The Return of the Peaky Blinders

In the bleak midwinter,

Ivy settled in

To watch the dreaded Shelbys

Engage once more in sin…

 Peaky Blinders is one of the best shows on television, and given all the great TV that’s around nowadays, that’s not an exaggeration. It is well-acted, brilliantly-written, and has a soundtrack that will have you reaching for some gin and a trench coat so you can stride down your nearest smoke-filled street in style. (With An Accent, however, absolutely does not endorse blade-filled flat caps. Or flat caps at all. It is 2019).

Starring Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby, the leader of the eponymous Birmingham gang, Peaky Blinders is the story of the notorious Shelby family and their exploits as they run the gang in the years after World War I. Like many crime dramas of its calibre, such as Boardwalk Empire and The Wire, it has some basis in truth – The Peaky Blinders were a real gang causing havoc in the 1910s and 1920s, and most of the villains really existed. The show also stars Helen McCrory as Polly Gray, the tough-as-nails-with-claws-to-match matriarch of the Shelby family, and Paul Anderson as Arthur Shelby Jr., Tommy’s elder brother and right-hand man.

The show has been airing in the UK since 2013, and while it has been magnificent television from its very first season (still, in my opinion, one of the best first seasons of television of modern times), word of mouth has grown its popularity to the point where it’s one of the most anticipated returns of the year. It’s part crime drama, part gangland family epic, and part social commentary, with a good old-fashioned urban aesthetic mixed in. It’s also one of the most addictive shows I’ve ever watched, and one of the few shows that can get my entire family sat in front of the television watching something live (remember, life before in demand?). Or in the family WhatsApp group, texting frantically about how Tommy is going to get out of his latest scrape. Not to mention the Twitter hashtag, which has become a big part of the fun of watching the show live – and something that the BBC twitter page has taken full advantage of.

Peaky Blinders returned to Netflix this past weekend on October 5th (in the US, that is – we Brits have already seen it. Hush. You always get the Marvel movies first). For those of you who don’t remember, the last season saw Tommy and family face their deadliest enemy yet: the smoother-than-Godiva-chocolate Luca Changretta (Adrien Grenier), who wanted revenge on the Shelbys for killing his brother, Angel Changretta, as well as their father Vincente (Kenneth Colley). He got as far as killing John (Joe Cole) and almost killed Arthur, but in a last-minute twist, we found out that Tommy had faked it in order to lure the Italian gangster out. The season ended with the Shelbys victorious and more powerful than ever, with Tommy himself being made an MP. As per usual, the group chat was lit, up until the very final frame of the episode. No, literally. The final frame of the episode was wild. Read on for more.

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