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Watching "Fresh Meat"

Started by Mobius, June 12, 2022, 10:27:45 PM

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Mobius

Never saw this when it came out, but it's on Amazon Prime so I'm watching a few episodes a night. Quite enjoying it, bit of an Inbetweeners/Skins sort of mix obviously.

I think Jack Whitehall might be the best thing in it, which is something I never thought I'd say. Simon off Inbetweeners playing himself again, which I'm fine with. Always nice to see Charlotte Ritchie too. Tony Gardner is great as the pathetic teacher.

Decent show really, nice to have something I haven't watched before to enjoy anyway. Was anyone a fan?

Fambo Number Mive

I enjoyed it, was a bit jealous all the characters enjoyed university a lot more than I did. I didnt like the character of Vod much, the actress who plays her is excellent but I just found the actual character rather irritating and obnoxious.


neveragain

Opposite here - I loved Vod. Actually found all the characters very watchable and, when it was on, I would look forward to spending time with them again (with the exception of Joe Thomas, but even then his guy's romance with Josie held my interest for quite a while). Probably helps that I'd just finished uni and missed my bunch of lowlives and misfits.

My view at the time was it stopped short of being a genuinely brilliant show by not taking enough risks in terms of plotting and characterisation. I'm not entirely sure what I meant by that but I think it was too sitcommy at times, and an actual warts and all drama series about the precarious silliness of uni life would have been fab. Oh, and sometimes the dialogue was a bit too crude. Not that I mind that in theory but it went overboard at times.

Best bits - JP and Oregon's dying horse, the Withnail & I-ish wine consumption in JP's old soon-to-be-sold-off house, Josie's mental dental exam, Robert Webb's pathetically needy lecturer, Vod's retort "You're a railway museum!" and her one fourth-wall breaking look to camera which I found hilarious.

damien

#3
If it's like the Netflix version with all the original music and soundtrack songs replaced with generic pap it really sucks by comparison and some of the gags don't work as well. The original one is still up here though;


https://www.channel4.com/programmes/fresh-meat


Utter Shit

I really enjoyed Fresh Meat at the time but remember almost nothing about it and have no real desire to watch it again. However this:

Quote from: neveragain on June 12, 2022, 11:21:49 PMher one fourth-wall breaking look to camera which I found hilarious.

...is the one bit I really remember well and it still makes me laugh. It was so unexpected and silly.


sutin

I watched it and really liked Jack Whitehall in it. I couldn't understand why everyone hated him because I hadn't seen him in anything else.

dead-ced-dead

Quote from: sutin on June 13, 2022, 10:36:19 AMI watched it and really liked Jack Whitehall in it. I couldn't understand why everyone hated him because I hadn't seen him in anything else.

Jack Whitehall was my MVP of the show. It really turned me around on him.

Des Wigwam

Watched ages ago and really enjoyed it. Never saw the last series and it's so long ago since I watched that I might go through it on C4 (hadn't realised the Netflix version was chopped up and sanitised).

Wasn't a big Vod fan (the character not Zawe Ashton's turn). Liked Simon from The Inbetweeners a lot and his Ross and Rachel (but horribly realistic) storyline with Josie was good. Thought the Mike-From-Spaced character and his German girlfriend were underrated. The German girlfriend in particular. Jack Whitehall's best thing - although he was ok in that Bad Teacher thing for a while. I didn't know that much about him pre-Fresh Meat either.

This post seems overly pass-agg for something I liked. Will watch.

Agree with @Fambo Number Mive's. assertion that it can be a difficult watch as it makes university look a lot better than it was.

sevendaughters

fourth series is a bit rushed in my view, and I think the show sort of suffers by having Howard and Vod as two Phoebe Buffays (ie. weird adjacent characters to bring in colour, rather than giving them the same inner life as Josie and Kingsley and Oregon and JP). that said I think it is a pretty good show that used the 60 min format to be both funny and dramatic, and it definitely rang true more than false, right down to having attended Man Met and recognising a lot of the places it was shot in (King's Arms as their local a good choice) and knowing lecturers who banged students to make up for their own bougie failings.

Captain Z

I discovered it just as S2 was ending, and really enjoyed it as I caught up before S3. I seem to remember being disappointed that the timeline got a bit lost; S1 and 2 specifically dealt with term 1 and term 2 of the first year IIRC? S3 was set at non-specific periods of their second year, and then there was around a 2 year gap in filming before a rushed S4 returned to try and conclude everything in 6 episodes.

Been thinking of rewatching for a while now so I might join in. I can recall a couple of funny lines that stayed in my head: "beer year/spear year/fear year" and "...and we won't take no for an answer"/"er, no, we will take no for an answer".

Noodle Lizard

I hated it at first and sort of "hate-watched" it for a while before realising I actually didn't hate it after all. I think I was initially disappointed that Armstrong & Bain were behind it, as the sort of mundane misery and alienation of Peep Show could have been perfectly applied to a university setting, whereas this felt quite broad and zany, more akin to The Inbetweeners or Spaced.

