Don Your Way column: Why I've been binge-watching Peaky Blinders in lockdown

When it comes to being up to speed with pop culture, I’ve always been behind the curve.

Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 8:36 pm
Darren Burke is hooked on Peaky Blinders.

Music, TV shows, you name it, I’ve not instantly got on board with the things people have raved about over the years.

I’ve never seen a single eipsode of Game Of Thrones (although I know characters are always reminding each other that winter is coming), I’ve not seen a single second of Love Island, never watched Grease and I’d struggle to tell you much about Billie Eilish.

It’s not that I don’t like or have interest in these things, I just seem to miss the boat. And by the time my interest is registered, everyone has already moved onto the next thing.

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Which is why, seven years after its initial release on the BBC, I’ve been binge-watching Peaky Blinders on Netflix.

Gorging on box sets is not something I’d normally do. I prefer to take it an episode at a time.

My two teenage sons are the exact opposite and can rattle through entire series (we’re not using the word seasons round here) in a matter of hours.

But lockdown makes you do strange things and so it was I’ve been racing through the exploits of Birmingham’s Shelby crime family between the wars.

Telly has to be pretty good to keep me hooked and wanting to carry on watching and the storylines, characters and cinematography in Peaky Blinders do just that.

If, like me, you’ve been living in a cave for years, the story is pretty simple.

Thomas (or Tommy Shelby) is the leader of a sharp-dressed Brummie gang whose ways of dealing with business and rivals, generally involves lots of bloody violence, murder, swearing and a fair old amount of sex.

I blame my partner, who’s also been binge-watching it in lockdown, for getting me into it.

It’s made me eager to return to the wonderful Black Country Living Museum in Dudley – where much of the series was filmed and where I’ve visited several times in the past – and when lockdown is over we’ll be there.

In the meantime, my son has now recommended Breaking Bad (which I’ve also never watched).

See you in a few months.