As life moves on, so must our TV shows. Yes uni days have come to an end for the cast of Fresh Meat as they bowed out with the fourth series of the university based show. How would our six housemates do out in the real world…? It’s fair to assume pretty poorly, however more importantly how did they do in their final year?
Before I get started I may as well start with one of the biggest issues I have with Fresh Meat as a series. It’s called ‘Fresh Meat’, something which nods to the fact that they are freshers, which by the third series is no longer the case. The show should either just have been about their first year or they should have changed the name of the show for the last two series. It’s pedantic but it always bothered me.
Onto the series as a whole, I think that it’s a good thing that it is finished; it had very much run its course before this series and one episode in you could already tell that the writers had run out of ideas and were just finishing it for finishing sake. That in itself is rather sad, because the first couple of series were very good and a bit different. Maybe it’s a metaphor for university, how you start off and it’s all fun and games but by the last year you just want to get it over with as all the enjoyment has been sucked out.
That’s the problem with the fourth series of Fresh Meat, the last year of university is by far the least interesting, due to all the studying required as you make a mad scramble to make up for years of inaction, so the writers went along with that, the problem being it doesn’t make good TV. Does anyone really want to see Vod struggle away with all her studying? Not really, especially when what made the character successful was the total opposite.
Series three of Fresh Meat was hurt by the fact that they tried to make JP a sympathetic character, something he just isn’t and series four was no different. They introduced Tomothy for some reason, because what the show really needed was some buzzkill in his thirties showing up to tell people they need to study more. Where is the sympathy for some upper class guy being forced into a job he will hate, when you know (and by the end was the case) that he can do whatever he wants and will still end up living in Chelsea and not short of a bob or two?
The thing being the originally Kingsley was supposed to be the main character who everyone could relate to, however they sadly discovered that nobody likes Kingsley because he is a pretentious twat (Joe Thomas just playing himself then…), so instead switched the focus of the show over to JP. Don’t get me wrong, JP is a good character and despite being a terrible stand up Jack Whitehall is good in Fresh Meat, however he isn’t the sort of character who can carry a show, and that showed in the last two series where the quality plummeted.
Oregon’s story hit the shitter, as she managed to consistently get worse throughout the series, in the end getting her comeuppance with a bad degree, dreams crushed and impeached, fair enough, not everyone can get a happy ending. Josie was a total afterthought this series and barely did anything than fuck JP, the couple nobody wanted. Howard is probably the most consistent character throughout the series; however he too was shuffled to the back of the pack as less likable characters took the forefront.
Fresh Meat was a character based comedy, yet in the fourth series they managed to fuck most of that up. JP isn’t a leading man, Oregon and Kingsley are flat out not in any way likable, they neutered Vod and Howard and Josie were kicked out to the fringes.
Overall Fresh Meat is what it is, this series was two episodes shorter than the other three and it felt rushed, not that I really wanted any more. They struggled with storylines because sadly studying a lot isn’t really an interesting thing to watch on TV. I’ve said it already and I’ll say it again, Fresh Meat should have been a show about the first year of university, as soon as they moved out of that territory the show started to struggle, finally falling flat on its face with its final incarnation. If I was to use one character to fully describe Fresh Meat it would be Kingsley, started off as something interesting before slowly becoming something else which made you want to turn the channel more than watch on.
Series four of Fresh Meat was more than a little past its sell by date. The show ended up too far away from its original premise, and although you could argue that it’s because the characters all grew and changed (fair enough) it in my opinion felt more that the writers got lazy and fell into using character extremes as a way around writing a better script.
So leave a comment on the mess that was Fresh Meat series 4. Was I too harsh on this series or the series as a whole? Did you enjoy watching an upper classer not struggle to get a job? Fuck Kingsley and Joe Thomas can’t act for shit? Leave a comment and let me know.
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