Valentine and Walter (Jimmy Akingbola and Idris Elba)

In the Long Run revolves around Walter Easmon (played by show creator, Idris Elba), a UK immigrant from Sierra Leone, raising a family in 1980s London. 

Walter’s life is turned upside down when his younger, more animated brother Valentine (Jimmy Akingbola), comes to stay. 

Valentine is a ladies’ man, a joker and a party starter - instantly popular with Walter’s UK-born son and their neighbours. He wants to make something of himself in London, but doesn’t know where to start. 

The brothers clash, although ultimately they’re similar. They bring out the best in each other, and their relationship is highly amusing to watch. 

This isn’t the kind of in-your-face comedy that will have you laughing out loud. It’s quietly intelligent, instilling a warm glow and most likely making you smile. 

“A kind-hearted, generous show.”  - The Telegraph UK

The issues you’d expect to encounter, like 1980s race riots and cultural integration, are present but they take a back seat. In the Long Run is more of a family portrait - it focuses on community and camaraderie, that feeling of belonging and finding your home. 

It’s a change of direction for the usually type-cast Elba. Instead of playing the tough guy, he takes on the role of family man, in what could be described as a rose-tinted view of his own childhood. 

The '80s patterns, the fashions, and the killer soundtrack all contribute the heart and appeal of the show. 

The series is beautifully shot, in the warm beiges and ochres one might associate with the decade. It successfully makes tower block living look glamourous. The Guardian says “it makes high art out of council estate life.” 

Stream the full  season of In the Long Run right here