Peaky Blinders (Series 3)
Directed by Tim Mielants
There is a trend that I have seen in miniseries: the first series is drastically underfunded, but the fantastic story and characters become a major hit with viewers and critics. Then the production company gives the show the money it deserves to make a killer second series that is everything the creators want it to be. Then, the show hits a wall. The third series is always disappointing because series two peaked so perfectly.
Unfortunately, this was the fate for Peaky Blinders. Episode 6 of series two was, in my opinion, absolute perfection. The episode closed out a fantastic series that was impeccably written, acted, and filmed. Since the show had already peaked for me, there was no place to go but down, unfortunately.
I didn't hate series 3; it simply didn't live up to the previous two series. I wasn't entirely sold on the plot line-- to be honest, I'm entirely sure what the plot line was. It felt muddled and like it was trying too hard to be shocking. Father Hughes was merely meant to get the audience worked up, the Russians were a bit extreme, and the Peaky Blinders didn't really feel like a threatening gang. To me, this series had weak storytelling, which was such a disappointment because the show has always been so strong.
The characterization in this series also felt weak and out of place. I was disappointed with Grace's new character. The show writers completely destroyed the essence of who Grace was. Grace went from being a woman with career ambitions and political passion to a housewife whose most exciting news is who RSVP-ed to her dinner party. It was really disappointing to see her excellent character thrown away like that. Also, the "villains" of this series lacked any meaning or motivation. They were bad just to be bad. Inspector Campbell had an agenda and motivation; you could see his flaws and the purpose for his hatred. These new characters were just there to add drama to the story. Arthur's storyline came completely out of left field and completely destroyed every interesting thing about him. And Polly, like Grace, became weak, which she is not. Polly is a woman who doesn't pander to me, yet there she was, pandering to her man. I was simply bored with the characters this series, which is heartbreaking because the characters are what makes Peaky Blinders so great.
The only constant was Tommy. His character remained intact. Tommy truly is the heart and soul of this show, and, thank god, the show writers know that. He is flawed and hurt, strong and weak, he is tragic yet powerful. I love Tommy, and he is the only reason I watch this show. The only scenes I truly enjoyed this series were of his. That too plays to how excellent Cillian Murphy is in the role.
I did enjoy some aspects of this series. The cinematography continued to be excellent and interest. I enjoyed the atmosphere and tone, which carried on from the previous series. And, of course, Tom Hardy was beyond excellent in his return as Solomons. But the main attraction for me was Tommy.
Photo Courtesy: theguardian.co.uk, independent.co.uk, metro.co.uk, lifestyle.one
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