The Collective Bloggers love a good binge watch and so we present to you “Netflix and Chill”, a series in which our newest collected contributor,Ardeospina, binge watches a Netflix Original show, let’s us know her thoughts and whether or not we should put in the time. I am excited for this series of reviews, because I’ve been wanting to watch a bunch of these shows and films, but I like to get an opinion first, before committing. Below is Ardeospina’s SPOILER FREE review. Enjoy and let us know whether you plan to watch or, if you already have, your thoughts on the show’s bingeworthiness in the comments below.
Peaky Blinders Season 1 Review: “Great Show With A Weird Name”
Set in Birmingham, England, just after World War I, “Peaky Blinders” tells the story of the Shelby family, the driving force behind the criminal gang called the Peaky Blinders. The main protagonist is Tommy Shelby, played by the always fascinating Cillian Murphy, who is taking the reins of the family from his older brother, Arthur, and building a new criminal empire. Standing in his way is Chief Inspector Chester Campbell, played by Sam Neill, a Northern Irish police officer brought to Birmingham specifically to clean up the city. To say that C.I. Campbell strongly dislikes the Shelby family, and Tommy in particular, would be a gross understatement.
“Peaky Blinders” is a lot of fun to watch. It’s well-written and extremely well-acted, and the characters are multifaceted and complex. The cat-and-mouse game between Tommy Shelby and C.I. Campbell is tense and riveting, and it’s such a treat to see how each character tries to outsmart each other. Tommy is a master planner, and it’s especially satisfying to watch his schemes come together. He’s ruthless when it comes to the family business, but he begrudgingly opens his heart to Grace, the new barmaid at the Peaky Blinders’ favorite pub, who’s hiding some big secrets of her own.
Visually, the show is gorgeous. The cinematography is outstanding, and the sets are perfectly gritty and rough, and you really feel like you’re in an industrial town. The biggest surprise, though, is that the show uses mainly modern music instead of a more period-appropriate score. This is a bit of a gamble because if not done well, modern music in a period show can really distract the viewer. Thankfully, this show handles it very well, and the bold music choice enhances the viewing experience. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the show’s theme song, “Red Right Hand” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. It’s just so damn cool.
My favorite part of the show, however, is how it deals with the aftermath of World War I and the impact it had on everyone. Most of the male characters fought in France, and they all came back changed in one way or another. The show takes great care to really show just how devastating the war was for these men, and how even though they are tough and brutal gangsters, they take great care with each other when psychological war wounds surface. It’s tragically beautiful in its own way.
Should I Binge It?
Yes. Definitely. Bingeworthiness is 10/10. Season 1 is only 6 episodes long, which makes it even easier to binge. Each episode is just under an hour long, so really, all you’d need is one free day and you can watch the whole season.
What The Heck Is A Peaky Blinder?
Great question! According to the Internet, the Peaky Blinders were an actual Birmingham gang active in the post-WWI era. There’s some debate over whether the Peaky Blinders were one gang or whether the term was loosely used for a number of gangs, but the name is definitely real. How the name came about is also a bit up in the air, but speculation is it came from the gang’s propensity to sew razor blades into the peaks of their flat caps to turn them into weapons. Brutal but effective.
Which Is Sharper, Cillian Murphy’s Cheekbones Or His Blue-Eyed Stare?
Too close to call. Hit me up after you’ve watched the first season and tell me what you think.
Will I Need To Turn On The Subtitles?
There are some serious Irish accents happening in this show, so if you aren’t great with accents, use the subtitles. Sam Neill’s character in particular can be difficult to understand as his Northern Irish accent is more unfamiliar to most people.
Ardeospina is a stay-at-home mom with two young children, a new house, and a knitting obsession. She loves binge watching TV shows and collecting yarn and IKEA storage furniture. You can find her on Twitter @Ardeospina, and if she’s not there, you can leave a message at the beep.
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