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Fresh Meat is a television series which is shown on channel 4. The first series was broadcast in September 2011. This is a film only review as I watched the series on Netflix though it is also available on 4od for free.
==What is it about?==
Fresh Meat focuses on a university house of freshers during their first term at Manchester university. Of course they have their fair share of obstacles to tackle and the series makes light of these common and not so common first term problems.
The series begins on the day that the students all move in to their student accommodation which is good because as they get to know one another, we get to know them too.
Howard is already at the house and has been living there for a while before everyone else moved in. It is fair to say Howard is a little eccentric. He has a ginger beard, wears large, thick glasses and is definitely not your typical student. He is a little bit weird and really doesn't fit in with the other housemates at all.
Vod is my favourite female character, I love her! Vod's real name is Violet but I imagine that her nickname comes from her love of alcohol and having fun. She is game for anything and a bit of a tomboy. In all honesty I'm not sure whether she knows what shes doing at university, let alone anyone else!
Oregon is a fashion conscious teen who is blatantly out to impress. You can see she is desperate to fit in and therefore her views are often quickly changed to match those of Vod. She idolises Vod and would do anything to be more like her, even if it means jeopardising her education.
Kingsley is a bit of a geek. He arrives at Manchester to study Geology and immediately falls for a fellow housemate, Josie. He, like Oregon is desperate to fit in and therefore gives himself a nickname which suggests he is more than popular with the ladies which couldn't be further from the truth!
Josie is your typical girl next door. She is loveable and has come to Manchester to study dentistry. She has a boyfriend back home and is a bit more focused on her education than some of her fellow housemates!
JP is the houses toff. He is very well spoken and grew up in Cornwall where he went to a private school. He knows a couple of others attending the university and is desperate to be in with them but for some reason, they just don't want him. JP is absolutely hilarious!
1 - This episode shows the students arriving at the house and getting to know one another. They go down to their local to get to know one another a little more which is where we first come across JP.
2 - The housemates are annoyed that they are in a university house rather than halls and they are worried they are missing out. They decide to throw a party and Josie appears to be coming out of herself, until her boyfriend appears that is.
3 - Kingsley is mesmorised by a girl on another course and as a result of this changes from Geology to Drama! Josie decides to arrange a charity date night.
4 - A drunken evening results in the housemates talking about past relationships and Kingsley comes out with a rather elaborate story in an attempt to cover up the truth.
5 - The gang head to London to attend a protest march. Vod and Oregon decide that they wish for it to be a far from peaceful protest and take pigs blood with them!
6 - JP meets his father for lunch and learns that he has been ill. Some of the gang decide to take their party life to the next level by trying acid but before they can all start JP receives a call from home...
7 - Josie's boyfriend invites himself to move in with the students which Josie is unsure about. The housemates take an immediate disliking to Dave but he manages to win most of them round.
8 - JP's friends from school decide to organise a huge party. He is desperate to be involved but it clashes with an important family arrangement back home in Cornwall...
The series is quite a laid back series despite all of the partying that takes place. A lot of the scenes take place in the house which is nice as it means we get to really know the characters. The mix of characters is perfect and I cant imagine that you could find a much more diverse range of people but despite this they all gel together really well.
I really enjoyed watching the housemates get to know one another and by the end of the series they really are like family which is lovely as moving away to university can be a very scary time. Initially I was worried that Howard wouldn't fit in at all and to be honest he doesn't but the others accept this and welcome him into the fold.
Each episode is full of comedy moments but there is also drama to accompany this and at times the series has made me feel quite sad for the characters or angry about how someone is being treated. The series is light hearted and there is a lot of focus on the student lifestyle alongside their education. The characters in the house are a bit extreme and I certainly didn't manage to come across anyone quite like them when I went to uni but of course you do see aspects of typical students in each character.
