The surprise revival of Ronan Bennett’s Top Boy on Netflix via Drake has made fans of the popular drama excited beyond belief. Critically acclaimed by audiences and critics alike, the Channel 4 standout starred Ashley Walters and Kane Robinson as drug dealing partners turned sometimes rivals, Dushane and Sully.
During its two-series run, Top Boy was billed as the U.K.’s answer to The Wire, as it offered an in-depth (albeit darkly realistic) look at the rivalries that exist between the drug gangs operating out of the fictional Summerhouse Estates. Characters such as Dushane and Sully became cultural references for British MCs like Larry Buxxx and Skepta, and here in the U.S., the show served as a marker for how connected the Black Experience truly is these days.
When Channel 4 opted not to continue on with another installment of the series back in 2014, it seemed as if all hope was lost. “Screenwriters learn to roll with the blows,” Bennett wrote for The Guardian in August that year. “You shrug. You move on to the next thing. But Top Boy was special to me. It was intensely personal. It was hard to let go. We discussed trying to make a movie. There was talk of doing it as a musical. But in the end, we accepted that was that. Time to move on.”
Thankfully, guys like Drake and SpringHill Production’s Maverick Carter refused the memo, and quickly got to work with saving the show from the TV graveyard. With Drake’s passionate pitch about why the show needed to return, plus the fact that there is nothing else like it on the air, it was smart money for Netflix to bring Top Boy back for a new season. Much to the delight of fans around the globe, Top Boy’s return means a broader audience gets to see what we’ve been loving for years now.
Here’s everything you need to know about Top Boy, so you don’t look stupid while chattin’ up your mates.