I did grow to like it for what it was, though, despite some terrible plotting later on. It also really began to suffer from characters suddenly becoming entirely different people to serve an individual episode's plot, which is a common problem sitcoms without a stable team of writers run into.

Jack Whitehall really is the standout, bizarrely, he's very good in it. Kimberley Nixon's also good, but her character received some pretty poor writing towards the end, and I thought it was strange that they decided to retroactively make her the protagonist by the finale. If anything, Kingsley was clearly supposed to be the writers' avatar at the outset, but Joe Thomas was perhaps a bit too boring to hold the attention above all the rest.

Decent enough show.

neveragain

All good points, especially re: the zaniness.

BritishHobo

I had a lot more fondness for Kingsley than most others here - I think as with Simon in The Inbetweeners they do a great job at making you think he's supposed to be the normal grounded one, when actually he's probably the worst person of them all.

I went back and forth with it a lot. JP was obviously the standout, and he, Oregon, Vod and Howard I really loved. But as has been said, it felt like it could never quite make its mind up as to whether it wanted to be a good drama which invests you in its characters, or go for an Always Sunny "look at these terrible people" thing. Josie and Kingsley's relationship was the thing that always irritated me. Came off like they thought it was a brilliant modern take on a Ross/Rachel will-they-won't-they relationship, but it was just annoying, two horrible people being horrible.

Icehaven

When it was first on I absolutely loved it after thinking I really wouldn't. Agree with the already mentioned weird phenomenon that Jack Whitehall is really unexpectedly good in it, and Vod's fourth wall break was so great. It didn't outstay it's welcome either, which a show about uni arguably never could/should, but I actually could have watched a few more series about what they did next.

Noodle Lizard

I might be one of the few who really didn't like or care about Oregon and Tony Gardner's character (he's called Tony isn't he?) Bar the odd line, all of that stuff was fairly skippable to me. It really annoyed me how they crowbarred Charlotte Ritchie's musical talents out of nowhere into an episode later on down the line, but that's a pet peeve of mine in general. I do like her in Ghosts, though (again, excluding the bits where she's suddenly doing a musical performance).

---

Can we talk about Sabine for a bit? She was a decent side character. I'm sure they were playing into some stereotype about "grumpy Germanic foreigners" or whatever, but I thought it was a clever addition to have her on the fringes of the main cast, occasionally offering her deadpan disapproval/indifference to their shiteness, and Jelka van Houten's performance was brilliantly understated ... for a while.

Of course she was completely ruined by the end of it, culminating in her turning up as some sort of tweaky drug dealer in the final series. Watch that episode again and listen to her dialogue; it's very difficult to believe that role was initially written for her character.

Another side character I really liked was Howard's weird mate from the first series. I imagine a fair few of us Cabbers found him (and early Howard) unpleasantly well-observed. I'm glad he wasn't brought back later as a pimp or something.

sutin

Was it only me who was otherwise unfamilar with Jack Whitehall when Fresh Meat was first on? I still can't totally hate him because of that initial good impression.

Mobius

Quote from: damien on June 13, 2022, 12:21:32 AMIf it's like the Netflix version with all the original music and soundtrack songs replaced with generic pap it really sucks by comparison and some of the gags don't work as well. The original one is still up here though;
https://www.channel4.com/programmes/fresh-meat

Yeh I think you are right, as the Amazon version does seem to have generic poppy rock music (or at least nothing I'm familiar with) compared to Inbetweeners with its recognisable music from the period. I might see if I can torrent series 3 and 4 then, as I can't use C4 outside of England.

I really like Sabine although I'm only on series 2, so she hasn't gone too weird. She's just shagging Howard at the moment. Howard's weird mate is Liam from Benidorm which made me very happy! He was rather sinister.

purlieu

Quote from: Captain Z on June 13, 2022, 01:09:54 PMI discovered it just as S2 was ending, and really enjoyed it as I caught up before S3. I seem to remember being disappointed that the timeline got a bit lost; S1 and 2 specifically dealt with term 1 and term 2 of the first year IIRC? S3 was set at non-specific periods of their second year, and then there was around a 2 year gap in filming before a rushed S4 returned to try and conclude everything in 6 episodes.
Yeah, it probably didn't jar too much if you were watching it as it went out, but I went through the whole thing in one go last year and the timeline is, sadly, nonsense.

I do really enjoy it, anyway. One of those shows that, for all its character angst and such, feels so lovely and warm and friendly and makes me want to live there rather than, y'know, the real world.

dissolute ocelot

Quote from: purlieu on June 14, 2022, 04:52:53 PMYeah, it probably didn't jar too much if you were watching it as it went out, but I went through the whole thing in one go last year and the timeline is, sadly, nonsense.
I seem to remember there were very ambitious plans with the timeline to do 6 or 9 series to represent every term over the entire university process, but that was unrealistic, not least because a lot of the cast went on to starring roles elsewhere.

