We Recommend: Fresh Meat

Everyone hates students, right? It’s fair enough. Students are really quite annoying. And silly. I say this as someone who was a student until June of this year. It’s like as soon as I put down my pen after that final exam and left to start my working life, a great veil of twatterdom was lifted and I became a normal, reasonable human being.

I’m joking, of course. But that paragraph above is the premise that we all thought Fresh Meat was going to be working off when it started last year — students are wankers, so let’s laugh at them. Fortunately it turned out to be more than that — and was actually a pretty decent show.

Made by the people behind Peep Show, Fresh Meat is about a group of six students who move into a house together for their first year of Uni. There’s a hairy geek, a cool rebel, a posh girl trying to be cool who has an affair with her professor, a will-they-won’t-they couple and JP, a Gap Yah student played to skeevey perfection by Jack Whitehall.

It swings a bit between being a comedy show and a drama, with the story lines sometimes being too serious to be funny and the funny bits having no impact whatsoever on the overall plot. However the episodes got progressively better as the series went on, and by the time I was watching the finale I actually cared what happened to these weird, miserable people.

And I do mean people rather than characters. Josie, the sweet-faced Welsh girl turns out to be scheming and spiteful. Kingsley, the Ross to her Rachel, is immature and pathetic. But then Howard and JP, who start the series as being disgusting and 90% evil respectively, become sympathetic characters towards the end. In the end, you’re not presented with goodies and baddies to cheer or hiss — you’re just given people put in weird situations and are invited to make your own minds up about them.

So, the second series of Fresh Meat starts tonight, and I recommend you checking it out. It’s interesting, it’s engaging, and it provides some of the best watching-behind-your-hands moments that I’ve ever come across. There’s every chance that in this second series it will mature along with its students and grow into the next Green Wing. Or it might fall flat on its face. But either way, you probably don’t want to miss it happening.

Fresh Meat starts at 10pm on Channel 4 tonight.

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