“Everybody’s got a vibe Howard, yours is the whole NHS specs, chronic masterbator, Lord of the Rings fan vibe.” -Vod Fresh Meat
Fresh Meat is an outrageous British comedy that underneath reflects a very real college experience. The trials and tribulations of first year university students, or “freshers” as they say in the U.K., dealing with finding friends, love, and beer is shown in a comically accurate way.
The series revolves around six university students spending their first year, at the fictional Manchester Medlock University, in an off campus house. It stars JP, the unbearably posh douchelord mate most people have come across, Josie sweet-natured and innocent, Kingsley, kind and awkward, Oregon, desperate to reinvent herself and become cool, Howard, the strange Scottish geek of indeterminate age, and my personal favorite the blunt and punky Vod. After a two year hiatus Fresh Meat has returned March 2, with its fourth and final season.
These unlikely friends have to deal with popular college topics such as leaving home for the first time, reinventing yourself, where to find drugs and parties, high school relationships, managing relationships with professors, choosing the right major, and the often disastrous decision of hooking up with friends.
Those of you who have already experienced your freshman year will be surprised at how accurate the show depicts the lives of “freshers”. Fresh Meat had me both remembering fondly and cringing at the memory of my own freshman year. Let me be clear, all of the characters are terribly selfish people who always seem to get in each other’s way, but who isn’t at 17. I know during my freshman year my friends and I were equally terrible. Still that sense of invincible irresponsibility is an important part of young adults coming of age and discovering who they are. The depiction of new, soon to be, lifelong friends that you both love and at some point hate, is perfectly depicted.
Fans of American college comedies such as Blue Mountain State, and Undeclared, are sure to find interest in Fresh Meat. The light hearted and absurd comedy is often over the top outrageous also touches on some of the deeper issues that most students have faced. These include the divorce of parents, deaths in a friends family, overdose, and heartbreak.
The reliability and nostalgia of Fresh Meat makes it a highly recommended show for currently enrolled or graduated students. It made me want to break out the old red solo cups and play some good old fashioned college drinking games. Top marks for Fresh Meat.
Published April 5, 2016. The Siskiyou.