This review contains spoilers.
For a forty-five minute episode, this week’s instalment is as packed as JP’s satchel as he stalks the fresher’s fair for freebies. Howard is driven to discovering his new self after being snubbed by BP for an internship in favour of soul(patch) man Kingsley. JP is trying to dream up a future where tanks and helicopters are fused into the ultimate war machine. Oregon has some competition for funding her magazine in the shape of Derek who looks like he’s just stepped out of TOWIE. And Josie is still a horrible, horrible person.
There’s a pacier feel this week as it jumps from thread to thread. Despite so much going on, there are clear through lines that lead up to a neat finale. There are also some great moments crammed in neatly, such as Howard dressed up like a hipster Timmy Mallett. Kingsley’s thread is centre stage for the most part as he has to decide what kind of man he is, a musician or a puppet of ‘The Man’ at BP.
If there’s a loose thread then it’s Oregon’s rivalry with Derek which is poorly set up and resolved. It seems more like a reason to force Oregon and Tony together again than another potentially interesting angle. The rest of this episode hangs together really well though as events reach a satisfyingly sticky end.
Tom Basden, the writer for this episode, is also behind the excellent radio sitcom Party which features the misadventures of a group of idealistic but misguided young adults. And here he displays the same flair for quickfire snappy dialogue that’s filled with great lines, Heather and Kingsley’s argument being a great example. The Fresh Meat gang has never been written this well, even if Josie is still too much of a cartoon villain.
However, it’s precisely because of how well this episode works that makes it seem out of place with the series as a whole. This is perhaps the closest Fresh Meat has come to realising its potential yet its still frustratingly far from perfect. The scene with Josie and Kingsley is great but ultimately doesn’t work because, well, Josie and Kingsley are still inherently unlikeable. But none of that detracts from what is a solid and entertaining episode.
Read Jake’s review of the previous episode, here.
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