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Top Boy is one of Netflix’s most underrated crime shows. Here’s why you should watch it

Ten years ago, the acclaimed British crime drama, Top Boy, came to a premature end despite winning praise from critics and fans alike. The series could have remained in the TV graveyard if it hadn’t had such a prominent fan in the rapper known as Drake. Because he was so passionate about the show, Drake purchased the rights to Top Boy, reunited the key cast members, and convinced Netflix to revive the series in 2019. That move continues to pay dividends this month with the arrival of Top Boy season 3 (not counting the two seasons of the original series), and the show has premiered on Netflix’s top 10 most popular TV shows.

Although this is the final chapter of Top Boy, it also represents the best chance to go back and watch the show from beginning to end. The first two seasons are also on Netflix as Top Boy: Summerhouse. And while the previous incarnation of the show does provide a lot of insight into the revival series, viewers will get a complete experience from the three seasons on Netflix. In other words, this may be your next favorite crime show to binge if you haven’t started it already. If you need more convincing, these are the three reasons to watch Top Boy on Netflix.

Friends to the end

Ashley Walters and Kane Robinson in Top Boy.

Ashley Walters and Kane Robinson headlined all five seasons of Top Boy, including the two seasons produced before Netflix came along. And the show is very much the story of their characters, Dushane Hill (Walters) and Gerard “Sully” Sullivan (Robinson), a pair of friends who rose together as drug dealers in the Summerhouse borough of London. However, as the series progressed, their friendship was strained and pushed to its breaking point. To say that Dushane and Sully don’t always see eye-to-eye is putting it mildly. Sometimes, they’re even at each others’ throats.

Walters and Robinson are both electrifying performers on their own, and their scenes together give Top Boy its most enjoyable moments. In the final season, Dushane and Sully have their ultimate falling out, and only one of them can truly be the “Top Boy.”

The wild cards

Brian Gleeson and Barry Keoghan in Top Boy.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

As if the growing conflict between Dushane and Sully wasn’t enough to deal with, Top Boy season 3 throws fuel on the fire by introducing Irish gangsters Tadgh McGee (Brian Gleeson) and his nephew, Jonny Mcgee (The Batman‘s Barry Keoghan). Just when Sully was finally ready to go solo, Jonny and Tadgh muscle in on his business by threatening his loved ones.

Neither Dushane nor Sully are saints, but they don’t lack basic humanity. Jonny, on the other hand, is a freakin’ psychopath. And it’s only because of the threat represented by both Jonny and Tadgh that Dushane and Sully are able to find some common ground in the last round of episodes.

Jasmine Jobson gives a star-making performance

Jasmine Jobson in Top Boy.

When Top Boy premiered as a Netflix original series, Jasmine Jobson made her first appearance on the show as Jacqueline “Jaq” Lawrence. Over the course of the ensuing three seasons, Jaq has gone from a supporting player to one of the main characters. Jaq emerged as one of the top dealers under Dushane and Sully, but she moved out from under their collective shadow because she had her own storylines, her own ambitions, and her own personal life. Jaq’s bond with her sister, Lauryn (Saffron Hocking), is also one of the major plotlines in the final two seasons.

It’s also intriguing that the show’s final season elevates Jaq’s story to the next level even as it puts her at odds with both Dushane and Sully, her ex-bosses and former allies. If Top Boy returns again for another revival or even a TV movie, we want to see more of Jaq’s journey in the criminal underworld.

Watch Top Boy on Netflix.

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Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
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