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18th November 2011 10:08:00
Posted by Nick Bryan

Fresh Meat: Series 1 - Final Review

End of term for Fresh Meat, and those easy student comparisons make writing these reviews a treat. Suffice to say, a valiant effort, but they don’t quite marry their themes to their content, or something. Basically: good effort, could do better.

Like many “comedy dramas”, the funny end of Fresh Meat suffered as they built to their dramatic finale, with even formerly-amusing character Vod dragged into the Josie/Kingsley/Oregon vortex of angst. The task of being funny fell to the reliable duo of Howard and JP, and they did it well.

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The serious storylines, however, were a mixed bag. Josie and Kingsley managed to induce frustration that Ross and Rachel took five or six years to accomplish in Friends, and they had 22-episode seasons. It’s mainly because these two haven’t had a sweet moment since the first few weeks, only an parade of obstacles, and in response they’ve acted horrendously.

Characters don’t have to be lovely, especially in comedy, but Josie and Kingsley’s hopeless romance isn’t that funny and it’s the only thing they ever get involved in. Except the time Kingsley switched courses, and that was good. So come on, guys: either do your business or get off the toilet and do something else.

If it sounds like I’m frustrated with Fresh Meat, I am. It's a bit like my vexation in the midway review, only more so. There have been good moments in the latter half, especially the student protests episode and Howard’s dating, but it’s all felt unbalanced, and can’t they entertain me more?

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Credit to the cast, whose likability saw me through the duller episodes. Even when Kingsley and Josie were acting like arseholes, Joe Thomas and Kimberley Nixon portrayed them firmly as nice people trying too hard. And Jack Whitehall made a decent go of the heavy-handed “serious” storyline dumped on his JP character in latter weeks, whilst still getting all the good jokes.

And in the end, little is resolved. Good job they’ve already been renewed for a second year, and I’ll be watching as I want to see what happens next. But Fresh Meat is still a being of two halves, which they can’t quite resolve. If you want to join my confusion, the whole series is still up on 4OD. Enjoy.