The reviews are in. And most critics agree, Top Boy is a triumph.
The crime-drama is being praised for brilliant acting, storytelling and reflecting a side of life that isn’t usually depicted on mainstream television.
Except it is a story that is becoming all too familiar on our TV screens – on the daily news bulletins.
And while the Netflix show is based in Hackney, east London, this is a story that affects major cities across the country.
This year alone there have been more than 100 knife or gang-related murders in the UK.
So is now really the time for a show such as Top Boy – with its good-looking, charismatic, alpha-male lead characters glamourising gang life – to be back on our screens?
My friends are certainly split over the answer.
Those with daughters take it for what they say it is – entertaining, harmless fun, no more likely to make a young lad join a gang than the Sopranos would make a young Italian get involved with the Mafia.
Those with sons, however, see things differently.
One dad of two teens has banned them from watching because he says he can’t stand the black-on-black crime, too-close-to-home violence and the glamorisation of a life that could attract vulnerable young minds.
He also feels it’s part of a stereotypical social agenda that pushes the narrative that all young black men are criminals.
His points are certainly valid.
My son, 14, managed to watch the first three episodes on his smartphone before I realised they were even available.
Banning him would just make him want to tune in even more and load the programme with more importance than it should.
He already does my head in listening to drill music, which police have tried to ban for “inciting violence”.
So I’ve lost the battle there.
But I may be winning the war.
When I ask what he thinks of the Top Boy characters and their lifestyles, he tells me he thinks they’re actually pretty dumb.
Knife crime in London
Not intellectually, but for the way they live their lives.
He says: “Mum, they take all the risks, and what do they have to show for it except some nice cars and clothes? They’re still living in rundown flats on grimy estates and they could get killed at any minute. They should be going to uni.”
If that’s the biggest lesson he learns from Top Boy, then maybe it’s not so bad that he watches all 10 episodes.
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