Peaky Blinders: Season 2 (DVD) – Series Review
Follow Genre: Drama
Distributor: eOne
Episodes: 6
Duration: 60 min (per episode)

Peaky Blinders: Season 2 (DVD) – Series Review

Site Score
Good: Great acting performances, interesting storylines, the series learned from its mistakes
Bad: Some story related events have been abandoned, Arthur's sudden change of character
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(1 votes)
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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

At 3rd-strike, we’ve already reviewed the very first season of Peaky Blinders (you can find the review here). Not only did the series prove to start off with a high-quality first season, the way was also paved for new, ongoing episodes. This time around, the Peaky Blinders are facing difficult times trying to survive amongst rivals while Tommy struggles with personal matters.

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Last time, the main storylines in the series situated themselves in the forming of alliances (by marriage for example) while an undercover cop tried to infiltrate the family of gangsters but fell in love with its leader, Thomas Shelby (Cillian Murphy), instead. Season 1 ended in a huge cliffhanger and this season follows up on that. The topics of interest change from Thomas fighting his inners demons to him struggling with keeping the family safe and above all, remaining the biggest player in the gambling business. Betrayal, conflicts, trust and family love are all major themes this time around and it’s clear to notice that the series learned from its mistakes in the previous season.

The Peaky Blinders business is looking at a major expansion which includes taking over London as a headquarters for their ‘trades’. Unfortunately, not everyone can find peace with that plan and one of those guys is Sabini (Noah Taylor), another major player on the gambling market. Sabini tries very hard to bring the competition down by any means necessary. Eventually, the quarreling between both parties ends up in fights, blood and basically making each other’s life a living hell. In the meantime, Polly Shelby (Helen McCrory) is looking for the children she had to forcefully give up for adoption when she was younger. She founds out only a son survived and tries desperately to form a mother-son relationship. While all of this is going on, Arthur Shelby (Thomas’ brother, played by Paul Anderson) is slowly going mad and very aggressive as he doesn’t seem to be able to control his temper at all. The body count grows bigger and bigger each day and the guy is going downhill pretty fast.

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You see, another season filled with multiple branches in the story as we’ve gotten used to in the previous installment. Luckily though, each and every part of the story is diverse and enjoyable enough to witness and getting bored with the plot is almost impossible. Only Arthur’s aggression issues are sometimes a bit too long in the spotlight. The series hints multiple times that Arthur’s problems are caused due to his hard time in the war but in the first season, the guy wasn’t really beating people to death in the same frequency. It’s a bit bizarre that the situation suddenly exploded in such a way. Another remark is the complete removal of Thomas’ nightmares of the war. Although it’s good to see that the series focuses on other paths in the story, completely removing any mention of the nightmares is quite the sudden decision. They could’ve tried to spend an episode on Thomas overcoming the demons in his head. Now, it just feels like the mental state of the leader of the Peaky Blinders isn’t all that important anymore.

As said before, the series clearly learned from previous hiccups and issues. The music has been reduced to moments where it’s absolutely necessary or fits the situation perfectly. Sam Neill who plays the Irish speaking major Chester Campbell has toned down his excessive accent a bit and the character is now a lot easier on the ears. Last season, he tended to exaggerate the Irish origin and that didn’t always work out like it should.

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Acting wise, Peaky Blinders gives us another demonstration on how acting is done correctly. Leading character Thomas Shelby, played by Cillian Murphy, is still one of the most charismatic individuals ever shown in a TV show. Other actors and actresses include Joe Cole (John Shelby), Sophie Rundle (Ada Shelby), Annabelle Wallis (Grace Burgess) and one of the newest cast members Finn Cole (Michael Gray who’s actually Polly’s son). It’s quite extraordinaire to see such a level of professionalism with all cast members in a series. Most of the time, there’s at least one individual whose performances are a bit off the scale. Not here though as the whole cast succeeds in keeping the acting quality as steady as possible, somewhere high in the clouds.

Alas, no extra features coming with the DVD box this time around. It would’ve been nice to get a behind the scenes look in such a great setting but we can only hope to see something like that appear in the next DVD release.

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Peaky Blinders already started off with a very good first season but now, the series is even better thanks to the great acting performances, multiple storylines and fixed hiccups from the previous season. The fact that Thomas’ mental state issues have been abandoned quite abruptly and Arthur suddenly transformed into a human killing machine might make you frown once or twice but the overall awesomeness of season 2 overcomes those tiny remarks with a huge force.

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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Peaky Blinders: Season 2 (DVD) - Series Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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