Cigar Controversy in Netflix’s The Gentlemen Series

On the 7th of March, a highly anticipated Netflix original mini-series debuted on the famous streaming service, a series that I was looking forward to as it’s made by Guy Ritchie, a director and screenwriter I hold in high regard as I love most of his movies since his debut, “Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels.”

“The Gentlemen” is a series adaptation of his 2019 movie with the same name, where Matthew McConaughey plays an American drug lord with a very profitable marijuana business in London. When he wants to sell, all his competitors try to get his business for free. It’s a fun movie and a story fit for a mini-series.

While the series follows a similar subject—marijuana and other crimes—the setup is different. This time, a young duke inherits the estate of his father and finds out that his father was involved with a marijuana cartel. He sets out to free himself from the cartel. And I won’t tell more, as I don’t want to give spoilers. All I’ll say is: go watch “The Gentlemen.” It’s a very enjoyable series with the typical weird Guy Ritchie characters, action, humor; it’s all there.

In episode five, however, the young duke grabs a cigar. His brother comments about the cigar, that it’s a vintage Arturo Fuente OpusX, the favorite cigar of their late father. I was happy, very happy, that for once a non-Cuban cigar was praised on the silver screen. Normally in a setting like that, with rich aristocrats, directors, and screenwriters always go for Cuban cigars. But just a second later, I screamed at the television in disbelief and anger. That precious and delicious vintage OpusX was instantly destroyed as it was lit with a Zippo. And not a Zippo with a butane insert, but a classic Zippo with a gasoline-powered flame.

Now, while I prefer a soft flame (this is the reason why), a gasoline lighter is never an option. And when I say never, I mean never. I’d rather not smoke than light a cigar with a gasoline lighter. The issue is the lighter fluid. It isn’t neutral and leaves a flavor if you light a cigar with it. That flavor isn’t a bonus for the majority of cigar smokers, including me. Of course, there are some people who say they don’t taste the difference, but that’s because their palate is wasted. Gasoline lighters ruin your cigars, and to see someone light a vintage OpusX with a Zippo made me cry on the inside. Even more than an episode later, where a cigar was pushed into an ashtray as if it were a cigarette.

But don’t let my rant stop you from watching the series, as it’s great entertainment, and I hope for a season two.

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