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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 donít quite marry their themes to their content, or something. Basically: good effort, could do better.

Like many ďcomedy dramasĒ, 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. Itís mainly because these two havenít had a sweet moment since the first few weeks, only an parade of obstacles, and in response theyíve acted horrendously.

Characters donít have to be lovely, especially in comedy, but Josie and Kingsleyís hopeless romance isnít that funny and itís 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 Iím 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 Howardís dating, but itís all felt unbalanced, and canít 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 ďseriousĒ 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 theyíve already been renewed for a second year, and Iíll be watching as I want to see what happens next. But Fresh Meat is still a being of two halves, which they canít quite resolve. If you want to join my confusion, the whole series is still up on 4OD. Enjoy.

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