Fresh Meat (Channel 4) Series 2 Episode 2 Review

Fresh Meat

This week’s Fresh Meat gets back to basics with some hilariously mundane student situations, amplified and overblown for our viewing pleasure. JP gets a killer illness, Josie and Kingsley’s stand-off continues, and Vod gets a job as a hotel cleaner.

Something that’s not quite working for me in this second series of Fresh Meat is the focus on Josie and Kingsley as the two main characters. Last year their story was part of an ensemble of equally interested plot-lines but now there’s an unwanted insistence on the couple being the primary focus. Some viewers may enjoy them more than me, of course, but her jealousy over Heather’s presence in the house could get old pretty fast. I’m almost certain that Kingsley first instinct was right, and his new girlfriend (or ‘official’ stalker) is obsessed with him. Josie’s aggressive show of self-defense was funny, and showed her up for the flawed and irrational person she can be.

Money issues are still plaguing Vod, but now the problem has spread to Oregon too. Her rich girl query about the phrase ‘insufficient funds’ (“does the bank have insufficient funds?”) is hilarious, as well as Vod’s reaction to her parents dropping £1000 into her account the next day. Except, it turns out the grand isn’t from her parents, but another ploy from Shales to get back with him. The self-defense storyline comes to fruition here, with Oregon attacking her former lover outside of the house by mistake. I can’t say he doesn’t deserve it, but I would really like to see the story resolve itself pretty soon.

As anyone who’s ever been a student in a shared residence will know, illnesses caught here are probably the worst you’ll ever have (disparate germs + bad diet = death). This week, we get to see JP cope with what Howard diagnoses as mumps, and it comes down to Vod to become his personal servant. Rape alarms given out by Josie end up being used across the house as bells for assistance (“I’m sort of being raped by my lack of soup”), and it takes until the end of the episode for her to throw in the towel.

My only problem with this plot thread, which was actually pretty hilarious, was the reappearance of his posh school friends, who formed a big part of his character development last year. As with Oregon and her dumping Shales, why bother including triumphant character moments in the finale if those actions are going to be unwritten as soon as the new series starts? JP taking the drugs just so he can fit in didn’t sit right with me, and I’d much rather see more of Giles on Fresh Meat than reintroduce these well-trodden situations.

Meanwhile, Sabine’s still living in the house and making everyone extremely uncomfortable, and I’m not sure where the writers are taking her character. Maybe we’ll get a new housemate at the start of each series, and her presence will end in a few weeks time, but she at least generates a few more situations for the guys to navigate. The group’s reaction to her not drinking alcohol was particularly on the nose (“what do you do when you’re happy, or sad, or nervous or bored?”), and her mini self-defense class is the driving force behind many of the resolutions this week. Like Kingsley, I don’t dislike her, but I’m not sure I like here either.

What did you think of the episode? Do we need to see less of Kingsley and Josie? Would you like to see Giles appear again? Let us know in the comments.