My favourite characters are JP and Vod purely for their entertainment factor. I love JP because whilst being much more outgoing than the others when it comes to drugs and experiences he is also very naïve. He has been brought up with plenty of money and therefore his world is quite small. Some things he says are hilarious and he often comes out with absolutely superb one liners which have me creased over. He comes with the assumption that money can buy anything and he is more than willing to put this theory to the test. Vod and JP are similar in the ways that they just want to party but Vod comes from a much more modest background and therefore has a more realistic view of the world. Together the pair are absolutely hilarious and I really look forward to their scenes.
The acting in the series is very strong. I had seen most of the actors in other things prior to this and all of them perform to a very high standard. I do think that Fresh Meat hasn't quite received the recognition it deserves because although it is well known amongst student communities I find that not many people have actually seen it.
Each episode begins on a new story but it does tend to follow on from the previous episodes. However, if you miss an episode it really doesn't matter too much as you can easily pick up what is going on and what you have missed.
Each episode lasted for an hour when shown on TV but the runtime of the actual programme when no adverts are shown is around 40-45 minutes. I like the length and think it is perfect, 30 minutes would be too short in my opinion and this length allows you to really get into the story before it is all over again!
The series has a number of writers who worked on the episodes including:
Zawe Ashton as Vod
Charlotte Ritchie as Oregon
Kimberley Nixon as Josie
Jack Whitehall as JP
Joe Thomas as Kingsley
Greg McHugh as Howard
Supporting actors include:
The first series won a number of awards including Best New Comedy (British Comedy Awards: 2011) and Best TV Show (NME: 2012),
A second series was aired in the Autumn of 2012. The first series is available to buy on DVD and a third series is currently being produced.
I really enjoyed this series and I have watched it more than once. It is an easy to watch comedy that has a laid back writing style and it is very entertaining. The acting is perfect and there are many familiar faces playing leading roles. I believe that fans of shows such as The Inbetweeners or Friday Night Dinner will love this comedy and I will definitely be watching the third series as soon as it airs. If the producers were to make a spin off show or even a film I am certain that I would enjoy it just as much as this first series. Recommended for any fans of comedy, especially students but if you prefer comedy without explicit language then this probably isn't for you.
Fresh Meat delves into the life of a group of six young students starting out at University. It is a comedy series which consists of 8 episodes. There are some familiar faces in this series.
Each episode is often based around a certain character, the first episode introduces the characters nicely and allows us to see what they are really like and why they are in this rented student accomodation all together. they start off as individuals who do not know each other and as the series progresses the students find themselves in some awkward and tricky situations and some situations that many students can relate too.
JP (played by Jack Whitehall)- A posh boy from the country who didn't make it into a 'proper' University. He likes to think of himself as one of a kind someone who shouldn't need to be associated with people who do not have wealth or brains like him. He has some strange bonds with the other students, he irritates them all but always looks to them when he needs help. He starts off the series trending on peoples toes a little which is no surprise seeing has he has one of the most bizarre personalities the house mates have ever set eyes upon. He doesn't care what people really think of him though but because he is rich his so called 'friends' sponge off of him for money, JP see's nothing wrong with this as he feels its makes him look a popular and like a nice person which will help him attract 'girls'. JP's parents don't often keep in contact he has a very respectful relationship with his parents and a snesible one if only they knew what he really acted like especially when drunk their opinions of there posh little son might dramatically change.
Oregon (played by Charlotte Ritchie)- Oregon has been brought up well, very polite and well educated, but she doesn't want to be known as Melissa so she reinvents herself and uses the name Oregon. Her aim is too be cool and try and fit in by making up stories and acting like a completely different person? Her friendships with her housemates are tested by this. She is worried people may think she is boring so tries to act like someone else sleeping with a teacher and failing her coursework too try and act cool and fit in. All Melissa/Oregon really wants is to have cool friends and seem like a hardcore person but in fact she is a nice person anyway who drives a normal car like many students and has money and the knowledge to survive at University. Melissa especially looks up to Vod one of her housemates (described below). Vod likes to break the rules, smoke, do drugs, drink alcohol and have a good time. Melissa thinks by changing her name and acting like a 'cool' person she will fit in more but truthfully it is clear throughout the series her lies will eventually catch up with her and who knows maybe her housemates will like her for who she is when she cuts out all of the lies.
