A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Violence is occasionally glamorized in this gritty, dark series. Generally, however, crime is dirty and grimy and does not pay.
Positive Role Models
Complicated characters exist in this world. However, there are strong female characters and a noble yet extremely flawed hero.
Violence & Scariness
The show's title refers to a gang's practice of wearing razor blades in their hats to head-butt and blind rivals during gang wars. Brutal violence is frequent: fisticuffs, point-blank shootings, stabbings, impalements, scenes from WWI battlefields, and torture.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Many graphic depictions of sex, with nude buttocks shown thrusting and couples gasping and grunting. References to prostitution, out-of-wedlock childbirth, oral sex, incest, and casual sex.
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Frequent cursing and coarse language includes many unbleeped instances of "f--k" as well as sexual language including explicit names for oral sex.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink frequently on-screen, become drunk, and act violent and clumsy. One character has an opium habit. A 10-year-old child smokes a cigarette on-screen.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Peaky Blinders is a drama of uncommon quality, but it's not for kids. Brutal violence is frequent and includes point-blank shootings, stabbings, impalements, torture, and threats of terrible injuries such as cut-out tongues. There also are many graphic sexual scenes, with grunting, thrusting, and bared buttocks. A character gets pregnant out of wedlock; her relatives threaten to kill the man who impregnated her. There are references to rape, incest, casual sex, and oral sex, often couched in coarse language. Cursing is frequent and includes unbleeped "s--t" and "f--k" and salty words for body parts and prostitutes. Character drink very frequently on-screen and may act clumsy or violent when drinking; a rough bar is a major setting for much of the show's action. Many characters smoke pipes or cigarettes on-screen, including a young boy.
Is It Any Good?
Peaky Blinders' very first scenes let mature viewers know they're in for a treat, as a solemn-faced Shelby parades through the grim, gray streets of early 20th-century Birmingham on a sleek black horse, the anachronistic strains of Nick Cave's "Red Right Hand" swelling on the soundtrack. Is murder on his mind? Is he looking for a rival or a romance? Is he about to wreak hell on what looks like a run-down neighborhood? Nope. He's flamboyantly buying the services of a local medium, paying to have a spell cast on his horse so he'll win at the races tomorrow. Does Shelby really believe this spell will make his horse a winner? Nah. He just wants to attract more betting customers.
Peaky Blinders is full of scenes like this, which zig when you expect them to zag or take the drama in an unexpected new direction. Gang stories are by now a cinematic trope. Audiences who gasped their way through The Godfather in the '70s are pretty immune to ultraviolent shocks on-screen. So though Blinders contains plenty of brutality and violence, it's not the meat of the story as it is in lesser gang dramas. The real drama is between the characters. Will Tommy forgive Freddie for knocking up his sister? What plans does Tommy's canny Aunt Polly have for her family members? What's Grace Burgess after, and does it have anything to do with the nightmarish flashbacks Tommy suffers every time he smokes opium? This rich and compelling drama is of unusually high quality. A lush treat for cerebral, adult viewers.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.