A Powerful portrayal of the inside of the hedge fund/investment banking industry in London.
When I first saw the trailer for this BBC & HBO Drama series at the BFI London Film Festival last month, it confirmed my pre-conceptions of a the harshness of the male dominated world of investment banking, but on watching the first few episodes, I was surprised by how many different backgrounds the graduates came from, I assumed such coveted graduate scheme places were prioritised for the Oxbridge graduates, having the right “Daddy” and those with “connections” that could get them a foot in the door.
I knew they’d be competitive, but was not ready for the lengths some would go to in order to “shine” and I also under-estimated the amount of pressure that they would be put under, not including the pressure that some of them put on themselves.
The plot follows Harper Stern, played by Myha’la Herrold, as a young graduate from New York who applies and is accepted onto the competitive 6 month graduate programme at Pierpoint, an Investment Bank.
In 6 months time each graduate will fight for a permanent job at this company, showcasing their achievements, so it’s within each person’s interest to get onto the best accounts, make the right contacts and keep the right people happy – even if it’s at the cost of their own happiness, it seems.
Alongside Harper is Yasmin, who although must be competent enough, due to being accepted in the first place, is being held back by her superiors who just see a “pretty face” and made to do junior errands constantly, like fetching lunch and making cups of tea – poor woman!
This highlights the male chauvinistic side of the male-dominated world of this industry and Yasmin has to really fight to be taken seriously.
The other 3 graduates consist of a ‘work hard, play hard’ party boy (Robert), a little genius with low self-esteem (Hari), a guy who thinks that it’s his God-given right to be there due to his Eton education (Gus).
Have a look at the trailer here…
Please bear in mind that I have only seen 3 episodes, so can only give my thoughts based on those.
Firstly I must say that the show looks lovely, it’s very attractive, showcasing the beautiful London skylines via the skyscrapers of the city centre, it has amazing cinematography that it’s easy to forget that you are watching a drama, not a film.
The pace is fast, like the world of investment banking, but you do get a look into the background of each graduate as the series goes on, so that you can see where they are coming from.
It’s an eye-opening drama that will have you thinking how far will you go for the thing you really want?
Well worth watching on a cold November evening – I can’t wait to catch the last few episodes, but will watch again from the beginning, because it’s it’a actually worth it!
Thanks for reading & enjoy!