Top Boy finale not made to please everyone - star

Kane "Kano" Robinson, who plays Sully, and Ashley Walters, who stars as Dushane in Top Boy. Sully and Dushane, two black men in their 20s, are pictured opposite and looking straight at each other with Sully on the left and Dushane on the right. Sully wears a grey hoodie with the hood pulled over his head beneath a black waterproof jacket. Dushane has short black hair and a moustache and wears an orange sweater. They are pictured inside with a grey wall behind them.
Top Boy's final series, which tells the story of the residents in a fictional London estate, split fans and critics

After five seasons over more than 10 years, the long-awaited final Top Boy episode blew critics away.

But the audience... not so much.

On Rotten Tomatoes, its audience score was a far from fresh 50% - meaning it joins a long list of TV shows to have left fans wanting more.

But Joshua Blissett, who plays Kieron in the Netflix drug dealing drama, has defended the show, telling BBC Newsbeat "art is not necessarily made to please everyone".

"But it's made to create discussion and stimulate discussion," he says.

Top Boy, which first aired in 2011, follows the story of two London drug dealers and has been praised by critics for its attention to social issues.

Joshua says while the drama focuses on the lives of black characters, part of its art is its relatability to everyone.

"It's universally relatable because it's about emotions, it's about relationships, it's about family and we all have those things going on, we all go through pains.

"So I feel a massive responsibility, not just to black people as a black actor, but to everyone because everyone goes through those things."

Joshua Blissett attends the World Premiere of "Top Boy 2" in London in 2022. Joshua, a black man in his 20s, wears a pale blue shirt under a light green blazer. He has short hair and a trimmed beard and is smiling at the camera.
Joshua Blissett plays Kieron in Top Boy and says the show's impact had been "crazy"

Top Boy's final series was released last week and it's still top of the streaming service's 'most watched' list in the UK.

The Guardian, The Telegraph and NME all gave it five stars, with NME branding it "the best show on Netflix".

But it isn't the first show with a final series that's divided critics and fans.

Who could forget the final episode of Game of Thrones which barely elicited a shrug from Time Magazine and sparked a petition to have the whole last season remade "with competent writers".

Compare that with something like Derry Girls, the Channel 4 comedy following teenagers in Northern Ireland growing up against the backdrop of The Troubles in the 1990s.

Critics hailed the finale in May, which was broadcast five years after its first episode, as "a triumph".

No writer sets out to make a disappointing ending, but what makes rounding off a TV series so hard and how can writers satisfy fans?

L-R Thaddea Graham as Vivian, Miya Ocego as Rosie and Oscar Kennedy as Jamie in Wreck series one. Vivian, who has dark shoulder length hair and wears an open white shirt over a crop top and yellow trousers is covered in blood. Rosie stands about a foot away from her, her long ombre hair worn loose over her outfit of a white crop top and sparkly black trousers held up with silver braces. In her right hand she holds a large spanner outstretched in front of her towards someone out of shot. Jamie, a young white man with short brown hair, stands on the left wearing a red lumber-jack style shirt over a black T-shirt. He has blood on his face and looks off camera with a repulsed expression. They are inside on the cruise ship in what appears to be a restaurant, with brown panelled walls with a gold inlaid trim and four matching blue and white artworks hanging above lit tables behind them.
Ryan's horror comedy Wreck was renewed for another series after he'd already written and recorded an ending

Ryan J Brown was in his 20s when he was commissioned to write Wreck.

The horror comedy follows 19-year-old Jamie Walsh as he seeks to solve his sister's disappearance onboard a cruise ship.

"I think if you answer enough questions and then ask some more at the end, you're satisfying people," writer Ryan tells Newsbeat.

"For me a good ending is something that reminds you of the magic of the beginning, reminds you why you fell in love with the show.

"You need to feel like you are getting some level of closure and that doesn't mean that the ending can't be open ended, but you need to feel like you've reached a conclusion."

Initially only one series had been agreed when Wreck was commissioned for BBC Three.

But depending on audience reaction, TV shows are often re-commissioned for another series or quietly discontinued.

That can put writers in a difficult situation as they have to prepare for multiple outcomes and respond to pressures from fans and the streamers and broadcasters which commission them.

"You've probably done the right thing if an audience is demanding more," says Ryan.

"Sometimes an ending that leaves you wondering and thinking about what you've watched is great.

"Often it's more believable when a story isn't completely neatly wrapped up."

Ryan Brown, pictured in woodland, with a clapperboard for Wreck season two. Ryan is a tall white man in his early 30s with blonde hair cut short and stubble. He wears a black waterproof jacket embroidered with 'Wreck Season 2' and a blue T-shirt.
Ryan J Brown says good endings have to balance tying up loose ends while leaving fans wanting more

It's a delicate balance as, while Ryan had hoped Wreck would be renewed, he didn't find out until after series one was finished.

That meant his ending had to be satisfying but still leave a story that could be picked up again if everything went as he'd hoped.

"I have always had a three-series plan," he says.

Like Top Boy, when Wreck was release it had generally positive reviews but there were some exceptions.

"Negativity sells, which is quite depressing," Ryan says.

The writer says there's often "a big divide" between critics' and viewers' opinions.

"I'd go off what an audience thinks rather than critics."

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