INDUSTRY is a new HBO/BBC TV series that has been written by two people who apparently interned in the City in this millennium and no doubt did some research beyond watching WALL STREET and reading Liar's Poker. They seem to ignore the fact that most jobs in the City are just rather banal, mundane, desk jobs in an environment of heavy regulation of relationships, drug use and harassment. Rather, they create a show that depicts a contemporary trading floor that feels circa 1987 rather than in a world shaped by the fallout from 2008. So our brave interns are all sex obsessed, take copious quantities of prescription and illegal drugs, and have a tenuous grasp of ethics. I suppose it is at least refreshing that they aren't babes in the wood to be corrupted by their evil bosses. In fact our lead protagonist, Harper (Myha’la Herrold) is as dodgy as they come, faking her college credentials and trying desperately to cover up a fat finger error. It's as though the interns themselves are living in some post WALL STREET era where they assume this is how interns behave and ethics work in investment banking.
All that aside, the show is fine to watch - and weirdly we saw episodes 1,2 and 4 and missing 3 didn't seem to make much difference. The big twist at the end of episode 1 was very predictable. A lot of the language around trading felt mis-cast. But I did find myself wondering what was going to happen to the characters next although it might be problematic that I found all of the kids rather unlikeable and only really cared about Ken Leong's boss Eric, and the client Natalie. Will I watch the series when it's on TV in November? No. I'll probably re-read Liar's Poker instead. Drink straight from the source, kids!
INDUSTRY is playing the BFI London Film Festival 2020. It will air in the USA on HBO and in the UK on the BBC starting on November 9th.