Top Boy fans are thrilled to see that the series has returned, at long last.
Well, we didn't see that coming...
Honestly, we could be referring to two things here. The first is the show's cancellation in the first place! Ronan Bennett's gritty and confrontational British crime series dropped in 2011 on Channel 4, plunging audiences into Summerhouse, a fictional housing estate in Hackney.
Instant fans praised the way the series maturely explored this world of gangs and drugs, with Ashley Walters and Kane Robinson delivering exceptional performances, handling the material brilliantly. Season 2 arrived in 2013 and fans were just as quick to praise it, but then, Channel 4 pulled the plug, despite more storylines having been prepared by the creative team.
The second thing that surprised us is its eventual return. Rapper Drake revealed he was a huge fan of the show and helped revive it with Netflix, serving as executive producer. New episodes finally appeared on Netflix on Friday, September 13th 2019.
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Top Boy recap: Ra'Nell
Although we were all keen to check in with the characters, let's shine a light on one in particular.
The character of Ra’Nell is played by Malcolm Kamulete, and we're introduced to him at the beginning of season 1, along with his and his mother Lisa (played by Sharon Duncan-Brewster). He's best mates with Gem (Giacomo Mancini) who is also struggling to find his footing in the word at this early stage.
Ra'Nell turns down dealing for Sully and Dushane but gets by in other avenues, helping to grow weed, while meanwhile, his mum is taken in for her mental illness. Gem gets into a whirlwind of trouble and Ra'Nell inevitably gets involved, leading to drugs, theft and en explosive season 1 climax. In the end though, Dushane leaves him be. We learn a lot about him, and he's seen a lot over the years, even having stabbed his dad to protect his mum.
He's arguably not so much a presence in season 2, but he stands up to Vincent in attempts to stick up for Gem and is brutally attacked. It was an explosive season, so it's pretty surprising it was cancelled, but luckily for fans, it's back.
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I hope Top Boy don’t act like Ranell never existed— (@Teeshoo_) September 13, 2019
Is Ra'Nell back for Top Boy season 3?
No, Malcolm Kamulete is not back for season 3.
Many fans were concerned that Ra'Nell would be left out of the resurrection of Top Boy. One wrote on Twitter: "I just clocked, why ain’t I seen Ranell in none of these top boy posts."
One of the best things about the new season is that it's exciting to reunite with these characters after so long, ones we never expected to see again. Sadly, although mentioned, we don't see the actor return to reprise the character.
Times were tough in the previous seasons, but it's even more difficult to make a living for these characters now. Because it's been gone for so long, there's lots to catch up on. We won't spoil it, but give it a watch!
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How many episodes?
The new season runs in at ten episodes in length, far lengthier than the two before it, which clocked in at four episodes each.
In the first five minutes of the new series of Top Boy there is already mention of Brexit. Arguably, it was an important show to bring back, ready to tackle timely themes - from immigration to street violence - while still remaining utterly engrossing. This is something its exec-producer sums up well. As reported by the BBC, Drake told Netflix at the premiere: "At first it was kind of, just for me, I was like - I need this back. But then I realised how much it meant to so many people."
There are some new faces this time around too to make up for any lack of old ones, and even acclaimed rapper Dave makes an appearance, donning a balaclava. We hope you enjoy it!
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