There are very few times I am going to recommend a TV Show here on Netflix Your Weekend. Making the commitment to watching a TV show, especially one with one-hour long episodes, can be a big ask. If the show is really good, it’s a bit like the following conversation:
Person 1: “Good day, sir or madam, can I interest you in losing a small percentage of your precious life to finding out where that scary smoke monster and the others came from?”
Person 2: “Why, yes, I would love to have that happen to me, and why don’t I bring my spouse along, as well!”
Person 1: “Well, my willing compatriot, have I got a television programme for you and your significant other!”
Person 2: “BULLY! I will make sure to cancel my life for the next 5 or 6 days and plan on being slightly confused and disappointed in the later seasons!”
<The following conversation depicts real-life events that the author may or may not have experienced with the TV show LOST. The names have been removed to protect the slight possibility you haven’t figured out that is what happened.>
Typically, I will suggest movies on here, but if a really good TV show pops up on Netflix (like Friends, which is now available as of 1/1/2015) I can and will make a plug for it here. We’re all about telling good stories and quality programming, so when a TV show is doing just that we cannot pass up the opportunity to talk about it.
All that being said, my recommendation for your weekend viewing is the Netflix and BBC series Peaky Blinders. A British crime drama set in Post World War I Birmingham, England, the show follows a family of gangsters led by Thomas Shelby (Cillian Murphy). Once just a small-time crime family protecting and controlling a small industrialized section of Birmingham, chance befalls the Shelby family in the form of a crate of stolen military weapons. It attracts the attention of the English government and Inspector Campbell (Sam Neill), a veteran of putting down the IRA rebellions in Ireland, arrives in Birmingham to reclaim the stolen weapons.
The six-episode first season follows this story arc as the Shelby family angles for more prominence among Birmingham crime families and Campbell vies with the Shelby family, communists, and the IRA to obtain the missing crate of weapons. The second season is also available and is a six-episode arc that is a fantastic continuation of the first season and also adds the acting talents of Tom Hardy as a crime family leader, Alfie Solomons, as well. I cannot stress enough that the production quality of the show is absolutely top-notch, as well as the acting, with Cillian Murphy and Helen McCrory (Aunt Polly) being the particular highlights of the show.
The show is so much more that the story, acting, and production. The members of the Shelby family, as well as the Birmingham police force, are given motivations and depth that has you simultaneously connecting with both criminals and law enforcement. You see the motivations for why this family has become a criminal family. Their loyalty to family and love for one another is commendable and is a peak back into the past when family meant a lot more than it does in modern society. The show has done a really great job of exploring themes of justice, inequality, and prejudice that sadly exist to this day, only in different forms and expressions than it did in early-20th century England.
It is no secret that Reel World Theology is full of anglophiles. Heck, we have a whole separate podcast, apart from the main one, devoted to Dr. Who! If you haven’t check out Who-logy as of yet, I highly recommend that podcast. What I really enjoy about shows like Dr. Who, Sherlock, and now Peaky Blinders, is that the show doesn’t mess around with getting lost in the American TV Show format. Shows that run on BBC and BBC 2 don’t have to have 16-24 episodes and have real great episodes interspersed with real stinkers. They will have a good story or arc, tell the story in however many episodes it takes, and then be done wit the season. One thing to really appreciate about Peaky Blinders is that the show is only 12 hours worth of episodes, and can be adequately digested at this point in a day or two if you binge watch. You can also space it out and be caught up in no time and be agonizing over when the next season will come out.
Check out this show this weekend and let us know what you think if you have seen it already or if you get a chance to watch this weekend. Happy movie/TV viewing everyone!
Peaky Blinders (TV Series)
Created By: Steven Knight
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Sam Neill, Paul Anderson, McCrory
Suggested MPAA Rating: R – for strong graphic violence and torture, pervasive language, some strong sexual content and nudity
Josh Crabb (@HeyItsThatJosh) is an editor, writer, and sometimes talker for Reel World Theology. Every Friday he gives his Netflix recommendation to adorn your weekend and further put off taking down your Christmas decorations.