Fresh Meat series 2 episode 5 review

This week's Fresh Meat is enjoyable, but Jake can't shake the feeling the show's still not living up to its potential...

This review contains spoilers.

Let’s talk about Josie for a minute here. She started out as a wide-eyed innocent eager to make the most of her uni experience, even going so far as to get busy with JP within minutes of meeting him. But it’s always been Kingsley she’s had eyes for, if only there wasn’t that small matter of her fiancé in the first series. For whatever reason, this was the big focus of the first series which would have been okay if both of them were likeable. Now we’re firmly into series two, Josie has morphed from self-centred teenager to cartoon psychopath! First she breaks her best friend’s arm without showing an ounce of remorse and then she actively attempts to ruin Kingsley’s relationship. It’s just a bit difficult trying to get behind her when she’s such a horrible person! 

This week though, Josie outdoes herself by not only being indirectly responsible for the flat being burgled but by maiming someone’s face. Rewind to the start, it starts as it always does with a night out on the lash. Josie and Heather looking like week one X Factor contestants hit the town for a girls night out. Which prompts JP and Kingsley to have a boys’ (plus Vod and Oregon) night out in competition. The trouble is, Josie went and left her keys in the door. Realising her mistake, she dashes back to find out they’ve been hit by the most efficient burglars known to man who’ve managed to empty the house in less than an hour! In order to claim the insurance, she fakes a break-in complete with “Fuck You” smeared in marmite on the mirror. Amazingly, she failed to consider that she has a dental practical the morning after. With an actual patient. There then follows a scene that even the Saw franchise would think went a bridge too far. 

Elsewhere in this episode, love/lust is in the air. Howard is besotted with Sabine after their tryst last week and Vod through her hungover gaze, sees the love of her life. Or at least a long afternoon anyway. And Oregon talks poetry with a cute librarian though she’s still wary of the whole relationship thing after her dalliance with the lecturer Tony. 

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There’s a lot to like about this episode, not least of which is Josie finally having to face up to her wrongdoings. The thread with Vod catching a dose of love has some great moments when she attempts to woo the handyman. There’s a nice but all-too-brief turn from Sanjeev Kohli, co-writer and creator of the excellent Fags, Mags and Bags. Howard playing detective and there’s the aforementioned dental practical which… isn’t a comfortable watch. But for all of its efforts, this weeks episode is a bit of a step-down. Penelope Skinner can’t quite join all the threads together and as a result this episode just feels like it’s going through the motions. 

Read Jake’s review of the previous episode, here.

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