Top Boy debuted on Monday night with 1.13 million viewers, a 6.5% share during the hour. The conversation and debate around the drama continues while the reviews keep pouring in:
The Mirror praised the understated and beliveable performaces of Ashley Walters and Kano. Commenting on the absence of police until a siren in yesterday's episode and a Witness Appeal board, whether intentional or not, The Mirror said that it highlights that the battle isn't between the dealers and police, but between the dealers themselves.
Daily Mail's Right Mind discussion forum poses the question: "Do TV ghetto dramas lionize gang violence?" As expected their is a split between whether is negatively affects the issue within society and the argument that as a drama, it is for entertainment just like EastEnders. Feel free to leave your two cents.
International Business Times' verdict is that it is "well worth the watch". Their opinion in regards to what makes Top Boy different from productions like Shank, Kidulthood and Attack the Block is that "the black youth culture that 'Top Boy' portrays does not dictate the plotline and instead acts as a backdrop that subtly guides it. It makes you feel like it wouldn't matter where the film was set, the overall plot and outcome would be the same."
RWD Mag predicted that the character development in the first episode will lead to explosions as the story unfolds throughout the week and that Scorcher showed great potential in the few scenes he has appeared in. They also have images from the premiere event on Monday.
Guardian writer and Hackney local Franklyn Addo argues that the drama is realistic having seen with his own eyes the same issues and events portrayed on the screen occur in his area – he praises writer Ronan Bennet and Channel 4 for shedding a light on these issues. However, he does note that "using the names of real estates in Hackney such as London Fields could be highly problematic as it may exacerbate gang tension by promoting estates and reigniting reputations, and shows like Top Boy still too often assume that experiences of estates are universal, ignoring the fact that some people like me live on estates without being involved in crime."
Radio Times gives Top Boy a 4 out of 4 saying that unshowy performances from all of the actors makes you feel sympathy for all involved, including the "trapped young criminals".
What did you think of episode 2? Are you still watching or have you switched off? Comment below of tweet us at @Scene_TV.
Top Boy is back on our screens tonight at 10pm on Channel 4.