Gangs of London: Season 1
May 8, 2020 7:25 AM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

The city of London is being torn apart by the turbulent power struggles of the international gangs that control it and the sudden power vacuum that's created when the head of London's most powerful crime family is assassinated.

I really liked this! Normally, I steer clear of this sort of thing, and have a pretty low tolerance for Brit-gang.

It's (clearly) tish-tosh, but there's a lot of verve and flair behind it, and if you buy into the grand guignol rather than think too deeply about the plot, it can carry you along.

Knowing very little about it before I watched the first episode, I was impressed by the action sequences, and everything suddenly became a lot clearer when I saw Gareth Edwards' name on the credits.

My main objection is (SPOILERS, EVEN THOUGH I WILL TALK AROUND IT, BE AWARE OF THE HONKING SPOILER) in a series with an increasing death count, the final death was a bit annoying, as either it ended a character journey far too abruptly, or there's going to be a super annoying fake-out in season 2 (apparently there's supposed to be some ambiguity left in there, but if they did, it's annoying, especially as they played the same trick more explicitly with someone else in the episode).

But yeah - if you get chance (and, importantly, if you're OK with a bit of ultra-violence that generally shades into the cartoony (one torture sequence aside)), give it a spin. Episode 5 was probably one of the more tense watching moments I've had this year.

posted by Hartster (5 comments total)
I really enjoyed it but agreed on the ending feeling more unresolved than ambiguous.

If there's justice in the universe Sope Dirisu will get his own action franchise. Really strong performances throughout even when the writing isn't at its strongest.

Big fan of Evans' work and the pub fight in the first episode rivals the set pieces he put together for The Raid.
posted by slimepuppy at 5:02 AM on May 9, 2020

This definitely takes the mantle from Warrior and before that, Banshee as the single most violent show on tv.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:05 AM on December 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

I kinda wish the show was from Lale's perspective.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:36 AM on December 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

I was on board for a few episodes then fell off hard.

It feels weird that after two showpiece fights in the first and third episode -- kind of establishing what the show was about -- there just weren't any more big fights. The big house assault in E5 doesn't count. (It's fun and all, but also silly; also it's funny that Dutch boy just has a new hit squad a couple episodes later anyway.)

The back half of the show felt like a waste of time, with lots of flailing around not knowing how to resolve anything. I'm still kind of astounded at blowing up a giant building for no reason and trying to work it into the story for about five seconds before just forgetting about it. The final confrontation between Alex and Sean also felt like endless terrible dialogue, running through every conversational possibility.
posted by fleacircus at 10:16 PM on January 4, 2021

I completely agree. This was sold to me as "the director of The Raid does television!" and after those first few fights, I was on board, with this slotting into the slot sometimes held by Warrior and previously held by Daredevil and Banshee of therapeutically over-the-top violence.

The actual show... I mean, it's a gangster show. I don't usually watch those. They spent some time on how the drug industry is global and has tendrils in far more places than street corners and palatial ganglord estates, but they didn't seem to really invest in that.

As I said, I kinda wish the show had been from Lale's perspective.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:16 PM on January 5, 2021

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