Living in a world where people are running in a race that has no end is not a new fact. Industry, HBO’s new workplace drama, is driven by this concept.
Industry episode 1 follows the story of young graduates who have entered the workforce in the midst of cut-throat competition after the recession of the 2008 financial crisis. The five leads start working at a prestigious bank in London where they get embroiled in a fight to be the best from day 1.
The series keeps introducing you to the characters in a very evident way and they all look different and distant from each other. It includes a big office with people behaving differently with each person but it doesn’t really have the insanity of The Wolf of Wall Street or the charm of The Big Short.
Industry episode 1 lacks the cohesion that you’d expect from an HBO series. The scenes don’t flow from one to the other and feel like different parts attached together. It, thus, feels very prolonged and choppy which impacts the narrative as a whole. The direction is very simple and seems like a short film rather than an episode from a series.
The show continues to portray the over-passionate employees working in high finance who do every unusual thing to rise above others and keep their job safe. They don’t sleep properly, eat properly, socialize and somehow lose self-respect along the way. From the use of drugs to sex – the series portrays the various ways people lose themselves in high-stress situations like these.
None of the actors are unique. They all have traits that you must’ve seen in other shows. The characters seem predictable and the actors disconnected from the characters they are portraying. They don’t look or feel real or relatable and hence you are not really attached to them. As a result, this hampers the show’s overall engagement.
The story, additionally, is uninteresting and feels old. The dialogues are hackneyed and the background score is so cliché that it does not have any major impact on you. All of these flaws, as a whole, do not pique your interests for Industry episode 1 and somewhat ruins the experience.
Overall: Industry episode 1
A lot of surveys show that people are watching old shows during this pandemic because they are familiar and they feel in control of the situation. The awareness of the story and its characters gives them a comfortable feeling. This can work in favour of Industry episode 1, and the series as a whole, because it does have the quality of comfort, which might have backfired in a normal situation but can help during the unusual circumstances around the world.
The show has a lot of potential and is worth giving a chance. It’s passable and makes for good entertainment if you don’t want to engage a lot of your brain cells.
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