YMMV / Peaky Blinders

  • Acceptable Ethnic Targets:
    • The Chinese population of Birmingham seems to be there for both the police and the gangs to exploit. Though there is a nice bit of subversion in one of Arthur's lines in the first episode where he acknowledges that the Chinese have their own gangsters and should just be left alone.
    • The Irish are not treated well either, usually being portrayed as Ax-Crazy criminals.
    • The Petrovnas are all a bunch of corrupt and manipulative elites who toy with lower-class people like the Shelbys and do things like host orgies in their mansions. Their characterization stands in contrast to the typical portrayal of Russian aristocracy at the time of the Russian revolution as innocent victims of revolutionaries. The Soviets, by contrast, seem very ordinary.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Is Tommy a cold, calculating (but human) gang boss who just wants to pull his family out of poverty, or is he a sociopath, using anyone and everyone in his path to power?
    • Is Michael Gray a troubled teenager thrust into the glamorously dangerous world of the Shelbys, or is he a budding sociopath patterning himself after Tommy and manipulating his mother into letting him have whatever he wants? Or, is he the victim of a pedophile doing whatever he can to never be powerless again?
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Billy Kimber is supposed to be a feared gangster, but he's actually more of The Napoleon. He has his mooks do his fighting for him and is dispatched by a single Boom, Headshot from Tommy with no fanfare.
  • Base Breaker: Grace. In season one, the fandom was divided over if she was a competent spy or not, and whether her falling in love with Tommy was romantic or contrived. In season two, Grace fans were happy to see her back after running off to New York, and celebrated her hookup with Tommy and pregnancy. Non-fans of the character were displeased at her having virtually nothing to contribute and being the catalyst for Tommy acting erratically and breaking up with interesting new character May Carleton (whom Grace fans call "annoying" and "terrible", following Annabelle Wallis's own hatred for May's character "coming between" Grace and Tommy). Season three has reached a fever pitch, where Grace has not only gotten married to Tommy, but has been shot in a botched assassination attempt. Whether you think this is heartwrenching drama or a further shoehorning-in of an unnecessary character depends on how much you like Grace.
  • Critical Research Failure: When Tommy stops Kimber from raping Grace, he refers to syphilis as "the clap" when, in fact, the term refers to gonorrhea.
  • Cry for the Devil: Subverted in-universe with Campbell — in 2.06, he tries to convince an extremely vengeful Polly not to shoot him after he's raped her, tortured her son, and tried multiple times to kill her nephew by playing to her romantically, saying they have a connection, his heart belongs to her, etc. Polly shoots him in cold blood without a second thought.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Alfie Solomons is in a grand total of seven episodes and while he's admittedly badass and an entertaining cross between Cloud Cuckoo Lander and The Don, he's also responsible for murders, torturing Arthur, and selling the Shelbys out to Hughes and getting Charles kidnapped. Due to being played by Tom Hardy, fans nearly universally love him.
  • Foe Yay: Fans were anticipating this between Cillian Murphy's Tommy and Tom Hardy's Alfie Solomons, largely due to the duo's real-life friendship and work history. They were right.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With Boardwalk Empire, due to similar themes of the rise of organized crime in a country still recovering from World War 1.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Michael's seeming callousness in 2.05, after he learns that Polly was raped by Campbell in exchange for Michael's release from prison, and his comment that "maybe it is [funny]" get a lot darker in 3.05, when we find out that Michael is a rape victim himself.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The clank-step that heralds Major Campbell's arrival, due to his walking-stick.
  • He's Just Hiding: Some fans believe that Grace, with the help of Tommy, faked her death, considering it parallels Tommy doing the same thing for Danny Owen in season one.
  • Ho Yay: Michael, John and Arthur get very drunk and very handsy with each other in 3.03, considering they're cousins.
  • Iron Woobie: Tommy most of the time. Polly, at times. Lizzie, at others.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Arthur, who starts off as more Jerkass and ends up more Woobie.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: There are quite a few fans who watch solely for either Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, or both.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Thomas Shelby, who plays Xanatos Speed Chess with his family, his associates, the police, the IRA, the Bolsheviks, rival gangs, and pretty much everyone up to and including Winston Churchill. And does it ostensibly to better his family and position, but also a good deal of the time for shits and giggles.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Campbell's Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique and frequent raids on the Bolsheviks should have been our clue that however upstanding he may act, he's actually a despicable person. He really outdoes himself in episode four, threatening Tommy that he'll bash him and his brothers' heads in, kill Ada and her unborn baby, and throw Finn into prison with child molesters, all in the most affable voice imaginable. And tops that by allowing Chapman, Freddie's Bolshevik superior, to be severely tortured and die in police custody.
  • Narm: Some of the accents on the show, but particularly Sam Neill's accent, which is nonetheless also praised as accurate.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The slo-mo scene where the Shelby boys curb-stomp the Lees is unnerving, with the silent screams and shouts of the men and only the soundtrack playing.
    • The sudden onset of paranoia, fear, and PTSD flashbacks all three of the Shelby boys develop when they find that the Lees have left a bomb in the ransacked house. It could literally be anywhere, and then it gets worse when Tommy figures out where it is, and finds Finn playing in the booby-trapped car.
    • Something is really not quite right with the one IRA sympathizer Tommy meets with, screaming an IRA song in the Garrison and looking as if he might break the whisky bottle over Tommy's head. Not to mention being suicidal enough to threaten a notorious gang leader in his own pub.
    • Darby Sabini's introduction — having his goons beat Tommy to within an inch of his life, then opening his mouth, ripping out one of his teeth, and cutting his cheek.
    • The attempted rape and beating of Ada from the same time period.
    • Alfie's violent outburst against a random Black Country recruit.
    • The Peaky Blinders' takeover of the Eden Club. Their thugs beat the shit of any patrons, men and women, who happen to get in their way and Arthur brutally stabs the boss in the throat and face repeatedly with a broken bottle.
    • Campbell's rape of Polly from 2.05.
    • Tommy's descent into despair and near monstrousness in 3.03, where he nearly tortures Vincente Changretta before Arthur and John intervene and kill the old man first.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Season Two kick-started the Tommy/Grace vs. Tommy/May wars, which get resolved in Season 3 with Tommy married to Grace and May never even mentioned.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: This can be said of a number of characters, but mostly about Freddie Thorne and Grace Burgess.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/PeakyBlinders