“The Gentlemen” ~ TV TALK with BILL CUSHING

By: Bill Cushing – 4-24

If you watched Guy Ritchie’s 2019 film ‘The Gentlemen’ and thought you might like to see more of this world then welcome to the new eight-episode Netflix series ‘The Gentlemen’, inspired by the film and my recommendation for this month.

Ritchie, director of such films as ‘Snatch,’ ‘Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels,’ ‘The Man from UNCLE,’ as well as the two Sherlock Holmes films starring Robert Downey Jr., wrote and created this series and also handles some of the directing.

This version of ‘The Gentlemen’ stars Theo James as Eddie, the reluctant inheritor of his dead aristocratic father’s title and country estate. After his father’s death, Eddie inherits the Halstead estate which is home to a cannabis facility run by Bobby Glass’ (Ray Winstone) daughter, Susie (Kaya Scodelario).

Becoming a Duke is one thing. But learning about the major cannabis growing operation concealed on his estate’s grounds is quite another, and the bickering and scheming between family members and criminal factions pops off from there.

Uneasy with the criminal enterprise, Eddie initially wants out. But, when his elder brother Freddie (Daniel Ings) gets himself into deep debt, Eddie teams with Susie and learns about how the other side operates. The series focuses on the partnership between Eddie and Susie while also introducing us to the complex web of competing interests in the weed enterprise which leads to all sorts of violence and intrigue.

In addition to its absurd scenarios and abundant amounts of unpleasant characters, the style of ‘The Gentlemen’ adds to the shows fun.

From the picturesque settings and the use of written on-screen text that helps the audience keep the various deals, people and schemes outlined, the show does a great job at keeping viewers’ attention.
While each of the eight episodes of ‘The Gentlemen’ runs between 42 minutes to a little over an hour long, you never quite feel the length, and that’s primarily because Ritchie’s fast-paced way of telling a story is in full affect.

The performances in the series shouldn’t be overlooked. Theo James does some of his best work here, playing Eddie as the straight man and the pragmatic center, but also making him flawed enough that he remains interesting, and isn’t completely outdone by his more vibrant supporting characters. Giancarlo Esposito is total, malicious classiness as Stanley Johnston, an American billionaire obsessed with buying Eddie’s estate.

Esposito brings back the smooth-talking demeanor of his kingpin from ‘Breaking Bad,’ now tailored for Ritchie’s brand of zany dialogue. But the true stand-out is undoubtedly Daniel Ings. His character Freddy is somehow both the most likeable and the most infuriating of them all, while also simply being a riot to watch.

Adapting a perfectly good and fun film into a successful TV series is a lot to ask, and it doesn’t always work out. But I think that ‘The Gentlemen” actually improved upon the original film, expanding it to tell an even better story.

Although the show has not yet been renewed, it’s highly likely that a second season will be coming. If you’re looking for a fun watch, turn on ‘The Gentlemen’ and strap in for a wild ride.
All 8 episodes of ‘The Gentlemen’ are available to stream on Netflix.

If you have any questions about TV, you can email me at BillsTVTalk@gmail.com. I will answer all of your questions and will feature some of the questions I receive in a future Mailbag column. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @BillsTVTalk and on Facebook at BillsTVTalk for daily up-to-the-minute TV news and discussion.◊