Josie (played by Kimberley Nixon)- Arrives from Wales her ambition to be a dentist. She is very helpful around the house and gets on with everyone, she has some feelings for a housemate but it wasn't the housemate she hooked up with on the first night in there new home which made things awkward for people as they didn't really know each other then. Josie has some hilarious one liners and often makes people feel weird when she comes out with them, for instance when she was sleeping with this housemate she said something along the lines of 'hump me with your massive ****' to try and get him in the mood. Her feelings for another housemate soon develop as the series goes on but has she left it too late to say something and make a move? Oh i forgot to mention she does have a boyfriend called Dave that she left in Wales for University as well. Josie is a pleasant housemate at most times but does have a mouth on her and does like to make sure she is heard a lot of the time.
Vod (Played by Zawe Ashton)- an independent individual, who has come from a rough background, she likes to drink, smoke and break the rules. She never really bothers to much to do her coursework until the last minute. She is very relaxed and Oregon wishes she could be just like Vod, infact Oregon just wants to try and impress her and others around her. Vod doesn't really get to grips very well with doing work at University instead likes to feel young and have a good time and she definitely does a fantastic job at this. As the series goes on a lot of her housemates are intrigued about her sexuality due to her Butch look people think she may not be entirely straight as people confront her on this matter Vod doesn't really know herself she thinks she is straight and hasn't doen anything for people to think otherwise but is so laid back about it she doesn't think anything of it or even care.
Kingsley (played by Joe Thomas)- Kingsley has been through a lot with his mother looking after her for years before deciding to make something of his life, he is very music orientated and looks forward to meeting new people and enjoying life but he is still hesitant about the experience. He is a mature student who has progressive feelings for another housemate as the series goes along. But is it too late for anything to happen will they ruin their chance? Kingsley almost feels sometimes that he is better than the other housemates and doesn't always think that their time is worth anything. Although Kingsley being intellectually stupid is persuades to change University causes as a joke, he does so but realises after it is all finalised his friend didn't actually change course either. Silly Kingsley!
Howard (played by Greg McHugh)- before the other students arrived Howard was already living in the house. He likes to think of himself as a recluse who hides away in his room playing with his gadgets. He has a very strong accent and some hilarious one liners. It is safe to say he is a character who can make people feel very awkward. In the second series things with Howard get deeper as he starts to actually show an attraction to one lady imparticular which confuses him as he is usually the only housemate who never shows feelings about anything or to anyone.
My Opinion- Fresh Meat is a very funny show all the students have very different personalities and all get themselves in some strange situations to say the least. They do what most students do drink, have fun, get themselves into trouble but unfortunately not all of them actually do well in Uni. By the end of the series we get a feel of what they are all really like and why they are in this bizzare house. They all do their own thing but at the ed of it no matter how many disagreements they have had they are all like one weird big family. All some big personalities and some challenging events for them in this series but they all get on well and in very different ways attempt to make the most of their first year at University for better or worse well you will have to watch to find out.
The actors are incredible and most of all believable, students may watch this and realise that their lives aren't far from this. For me I am going to University this year, if I ended up in a house with people like this it would make University worth it and I hope I would make friends just like these. Hoping of course not to get lead astray though or get myself into to much trouble!
All housemates take a journey through the series whether good or bad they all learn something from it which leads onto a funnier series 2. Series 2 is hilarious and dives deeper into their lives ad what they actually do on a daily basis whilst at University. Truly impressive series some hilarious scenes that must have been awkward to film and overall a massive laugh.
Fresh Meat Series 1 DVD costs around £14 and is truly worth the money, guaranteed a laugh and maybe you can relate to some of the scenes or might hope one day to relate to them!