It most definitely is the most wonderful time of the year, as winter in the Northern Hemisphere always ensures great releases by powerhouses such as HBO, and Industry is no exception. This finance series revolves around the lives of a bunch of graduates competing for a permanent position at one of the top firms in London and drops on Showmax today.
Remember your first job?
As I was watching the first four episodes of Industry, I got these flashbacks to my very first job working in a digital marketing agency. You’re new, the pressure is high, everyone is both your friend and your enemy, you’re never quite sure what your job is and at the end of the day, you find yourself doing a shot called ‘Miss my flight’ in a dingy bar on Long Street with colleagues.
This feeling(s) is what show creators, Mickey Down and Konrad Kay, accurately captures. The job becomes religion, any time not spent on anything work-related is frowned upon. The graduates are encouraged to ruthlessly challenge the hierarchy, ensuring tension and ambitious drive amongst seniors and juniors. Top that with a Don Draper-esque approach to client entertainment and you find a myriad of personalities caged together fighting for a position at the top, disguised as a financial firm.
The series goes through great lengths to be politically correct. From the diverse cast to the inclusion of several heteronormative, as well as LGBTQ+ relationships, this ensures that Industry speaks more to the Euphoria audience than the Succession audience. And it is, quite frankly, a breath of fresh air. It also incorporates these topics in such a way that it does not beg for discussion, rather presenting it as status quo which I thought to be quite unique.
I have long since been a fan of Girls’ Lena Dunham. She directs the first episode, which I do find quite ironic seeing that Girls, throughout its runtime, got a lot of flack for not including a diverse cast and avoiding topics of diversity. It, therefore, seems like a step in the right direction for Dunham who we finally see return to the silver screen after several personal turmoils.
So is it worth a watch?
In a recent article on the series, it is argued that Industry ‘feels too much like the pre-COVID daily grind than an escape from the grind itself’, and I would actually like to argue the opposite. In a world where I myself find it hard to re-adapt to our pseudo-post-lockdown existence, I find scenes of our previous ‘normal’ work states comforting.
I also like the fact that the majority of the cast is unknown and that although the narrative is familiar, the story never feels contrived. There are loads of NSFW content, so if you are a little bit sensitive to those, you might want to skip this one. If you are at all concerned that Industry will be weighed down by financial speak and complicated concepts, fear not, they serve only as situational dialogue, not drivers of the narrative.