Arts, channel 4, discovery channel, entertainment, Episode, episode 2, Fresh Meat, fresh meat series 2, Heather, Howard, Kingsley, Non-sufficient funds, Oregon, Sabine, Shopping, Sick man of Europe, Television, tv
After the first so-so episode of series 2, I’m not going to say I was worried everything would become stale, I was just eager for the series to pick itself back up and deliver the humour I loved so much of series 1. I can somewhat forgive the first episode, new characters needed introducing and story-lines setup. Now that is done however, this episode needed to bring the laughs. I’m happy to say this is much more the Fresh Meat I got hooked on, maybe not a standout episode but a dam good improvement on the last one. [Spoilers]
There are two main story-lines working their way through this episode, we have the Kingsley/Heather situation and then Vod and JP. I’d like to say this episode is more about Vod than anyone else, we get to see a side of her that isn’t portrayed very often. A caring considerate Vod who’s also working to repay her debts. It’s refreshing to see this side of her character, I think we all knew it was in there somewhere. This ‘new side’ is perfectly balance with the same traits that made Vod such a great character in the first place. I know nothing about the technical aspects of character development (that’s my partner-in-crimes game) but to me it all works and breaks the potential monotony of the stereotypical ‘stoner’ student persona.
The episode kicks off with Kingsley and Howard spying on Josey and Heather through a skylight, ironically discussing Heather being a stalker. Vod is then discussing her meeting with an agency with Oregon, telling her she wanted to be the ‘CEO of the discovery channel’ but ended up being a cleaner.
The gang is all having a drink at the pub when Oregon discovers the student nightmare of ‘insufficient funds’ at the ATM, being the not so secret posho she is, she laughs off the message joking “is that the bank, do they have insufficient funds?” only to be grabbed by Vod’s hand of reality and informed it meant she had no money.
The first part of the episode I don’t like is the play on ‘every student gets wankered and sleeps with half the union‘, maybe it’s because I didn’t do it, I know the show is all about stereotypes but still (this one’s probably just me). Regardless, I still love Vod’s blunt delivery when trying to comprehend Sabine’s lack of alcohol. “What’s that all about!”, “How’s that work?”. Howard finally strolls in with no shoes revealing he’s been mugged, Charlotte Richie’s delivery of “Shit Howard, that is AWful” gets me every time. Another great line shortly after by Vod discusses another one of her crazily named mates experience with a knife gang saying they are “fucking bastards, fucking clever bastards”. Everyone then fears the worst as JP isn’t with them so they all rush home to find him. Turns out JP is in no danger, he’s just the “sick man of Europe”.
The first scene after the break is easily my favourite of the series so far. Vod stomping into work blasting out Slipknot on her headphones and vigorously hovering while bobbing along to the track is just awesome. Telling a fellow college she doesn’t want to make friends, she’s just “like a ninja with pillow chocolates” finishes the scene off beautifully. When Howard finally lets the doctor in JP is diagnosed with mumps and Vod is the only one who can look after him.
Heather finally confront Kingsley and there’s a slightly odd exchange of sheer bullshit. I’m sure us as the viewer are supposed to get the fact Heather is clearly lying but how can’t Kingsley. He starts off rightly questioning her reasons but as they become more and more farfetched he seems to become convinced. We know Heather likes a challenge so is playing dumb to reach Kingsley level but surely he knows its BS, unless we’re supposed to think he’s super desperate and that’s why he’s going along with it. I’m not sure, all I know is, Kingsley turns into a massive, gullible, social retard in one scene.
Back in the house JP jizzes in the ice-cube tray after Vod tells him he could go impotent. Somehow Professor Shales finds out Oregon was broke and gave her £1000; we can only assume he was following her after the one scene alluded to it earlier. Finally, Heather and Kings become an item much to the jealous annoyance of Josey. When Sabine then offers to shows them self-defense, Josey and Heather get paired together and you can tell that Josey is going to do something. The result, a broken arm for Heather.
JP’s old ‘mates’ come round and understandably Vod finally breaks having taken care of him up to now, hovering up an unprecedented 5 grams. Oregon gives Shales back his £1000 after not liking the idea of being a sex worker. The old Oregon/Shales story-line tries to come back but it feels like covering old ground and one that could have; probably should have, ended with the last series.
For the final gag, Sabine uses what we think is JP’s spunk ice-cubes to calm the swelling on her face after being hit by an elbow at a self-defense class, a good cringe worthy Fresh Meat moment. On the contrary, it turns out its her own ice-cubes and JP’s have melted in a glass on the table. Vod then gives it to JP as a ‘DNAfrappe’. Finishing the episode and Professor Shales rather shit day, he then gets mugged.
All in all a much better episode, more of the Fresh Meat we know and love. Only a few moment I didn’t enjoy. but let’s hope this is the beginning of the climb back to the pedestal upon which the first series sits.