Fresh Meat Series 3 Episode 1 (Channel 4) Review


They’re back! After pretty much a full year away, the Fresh Meat gang are back for their second year in Manchester, and there’s change afoot. Josie has stayed true to her promise of attending Southampton University, leaving room for a brand new resident in the newly Christened “Pussy Haven”. As you may remember from series two’s finale, JP has bought the student house and has big plans for how to use it. Enter a hot tub party; in Manchester; in October.

We begin with an over the top declaration of how much sex JP, Kingsley and Howard (maybe not Howard) are going to get now that they’re second years, and this entry into the show is a familiar one for any fans that have stuck with it for three years. We always start with JP being overconfident, brash and abusing his friendships but, inevitably, he’s humanised over the course of the eight episodes. This recycled arc hasn’t become familiar enough to irritate quite yet – but this might be the year.

Another thing doomed to repeat is the Kingsley/Josie love story that has plagued this show for far too long. It looked as if we might have been making some progress, with Kingsley promising to shave off his soul patch and Josie agreeing to a string of dates (but not to be his girlfriend). The trouble is, Heather is waiting for Kingsley when he gets home from the house visit to Southampton, and she has a pretty good reason for not contacting him over the summer. I was tired of this love triangle last year, and I’m still tired of it now.

A brighter spot is the character development of Howard and his burgeoning friendship with JP. Having finally been deflowered during the second series, Howard wants more where that came from and enlists JP as his guide. Of course, he’s not the most selfless of companions and, when Howard catches the attention of a cute psychology student who’s not the least bit interested in JP, tensions arise. We end with Howard, for some reason to do with loyalty or self-consciousness, doesn’t attend the date they set up.

And we have two new residents of the house – innocent first year Candice and slightly unwelcome boyfriend for Vod. He’s followed her and Oregon home from Mexico and now refuses to leave. How Vod will react to being trapped in a relationship should be fun to watch, but the constant translating is likely to causes Oregon some grief. She’s the only character not to really get her own storyline in this premiere, and I just hope it has nothing to do with English professor, his wife or his son.

So, on the whole, this is a weaker premiere simply because of the recycled storylines, but there’s still a glimmer of hope for certain characters. No matter what, it’s just good to have Fresh Meat back on our telly screens. What did you think of the episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Fresh Meat airs on Channel 4 in the UK.