Review: Fresh Meat

Imogen Sebba 6 November 2013

Let’s face it, we know what’s going to happen in Fresh Meat. The misfit collection of students is back in the house, now nicknamed ‘Pussy Haven’ (as chosen by Jack Whitehall’s JP, who may not be quite as bad as the devil, but manages to steal most scenes with the best lines, with references ranging from Caligula’s horse to Fergie’s tampax). There’s a newbie in the mix, of course, in the form of home-schooled Candice, who the gang are simply tripping over themselves to lead astray, trying to convince her of how totally cool they are. Oregon and Vod return from South America as even greater caricatures of themselves ("I was such a dick on my year off. I thought I knew everything. Now I know everything").

You know what you’re getting with a sitcom like this. Even in its first series it was discussed with excitement at how similar it was going to be to other things. A hot-tub party JP throws is painful to watch; it couldn’t be anything else. And finding out that Kingsley’s relationship with Heather isn’t as over as he thought, after he’s finally worked things out with the Southampton-bound Josie is the most direct plot twist. Sadly, there are only so many stories to be told.

But while the situations may be old, the comedy certainly isn’t. Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong do dialogue better than almost anyone in the business: watching the individual scenes is almost better than watching the whole episode. Oregon translating Spanish foreplay is relentlessly funny; the group debating whether or not to have an orgy is bizarre but brilliant; and Howard pining after his date without the nerve to go in is very touching. These moments are enough for me: I will watch the rest of the series, very happily, but not because I care a jot about what happens to the gang this year.