Peaky Blinders; The Gang I Should Have Joined

What makes a great show? In a time when we have an abundance of great series to watch, how do you choose what you give your time to? Every person has a niche they love, something they will always watch just because it fits into a place they wish they could live in or visit. I love period dramas. I love gangsters. I love great writing and music. I found everything I love in Peaky Blinders.

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I was late to this one. Sue me. I since conquered that by watching every episode as quickly as I could. I was intrigued by this one, though, because it is based on an actual gang during a time when the world, especially England, was in complete chaos. WWI has just finished. The Shelby family are a band of gypsies from Ireland who fought for the King. In return, all they got was heartache, war wounds, and major addictions.

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Gypsies are notoriously disliked in England, they always have been. To have a group of Irishmen fight showed loyalty. That’s the first thing you should know about the Shelby family. They are loyal. Now, as the boys are coming home to a war savaged Birmingham and the women are going back to wifely duties, the world has changed. Everyone is in a fugue state.

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The IRA is coming up and causing all sorts of problems for England. Churchill has had it and is leaning heavily on our gang in Birmingham. They call themselves The Peaky Blinders because they have razor blades in their caps. You seriously don’t want to piss off a Peaky.

The Shelby’s/Peaky Blinders are trying to get a leg up in Birmingham. They have to fight doubly hard to get any kind appreciation. My Irish blood sings when I watch Thomas Shelby and crew decide that maybe life isn’t as great as doing what the law requires. They are tired. Tired of being poor. Tired of the way they are treated outside Birmingham. Tired from having fought a war and gotten very little recognition.

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Some nefarious doings put the Peaky’s on the map of the Royal Irish Constabulary and in comes one of the meanest antagonists I have ever watched on screen.. Chief Inspector Major Chester Campbell.

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The first season is fireworks from beginning to end. I can’t help but root for the Peaky’s. Their family dynamics are tested. Their loyalties are tested. Our Lone Wolf takes over. Thomas Shelby, the second-oldest son, finds himself being tested to death. Just like any truly Irishman, he fights back.

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The women of the series, especially Aunt Polly, are strong. They may not have those nifty blinding caps, but they aren’t to be underestimated. This is a critical time. Women want more after having learned how to run a country with the men away fighting. No one wants to just go back to being a wife and mother. That’s not in the cards anymore.

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From the love of horses to the amazing soundtrack, to the beautiful scenery, and of course, the amazing acting and writing, this show is a solid way to binge. You learn. You’ve got to pay attention, though. The pace is lightning fast and the writing so sharp that you will miss major plot twists and turns. I actually think it would be hard to watch this series and not give it your full attention, though.

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There is blood. There is gore. There is an (almost) egregious use of profanity. So, it’s not for anyone who cannot handle a tale about men fighting and dying for what they believe in.

Try it. I dare you not to fall in love.

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Peaky Blinders series 1-3 is currently available on Netflix. Season 4 will begin shooting in March so, most likely we won’t get series 4 until fall.

Preacher, Y’all

Preacher is a bigger deal than you think.

This will be AMC’s latest comic book series brought to life, but it certainly ain’t The Walking Dead. If you’re looking for something similar, prepare to have your mind blown. Preacher is a Vertigo comic. These are darker, amazingly well-written, and unflinchingly raw. Vertigo has had famous authors writing for years (The Sandman by Neil Gaiman for one). Unlike TWD, Preacher cannot EVER get away from that hard-R rating. If the story remains true to the comics, and I do trust AMC, then you can expect the future of comics and the way we see them on cable to change. AMC will have to bend for Preacher. Here are some examples from the first comic:

(Trying to keep spoilers at bay for those who have not read)

Preacher will be a success no matter the level of gore, sex, and violence. Cable can finally handle it. In fact, cable has been moving this direction for a long time. Little boundaries have been pushed on AMC and Syfy specifically. Think about Mad Men, they eventually began to push for the occasional ‘shit’ and ‘goddamn’.

If you have been watching The Magicians recently, then you will see that not only is Syfy letting A LOT of shit out, but we even get an occasional f-bomb fully spoken. I don’t mind sentence enhancers. Real life comes with bad ideas and vulgarities. Preacher has an overflow of vulgarities to offer. The characters are interesting and the bad guy is legitimately terrifying. The story hasn’t been done before now and I believe it can surpass TWD. Yes, I said it.

Right now you have a little over a month to read some of the comics and to get to know the story if you want. I am glad I have done this, otherwise I might be a bit lost in May. I recommend finding them online or having your best buddy lend you their copies. I will obviously be blogging about it and you can message me directly with any questions.

Seriously, though, this show is not for everyone. You gotta check your hurt feelings at the door. EVERYONE is going to get blasted.

Preacher airs May 22 on AMC.