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Looking back at Top Boy Season 2: Strain Drug Drama is easily one of Netflix’s best shows

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We have Drake to thank top boy‘s return. The show was canceled by Channel 4 in 2013, but the rapper was fan enough to buy the rights and land a deal with Netflix for a 10-episode series that aired in 2019. Thankfully, the injection of Hollywood support didn’t mean the show lost its secure footing. It was still confident, still compelling, and refused to translate to its global audience: either you “got it,” or you were left behind. And it only lasts about half an episode top boy‘s second Netflix season to secure its spot as one of the streamer’s top shows.

top boyThe central story of revolves around drug dealers in East London struggling to stay at the forefront of the city’s traffic. Season two begins with Jamie (Micheal Ward) being released from prison after new evidence forces the judge to reconsider his sentence. Araloyin Oshunremi gives an early standout performance as Stefan, the youngest of Jamie’s two brothers. Jamie expected to find the vivacious boy he had left behind months earlier, but Stefan has hardened. He’s been struggling since Jamie got locked up — not just because he misses his brother, but because his best friend Ats was partly responsible for getting him there.

Watching the younger characters in such grim circumstances is particularly heartbreaking. Although there are moments of joy and lightness, we can see how easily they can become involved in harmful activities that will irreparably change their lives. Reviewers were asked not to give too many details about what’s happening in the season, but early on a smiling Dushane (Ashley Walters) tells Jamie that after six successful months with no murders or stabbings in the area, “things are only getting better “. There’s no clearer sign that things are about to do the exact opposite.

When depicting the lives of black Londoners deeply involved in the drug trade, it’s important to do so from a place that feels grounded in reality. Without them, the program would run the risk of simply resurrecting offensive stereotypes and underselling itself. top boy escapes that though: these characters feel rooted and created with care. While there are many storylines to keep track of, each of them feels necessary for the tapestry of characters’ lives to feel complete and real. Jaq (Jasmine Jobson) isn’t just Dushane’s terrifying second-in-command – she has her own issues to deal with, including starting a new romance and supporting her pregnant sister who is stuck in an abusive relationship in Liverpool. Sully (Kane “Kano” Robinson) has turned from a life of crime and is living a healthy life on a canal boat. Or at least tries. The guilt of killing an old friend haunts him, making this new beginning a difficult one.

It’s not just about rival gangs and overseas drug shipments — writing this show ensures there’s a lot more to these characters than just how they make money. Notice a scene where Jamie surrenders to his surroundings and plays soccer with homeless children on a Moroccan beach. It’s absolutely moving.

It’s violent, with some intense scenes that can stick in your mind even after you’ve watched episodes. Still, top boy is a clear example of when great writing meets great acting; Overlook it at your own risk.

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/reviews/top-boy-season-2-review-netflix-b2037944.html Looking back at Top Boy Season 2: Strain Drug Drama is easily one of Netflix’s best shows

Russell Falcon

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