As Top Boy, written by Hackney resident Ronan Bennett, went live on Channel 4 last night, it quickly became a trending topic on Twitter. The first episode of the drug crime and gang drama seemed to leave viewers impressed. People are clearly looking forward to the second episode tonight.
Young people expressed their ability to relate to the Top Boy lifestyle, as well as saying that the show had a ‘real feel’ to it.
@JimmyHype said: “Actually enjoyed Top Boy last night. They managed to keep it slightly believable. Round 2 tonight!”
@ThickBlkGlasses also said: “Very impressed with Top Boy. The cast, script and the way it has been directed is quality. Looking forward to it tonight again.”
A lot of people were encouraged to catch the show on 4OD, Channel 4’s online catch up service, as tweeting advertised the show to a wider audience.
However some people were left less than satisfied with the show. East London Lines asked if viewers thought Top Boy is an unfair representation of young black males, and received several responses.
@Creyo said: “Top Boy is stereotyping young black males negatively”, alongside another dissatisfied viewer, @Liam_ashley, who said: “I really feel Top Boy did nothing but portray us in the wrong light”.
Ashley Walters, one of the actors said in an interview that the drug-ridden subculture portrays “some people’s reality.”
Bablu Miah (@bablu121) responded: #TopBoy True in East Ldn
Twenty-five year-old Emeka Egbuonu, a youth worker at the Crib in Hackney, said to the Observer on Sunday: “There’s a lot of playing into stereotypes. It’s a drama not a documentary, so it’s going to happen but I don’t like the glorification of the gangs, that worries me.”
The four-part series is being shown in 4 consecutive nights this week, and the second episode airs tonight at 10pm. What are your opinions of the show? Get involved in the discussion by submitting your opinions in the comment box below.