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Guy Ritchie’s ‘The Gentlemen’ is an Intoxicatingly, Fun, Wild Ride

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I watch a ton of films and movies. Shocking, I know. Before becoming a writer for The Cosmic Circus, I loved consuming as much media as possible. When I first got my DVR, my family and I would make lists of shows to record, watching as much as possible.

We would take monthly trips to the theater, if not more, which were an ideal way to spend time together on the weekend. I’ve seen so many television shows and films that it takes something special and off the wall to catch me off guard, which brings me to Netflix’s The Gentlemen, which arrives on the streaming service on March 7th.

Created by Guy Ritchie and serving as a spin-off of his film of the same name, The Gentlemen explores the wilder side of the aristocratic society of the United Kingdom. Playing out as The Crown on steroids, this series cranks the energy to an eleven within the first 30 minutes, promising an intoxicatingly wild ride for audiences to enjoy. Theo James and Kaya Scodelario star as co-leads of The Gentlemen, joined by an impressive supporting cast, all of whom bring the rich and colorful world vibrantly to life. Those who enjoy the vision that Ritchie brings to his projects will love this series, but there’s plenty of humor and action for all to enjoy.

[Warning: Spoilers from Netflix’s The Gentlemen are below!]

Eddie’s world turns upside-down in Guy Ritchie’s newest series

Eddie’s (Theo James) life is going through some changes, which is to be expected when a parent passes away. There’s a certain amount of adapting through the grief to a new reality, which he seems to have a pretty good grasp on. As the second-born son to a Duke, his day-to-day life isn’t supposed to change that much. The title, the home, and the money are all destined for his elder brother Freddy (Daniel Ings), whereas Eddie plans to return to the military and continue his career and life there.

But, when has anything in life ever gone according to plan? There’s no drama and no fun in that. As the Halstead family sits down to read the will, everything changes drastically, sending the entire family and estate into a pinwheel. No longer is Freddy inheriting everything, as their late father has decided to leave it all to Eddie instead. This break from tradition opens up a can of worms for Freddy, one that Eddie has to clean up before trouble comes knocking on their door.

The Gentlemen-Eddie
Eddie (Theo James). The Gentlemen (Netflix).

If keeping your idiot brother out of trouble wasn’t enough, Eddie soon learns that his father has secrets lying deep within the estate. These secrets tie the newly minted patriarch to a cannabis empire that wishes to keep things as they were. Susie Glass (Kaya Scodelario) serves as the face of the operation and reluctantly works with Eddie, providing help in a way that keeps her hold on whatever power she has. Together, this duo pushes the boundaries of their working relationship, hoping to keep the rocking ship from completely turning over. 

The positives and negatives of Netflix’s The Gentlemen

I wasn’t expecting how adrenaline-fueled The Gentlemen would be. I’ll be honest: I had never seen the film on which it’s based; all I had to go off of was the trailer. What we’ve seen of The Gentlemen is incredibly action-packed. But this doesn’t even begin to touch the excitement and addictiveness of the series. The first two episodes spend a bit of time establishing the world and characters that reside in it, serving almost as a two-part opener if you think of it in traditional television terms. From then on, the story switches to almost a “mission of the day” formula, putting our characters into increasingly wackier situations.

It’s hilarious watching the series go from an in-depth look at an aristocratic family (and the society surrounding them) to a balls-to-the-wall action-adventure-comedy series. The result hurt my stomach from laughing and my jaw hanging open from the pure outrageousness.

The writing is strong, perhaps one of the strongest I’ve seen from a series as of late. The stories playing out on screen are engaging and witty, with the characters that have real and interesting dialogue. It reminds me so much of Veronica Mars in terms of writing, which stands out as one of my gold standards for writing in a series. You want people to engage with the material and connect to the characters, even if their life situations are so far removed from what the viewers know. The Gentlemen does this with ease, creating something special.

The Gentlemen Cast
The cast of The Gentlemen (Netflix).

Along with the writing, the acting in this series is impeccable, taking the quality I’ve come to know and expect from a Netflix series and cranking it up to an eleven. It’s no surprise if you’ve been following my writing that I love Theo James, who was in one of my favorite HBO series, The Time Traveler’s Wife. I firmly believe that there is nothing that man cannot do and that he should be in every film and series. His quality of performances continues in The Gentlemen, giving him a career-best as the level-headed but also massively talented Eddie Halstead. He’s the rock holding his family together, going to great lengths to do so. James adds such grace and agility to the role, which elevates The Gentlemen from basic-tier television to something more.

Matching his energy is Kaya Scodelario, who plays the enigmatic and stoic Susie Glass. Susie is terrifying at times, as every move is calculated. She sees everything and has so many connections that it’s hard to know where her web extends. Her performance is a highlight of the series, and the chemistry between her and James is electric. Every time they are on the screen together, I find myself craving more.

Daniel Ings gives his all in the role of Freddy, allowing him to explore his comedy roots with a dramatic flair. The series vacillates between dark comedy and action-drama, which gives all the actors so much to work with. It’s easy to see how much fun these actors have in their roles; I can’t imagine how hard it was to keep a straight face on set when filming some of these scenes.

There are aspects of this show that are dark. Like incredibly dark. This is absolutely not a show for everyone. I wouldn’t watch this around those who are squeamish or children.  There are a few scenes, in particular, where I turned away, but these didn’t distract from the fun I had watching the show.

Final thoughts on The Gentlemen

Overall, this new series on Netflix is a win in my book. It’s funny and well-written, with characters who come to life because of the work that the actors and writers put into them. While this isn’t a show for everyone, it is one people will talk about long after binging it. If you’re looking for a fun adult show, this is 100 percent the series for you, as The Gentlemen will strap you in and take off, leaving you buzzing in the best way possible.

The Gentlemen arrives on Netflix on March 7. Do you plan to check out this series? Let us know on social media or in The Cosmic Circus Discord!

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Brian Kitson

Working hard to bring you the latest news and thoughtful analysis of all things nerdy!

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