I Love Fresh Meat

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But there is nothing I love more than embarrassing promo shots, and this is a winner. Well, the closest thing to a winner we’ve had since the late ’90s. There’s enough gazing off-screen, crossed arms, and “THIS IS WHAT OUR CHARACTER IS LIKE” to give Buffy’s promo shots a run for their money.

So, Channel 4’s Fresh Meat. I don’t know if Americans watch it at all, but you should. Maybe. Created by the Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong of Peep Show fame, it’s a dry and often darkly funny show about the life of students in Manchester. When it started I had a while where I was less than excited about it. Shows about teenagers and students especially are usually unrealistic, outrageous, and just a bit too sexy. I started Uni the same month that they did and despite now being a third year while they are just entering their second, I feel I have a lot in common with them. They fuck up constantly, are dirt poor, and live in less than desirable conditions. They have to talk to people they’d rather not, sleep with people they regret, and don’t really have all that much fun. These are all things that are entirely reminiscent of my own experience at Uni – which hasn’t been great. The housemates seem to hang out only with each other and are often hated by the other students which is also realistic. We find ourselves making friends in the first few weeks that quickly drop away and we end up with only a few friends – most of which we are stuck with as they are our class or housemates.

Fresh Meat has been slated a little for its offensive humour, its assumed sexism, and its darker undertones. Personally, I disagree. It has all of these things and so much more – it can be sentimental and sensitive, despite its quick turn back to form. Much like Peep Show it is painfully realistic in terms of what can be expected from being that age and status in England, which is what I like. But it is of course, what I hate. It is agony to see my own pathetic situation on screen, with a little glimpse into the even more pathetic future. But I kind of love it.

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