the British Union of Fascists and the fear of the rise of Communism across Europe.
WHO'S IN IT?
Peaky Blinders has a ridiculously good revolving door cast. The main series lead is Cillian Murphy, who plays Tommy Shelby. He's been ably supported since series 1 by the likes of Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson, Joe Cole, Finn Cole, and Sophie Rundle. Through the five series, acting heavyweights have popped up with Tom Hardy, Adrian Brody, and Sam Neill all appearing at various points. Whoever does the casting. for this show is a genius. Tom Hardy's character, Alfie Solomons is particularly beloved by the fans, and that doesn't just include the ladies!
WHY SHOULD I WATCH IT?
To see what all the fuss is about to start with. And also understand the fascination with Flat Caps that seems to be sweeping popular culture recently! But of course, the man reason is it is a brilliant, brilliant show. Violent, complex, twisted, and very cool, this is easily one of the top new shows of the last 10 years. The fact that it has infiltrated popular culture the way that it has is a testament to how much of an effect it has on people.
On top of all that, the soundtrack is immense. A total change of pace from the usual music to fit the period, the creators decided to throw together an incredible rock and blues soundtrack featuring the likes of PJ Harvey, Idles and Arctic Monkeys. That's before even mentioning that the theme tune is "Red Right Hand" by the great Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.
To summarise, Peaky Blinders is well worth watching. Each series is only six episodes long at around an hour each, so won't take over your life quite as much as a lot of other drama series do. It will probably influence the way you dress if anything, but knowing how sharp the characters all look, that's really not a bad thing. Great characters, complicated issues and, when the storyline calls for it, great action scenes make Peaky Blinders must-see TV.
Ten out of Ten.
September 27, 2019