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Personally, I have always had a hard time starting and finishing TV shows. I’m not quite sure why I find it so difficult to find time to sit down and watch an episode. Perhaps it’s the fact that shows seem never-ending or the dreaded filler episodes cause me to lose all interest in how the story ends.

Peaky Blinders, however, has become an exception. The mind-blowing plot twists, charismatic characters, and costumes mix well to keep me intrigued by the push and pull of power, glory, and revenge.

A little background information: Peaky Blinders, created by Steven Knight, released its first episode back in 2013, with its 6th and final season aired in April of 2022. The show takes place in Birmingham, England post World War I and follows the lives of a gang called the Peaky Blinders. The gang members are all blood-related, with the second eldest son, Thomas Shelby, being the mastermind behind all of the gang’s crime antics. 

The name Peaky Blinders is cleverly insightful to how the men fight. Razor blades sewn into the folds of their “Peak” hats provide a discreet but useful weapon in an environment where fights are bound to break out at any moment. The Peak hats, which are more commonly known as newsboy hats, paired with a white button-up under a classy three-piece suit, serve as the uniform of the “Shelby boys”, another common nickname of the crime family.

Every episode I drool over Thomas Shelby’s signature suit; the crisp collar and sleek coat is outlined by dark red silk, which contrasts the grimy city they run and makes their character definitively cool and classy. However, paired with the narrative of the Peaky Blinders’ power struggle with government authorities, Thomas Shelby and his family are framed as the underdog. While his intentions are to get rich, whether that be through gambling or illegal exports, what I appreciate is the focus on family and camaraderie. The few women who wield power in the family in their drop-waisted dresses and coats bring to the mix subtle femininity, but are nevertheless, just as capable of punishing those who mess with their family. 

I applaud the writers of the show because of the many times I am left with my jaw dropped, amazed at how the turn of events add to the complexity of the plot. The attention to detail in introducing the characters not only allows viewers to get to know them at a surface level, but each episode reveals their own personal issues and faults. Their unique personalities bolster the twists and turns of the Shelby family’s journey to make it to the top of the food chain, rich beyond imagination. 

If you are looking for a new series to get into or enjoy period dramas, I would highly recommend checking Peaky Blinders out. The visual aesthetics of the grungy industrial ages, fashionable uniforms, and total drama will leave you wishing you could experience a day with the Shelbys.

Emily is a fourth-year at UC Davis, pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communications and Cinema & Digital Media. She is currently Design Director for VITA at UC Davis and Digital Media Director for Her Campus UCD. She enjoys thrifting and getting coffee with friends.
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