A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Industry is a drama that focuses on five "grads" who are new hires at the fictional London investment bank Pierpont & Co. The company and program have a "work hard, play harder" ethos -- drinking to excess after work is expected, pills are popped to stay alert, drugs are sniffed, and casual sex is had. Profanity is frequent and includes "f--k," "s--t," "c--t." Also featured is also oral sex, masturbation, and full-frontal male nudity. The finance industry is depicted as cutthroat and (spoiler!) deadly, but desirable both for the well connected and bootstrappers because of the money at stake.
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What's the story?
INDUSTRY follows five recent college grads who are interning in the savage world of investment banking. In their interviews at the fictional London firm Pierpont & Co., we meet Harper (Myha’la Herrold), an American who's not from a prestigious school (and we later surmise hasn't even graduated) but puts her IQ on her resume. She explains, "I think mediocrity is too well hidden by parents who hire private tutors. I am here on my own." The other four interns are fellow bootstrapper Hari (Nabhaan Rizwan), wealthy Yasmin (Marisa Abela), Thatcher fan Gus (David Jonsson), and Robert (Harry Lawtey), who's the butt of the traders' class-based jokes. At the end of the six-month internship, half will be let go. Let the games begin!
Is it any good?
Throw five super-ambitious recent grads into a London investment bank, blend with alcohol, drugs, sex, and what do you get? A show that might be worth your investment (if you're an older teen or adult.) Industry creators Mickey Down and Konrad Kay, who both worked in investment banking after college, have written about what they know (and there's plenty of banking jargon to prove it), but they had to turn up the drama to make the show more marketable. As such, character development suffers under the weight of lots of plot.
In the pilot (directed by Lena Dunham), we primarily track American Harper, who overcomes a "MeToo" encounter with a female client to triumph in the end -- her mentor Eric (Ken Leung) calls her a "world killer" -- and celebrate in a suite overlooking London. One character is so driven to succeed that he stays at the office 24/7, nourished mostly with Red Bull and amphetamines -- a routine that takes the ultimate toll. The premise of Industry has promise and an impressively diverse cast, though the way the race and class issues are addressed is a bit cliched. In one scene, Harper, a Black woman, overhears her co-workers talk about her ("Isn't it impossible to compete with this girl's narrative?") while she's in the restroom stall. Haven't we all learned not to have those conversations in the restroom by now?
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about greed. How is greed a theme here? Is it possible for businesses to work without being greedy?
How do the characters approach the use of alcohol and drugs? Do they seem to get any enjoyment out of them? Does the show make these things look appealing? What are the real consequences of drinking to excess or smoking or using drugs?
Why do movies and shows about the finance industry often have a sense of depravity to them? How realistic do you think Industry is to the actual bank industry?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love dramas
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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