Jungle follows the interconnected lives of several strangers, each facing their own struggle, as seen through the lens of UK rap and drill music, providing insight into an often unseen world. It’s a world where only the strongest will survive, a law that is frequently misunderstood. As the strangers’ worlds unravel around them, they realize that every action, no matter how minor, has repercussions.
The series tells a compelling and complex story through a unique blend of music and dialogue, as well as creatively ambitious cinematography and design. The series will feature some of the UK’s top drill and UK rap artists and will attempt to capture a very different side to a frequently told story. Using compelling visuals to depict the city, while detailing the many perils and dangers involved in day-to-day life in Inner City London, and ultimately conveying a larger message about the true value of life.
Nothing Lost produced the six-part series “Jungle.” Junior Okoli and Chas Appeti are the show’s creators and executive producers.
The first thing one notices when watching Jungle is that part of the dialogue is given in rap bars.
Just because someone is a great rapper doesn’t mean they can’t act.
Okoli explained how they came up with the idea to incorporate both “It was a very organic seamless process. We just tried to make it as free flowing as possible. We had the scripts and curation process of the rap. The two had to be interchangeable. As artists, some of them weren’t comfortable with some of the scripts but they were more comfortable in rapping. Equally, some were more comfortable with saying their lines than rapping. Overall, it was a very strange, bazaar but beautiful period during the whole curation process.”
The feel of “Jungle” lends itself to feeling more like a film than a television series. Many aspects of the cinematography will harken back to the original “Blade Runner.”
Appeti explained why they chose to go in that creative direction, “We didn’t want the series to be set in a certain time. The mindset is that the audience can’t pinpoint if it’s taking place in the future or in the past. The cars are bit older and the furniture is a bit retro “
While the show has universal themes, the language and music are very British. This is not a disadvantage, but the creatives were asked what they hoped an American audience would take away from it.
“There’s more eyes on British culture now more so than ever. It’s a great time to celebrate British cinema, music and culture as a whole. The world is getting smaller, yeah, we have certain language barriers but in general what ‘Jungle’ epitomizes is reverberated through the world and in every inner city. We hope that’s what people take from it,” Okoli shared.
The other strength of this show is that it is not just another crime show, but it shows what causes people to turn to crime. There are universal themes at work, such as a lack of employment opportunities, othering, and systemic racism.
“I think this is the show that is going to change people’s mind of what you perceive of it because of what is seen on the surface. As the series progresses, the audience is going to see that there is more depth to these characters. I think this is really going to shed a light on why people make the choices that they make. By the time they are done watching the series they will walk away with a message,” Appeti expounded.
Crime may be the enticing object that draws viewers in, but once they take a seat, they will quickly realize that the intent is to educate the audience on why generation after generation will make the same decisions. Okoli and Appeti are using the flash to challenge viewers’ biases and investigate how the cycle can be broken.
Aside from the great story, the musical aspect is an added treat for the audience.
Tinie Tempah, Dizzie Rascal, and Big Narstie have smaller roles but bring musical pedigree to this one-of-a-kind project.
Up and coming talent like RA, K Koke, and Poundz are well known on the London music scene but this show will expose their gift to a bigger audience.
“Jungle” is a show that will reward you for your patience with a great cast, stellar music, a great story, and outstanding cinematography.
The show is currently streaming on Prime Video.