I enjoyed it a lot at transmission, thanks largely to the great cast, although I thought the last series was a bit weaker. Some characters like Vod didn't really develop much over the run of the show, although Jack Whitehall's surprisingly did show depths. And I found Joe Thomas's character increasingly tiresome (fine as a clueless youngster, annoying with his "I'm going to be a radio DJ", and other things which seemed incredibly low-effort "what do kids think is cool?" writing). Oregon (Charlotte Richie) was great in earlier seasons when she was kind of cool and mysterious but later on she also lost some of her allure, and her relationship with her lecturer didn't feel convincing - ok as a one-off but increasingly awful. I guess despite the grand multi-series plans, the writers hadn't actually thought much about where it was going to go, because a lot of it felt very made-up-on-the-spot, and certainly not enough to sustain a hypothetical 6 series.

BritishHobo

Quote from: Noodle Lizard on June 13, 2022, 11:12:49 PMAnother side character I really liked was Howard's weird mate from the first series. I imagine a fair few of us Cabbers found him (and early Howard) unpleasantly well-observed. I'm glad he wasn't brought back later as a pimp or something.

I'm glad to read this as I think this character did get a bit of a kicking at the time for being too over-the-top. I thought he was great, I loved the bit where they 'break up':

https://youtu.be/KaiNOliM0fU

"Oh, you have feelings now Howard, well well done you."


Des Wigwam

I remember the mysterious flatmate of the first series. I thought it was going to be a cool/lame payoff (or never resolved) but I remember finding it quite upsetting at the time - being able to relate on some level.

Is it that upsetting or was I a bit tired when I watched it? Did it just highlight what arseholes the main cast of characters were?

The missing flatmate bit was bleak, iirc.

The last series had Kingsley pretending to be Italian. That was pretty unfunny.

neveragain

What happened with the missing flatmate again? I can't recall any bleakness.

Icehaven

Quote from: dissolute ocelot on June 15, 2022, 03:02:42 PMI seem to remember there were very ambitious plans with the timeline to do 6 or 9 series to represent every term over the entire university process, but that was unrealistic, not least because a lot of the cast went on to starring roles elsewhere.

I remember once I realised I liked it thinking it was going to be great to have all those series to look forward to. Then I thought about it and how even the younger cast members who were supposed to be 18ish were actually in their early twenties, so they'd be in their thirties after 9 series unless they wrote and filmed them back to back very quickly indeed, which seemed unlikely.

Icehaven

Quote from: neveragain on June 15, 2022, 05:26:41 PMWhat happened with the missing flatmate again? I can't recall any bleakness.

I think you just never saw them, and at some point the main gang realised he/she had lived there briefly then moved out without them ever even meeting them or noticing they'd gone.

Quote from: Icehaven on June 15, 2022, 05:32:11 PMI think you just never saw them, and at some point the main gang realised he/she had lived there briefly then moved out without them ever even meeting them or noticing they'd gone.

Other than the videoing him wanking? Or did I actually just make that up?

Virgo76

Quote from: sutin on June 13, 2022, 11:47:59 PMWas it only me who was otherwise unfamilar with Jack Whitehall when Fresh Meat was first on? I still can't totally hate him because of that initial good impression.
I'm sure not just you. It was only 2011. He didn't do anything major before then. I can no longer remember if I already knew him or not.

Des Wigwam

Quote from: Icehaven on June 15, 2022, 05:32:11 PMI think you just never saw them, and at some point the main gang realised he/she had lived there briefly then moved out without them ever even meeting them or noticing they'd gone.

Yes I think so - I think we found out at the end when his parents came to collect all his stuff - I remember thinking there was a lot of pathos in that. I did think there was some allusion to chronic shyness and a bit of a breakdown. I may well be projecting though.

Was his name Paul? Not sure about the wanking but now I might be making bits up.

Icehaven

Quote from: Des Wigwam on June 15, 2022, 07:53:18 PMYes I think so - I think we found out at the end when his parents came to collect all his stuff - I remember thinking there was a lot of pathos in that. I did think there was some allusion to chronic shyness and a bit of a breakdown. I may well be projecting though.

Was his name Paul? Not sure about the wanking but now I might be making bits up.

His name was indeed Paul Lamb. I've just rewatched the first few eps and he's not seen yet, and I'm almost certain he never is but will stand corrected if I've misremembered.

Noodle Lizard

He's never seen, but Howard (somehow) gets hold of some footage of him wanking in an unusual manner. I believe JP shares this around with his posho mates, and Howard "takes a wank bullet" and says it was him. At some point, Paul's mum comes round and tells Howard he was his best friend and that he'd had a nervous breakdown. Something like that anyway. He's gone by the second series.

It was a fun enough idea to have an unseen housemate, but I could've done without the wanking stuff.