Fresh Meat Series 3 Episode 8 (Channel 4) Review


It’s not always a bad thing for a sitcom as often drama-straddling as Fresh Meat to finish it’s series’ off on a sombre note, and that was the case here. Series three was probably the least weighty and the least funny year of the Channel 4 show to date, but these last couple of episodes have at least succeeded in bringing some long-brewing annoyances to a close. That includes Josie and Kinglsey’s endless flirtation and Howard’s loneliness, as well as Vod and Oregon’s increasingly dysfunctional friendship and the war between Kinglsey and JP introduced last week.

The end to Kinglsey and Josie’s short-lived relationship was surprisingly touching, since it brought up for me the transitory nature of relationships forged during university years. In the end it wasn’t Sam, Noah or JP who broke them up, but a realisation that, if you truly want to stay friends with someone after university has finished, it’s probably not a good idea to stay in an intense relationship. Like it or not, these two could never have been casual – there was too much build up and too much invested – and their breakup was as amicable and moving as we ever could have expected. I assume this episode also brought the Josie/JP thing to a close.

But someone’s love life was going well in this finale, as Howard and Candice finally got over their mutual awkwardness and went on a proper date. I was surprised and delighted that this played out as smoothly as it did, and am looking forward to seeing how Candice might fit into the central cast now that she has her own attachment to one of its members. Does this mean she’ll stay in the sixth room for longer than one series? It’d be a first, but then Sabine was allowed to stay in the vicinity after she vacated the house. No matter what, the character has been successful as both a foil for Oregon and a love interest for Howard.

And speaking of Oregon, after winning the election she and Vod will have to deal with the troubles of student government – at least they made up in time. The most amusing part of the episode was probably Vod’s coerced homophobic rant given in an effort to get Oregon elected over her, and then Giles’ reaction to her sentiments. Fresh Meat could be accused of poking fun at the rich a little too often, but I have to admit JP and his friends are characters that never fail to make me titter. If one thing was missing for this third series, however, it was the previously-assured redemption arc for JP.

This wasn’t an entirely unsuccessful year for the show, but it was a year full of strange decisions, languishing plotlines and far too much repetition for it to keep its freshness. Fresh Meat used to have the power to speak a language that no one else was using on television, and for that reason alone could appeal to the jaded Skins generation who had grown tired of stylised dramas and American imports. It still speaks that language now but the universality of the comedy has departed somewhere along the way. I guess that just means that aged graduates like me will have a hard to grasping it’s lunacy from time to time.

What did you think of the episode, and the series? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.