Top Boy: Summerhouse

TV review by
Marty Brown, Common Sense Media
Top Boy: Summerhouse TV Poster Image
British crime drama revival feels real but lacks drama.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

As with most crime shows, any positive messages (about perseverance or courage, for example) are entrenched in a mostly amoral world. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters may make moral, ethical choices, but they do so mostly within the framework of a criminal organization.

Violence

A show about drug dealers and a criminal underworld, violence -- especially gun violence -- is nearly always present on Top Boy: Summerhouse.

Sex

Top Boy: Summerhouse contains moderate sexual content, including simulated sex. The original series (also on Netflix) contains a scene with full frontal male nudity.

Language

A lot of profanity is used: the f-word, the c-word, "sh*t," etc.

Consumerism

Outside of the drug trade, no consumerism is present.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink, smoke, use drugs, and sell drugs, often to a violent end.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Top Boy: Summerhouse is a crime drama about two drug dealers operating in the East London public housing projects. The original Top Boy series aired in the 2010s, and after rapper Drake signed on as Executive Producer Netflix revived the show and set it a few years later with much of the original cast. Top Boy: Summerhouse features gun violence, simulated sex, drug use, and a lot of profanity.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAllen00 March 3, 2020

Amazing

It is a good show and I think kids that are at least 14 can watch it because all it takes is to be mature about everything.
Teen, 17 years old Written bybludclawz April 15, 2020

quite gory lots of language 15+

this has lots of language and drugs but the violence is not as bad as i thought. although there are parts that can make you quite uncomfortable
Teen, 14 years old Written bygohan578 March 9, 2020

What's the story?

TOP BOY SUMMERHOUSE picks up years after the original Top Boy series left off. Dushane (Ashley Walters) and Sully (Kane Robinson, also known as the British rapper Kano) find themselves estranged from the drug trade. Sully is in prison, while Dushane works in an auto body shop in Jamaica. Slowly, the two find themselves pulled back into criminal life while new faces around town, like ruthless Jamie (Micheal Ward), who is a murderous gangster as well as a doting parental figure to his two younger brothers are their parents were killed. When Sully and Dushare reemerge on the scene, all the players battle of the new power dynamics. 

Is it any good?

Though it's mostly by-the-numbers plotwise, this series has a couple of fun things going for it. Top Boy: Summerhouse's history makes the characters feel lived in and relaxed, like the audience has just happened to turn the corner into the housing works where the primary action takes place. There's no exposition dump of the sort that weighs down a lot of new ensemble-driven dramas. And the setting feels unique. Not the depiction of the drug trade itself, which feels like a knockoff of The Wire after years of diminishing returns, but East London, a complex and underseen area that here feels ripe with discovery and dramatic possibility.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about East London. How does Top Boy's setting compare with similar shows set in the U.S.? What can you learn about British culture from Top Boy? How does the show compare to what you know about London?

  • What are the positive and negative choices that Dushane and Sully make in their lives? Do they make any ethical or moral decisions? What are they? How do they arrive at those decisions?

  • How does Top Boy portray drug dealing? What do you think the show's opinion of drug dealers is? How does this come out in the action?

TV details

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