British crime drama Top Boy returned to our screens after a long hiatus this month.
Six years after the show was cancelled by Channel 4, it arrived on Netflix on Friday 13th September with 10 new episodes. Each previous season was four episodes long, so the Netflix run has already more than doubled the show’s entire output.
It continues to follow Dushane (Ashley Walters) and Sully (Kane Robinson) as they navigate the increasingly muddy waters of Hackney’s drug trade, picking up years after the finale of season two left off.
But is it necessary to binge-watch the first two seasons – now rebranded by Netflix as Top Boy: Summerhouse to distinguish it from the new episodes – in order to understand what’s going on, or can new viewers join in?
Can I watch Top Boy on Netflix if I haven’t seen the first two seasons?
In short: not really.
Though the show introduces a number of new characters and is certainly a new chapter in the story, it is pretty important to watch the previous episodes to understand the interpersonal dynamics, the characters, and the mechanics of the drug game as laid out by writer Ronan Bennett.
You wouldn’t open up a novel at chapter three, so why do that here? Besides, there are only eight episodes prior to the third season, so we’d recommend you get bingeing!
All eight episodes of the Channel 4 version between 2011-2013 are now on Netflix UK, so if you want to get the most out of the new season, and to understand what drew hip-hop star Drake (who executive produces the reboot) to it in the first place, you should definitely watch them.
You can also get Top Boy seasons 1-2 as a boxset if you want to get your copy of the first two seasons, after all, you never know when they could leave Netflix.
Top Boy launches on Netflix on Friday 13th September.