Fresh Meat (TV series)

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Fresh Meat
Fresh Meatlogo.jpg
GenreComedy-drama
Written by
Starring
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series3
No. of episodes24 (List of episodes)
Production
Location(s)The Sharp Project, Manchester
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time41 minutes
Production company(s)Lime Pictures (Liverpool), Objective Productions (London)
DistributorAll3Media
Broadcast
Original channelChannel 4
Picture format1080i50 16:9 (HDTV)
Audio formatDolby 5.1
Original run21 September 2011 (2011-09-21) – Present
External links
Website
 
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Fresh Meat
Fresh Meatlogo.jpg
GenreComedy-drama
Written by
Starring
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series3
No. of episodes24 (List of episodes)
Production
Location(s)The Sharp Project, Manchester
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time41 minutes
Production company(s)Lime Pictures (Liverpool), Objective Productions (London)
DistributorAll3Media
Broadcast
Original channelChannel 4
Picture format1080i50 16:9 (HDTV)
Audio formatDolby 5.1
Original run21 September 2011 (2011-09-21) – Present
External links
Website

Fresh Meat is a British comedy-drama created by Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain, who also created Peep Show.

The first episode, directed by David Kerr, was broadcast on Channel 4 on 21 September 2011,[1] and aired on Wednesdays at 10 pm. Fresh Meat marked the acting début of comedian Jack Whitehall and also stars Kimberley Nixon of Cranford and Joe Thomas of The Inbetweeners.[2] Channel 4 described the show as a comedy drama.[1] The second series started airing on 9 October 2012 and consisted of 8 episodes.[3][4][5] On 22 November 2012, a third series was commissioned and began broadcasting on 4 November 2013.[6] Sam Bain, a co-creator of Fresh Meat, has revealed that ideas are being developed for a potential movie adaptation. As of June 2014, there is still no information regarding a possible fourth series or a movie adaptation.[7]

Plot[edit]

The plot revolves around the lives of six students — Vod, Oregon, Josie, Kingsley, JP and Howard — who are freshers (with the exception of Howard) at the fictional Manchester Medlock University, Manchester. They live in a shared house off-campus in Rusholme rather than university halls of residence, due to their late application.

Main themes include Oregon's insecurity and failed relationship with her lecturer, Tony Shales; Vod's hedonistic, care-free lifestyle; Josie and Kingsley's tortured relationship; JP's attempts at popularity and impressing girls; and Howard's many eccentricities. On a larger scale, the series covers many student-related issues, including financial issues, work pressures and grades, expulsion, partying, and internship competition.

Production[edit]

Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain created Fresh Meat's characters and wrote the first episode whilst watching The Young Ones on VHS; subsequent episodes were written by other writers. Bain has explained the reasons for this approach: "We always imagined this as a team-written show partly for practical reasons because Peep Show has been recommissioned, and moving forward if we're lucky enough to get another series of Fresh Meat we simply couldn't write two shows at once. So we always knew we wanted to bring other writers on board, some are more experienced, some very talented women writers, and one who had just graduated when we started writing."[8]

Fresh Meat is produced by Liverpool-based Lime Pictures and London-based Objective Productions. The programme was filmed at The Sharp Project in Manchester, a £16.5 million studio facility built to fill the void when Granada Studios closed in 2013.[9] The programme is set in Manchester,[10] specifically at the fictional Manchester Medlock University. Some scenes are filmed on location on the campus of the real life Manchester Metropolitan University (close to the River Medlock), and scenes set within the students' union are filmed in the students' union of Manchester Metropolitan University. Scenes in the characters' local pub are filmed at the King's Arms in Salford.[11] In series 2, the University of Salford's library and many exterior parts of the campus was used as a set. The Fresh Meat house at 28 Hartnell Avenue is an actual Victorian-style house located at 28 Mayfield Road in Whalley Range, Manchester.[12]

Channel 4 announced that a second series had been commissioned in October 2011.[13] Filming completed in August 2012, and started broadcasting the following October. A third series was confirmed via Twitter following the second series' finale.[14] Writer Sam Bain has confirmed his intention to write a fourth series, although whether this will take place in 2014 or later, and whether it will be before or after the planned movie adaptation is unclear.[15]

Characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

Recurring characters[edit]

Episodes[edit]

DVD releases[edit]

Series 1[edit]

The Complete Series 1 DVD was released in the UK on 8 October 2012.[21]

Series 2[edit]

The Complete Series 2 DVD was released in the UK on 11 November 2013.[22]

Series 3[edit]

The Complete Series 3 DVD was released in the UK on 26 December 2013.[23]

Spin-offs[edit]

Film[edit]

Sam Bain, the co-creator of Fresh Meat, has revealed that ideas are being developed for a potential film adaptation, following the runaway success of 2011's The Inbetweeners Movie.[7]

Reception[edit]

Critical reaction to the first series' opening episodes was mixed, with reviews becoming more positive as the series progressed.[24] The Guardian gave the opening episode a very positive review, finding it "sharp" and "refreshingly gag-dense".[25] The Independent's review was also positive, saying "what really holds the thing together is an underlying sympathy, the sense that these characters might be comically foolish but they aren't (with some exceptions) contemptible."[26]

However, Michael Deacon in The Daily Telegraph called the opening episode's script "a torrent of prattling self-hatred" and found the episode "drainingly bleak".[27] Rupert Christiansen, also in the Telegraph, was similarly unimpressed, calling it "[p]athetically laboured and over-acted" and "limply written and predictable".[28] Rachel Cooke of New Statesman felt the opening episode was a "damp squib" and commented that this might be because "the writers failed to remember that going to university is also rather melancholic, what with all the loneliness, the strange and soon-to-be-shed new friends and the general exhaustion of trying to act cool and grown-up".[29]

By the end of the first series, the Radio Times said the show had been "full of well-worked plotlines and gorgeous character comedy",[30] and The Daily Telegraph praised "the series' admirable habit of stirring pathos into the flow of gags" as well as complimenting the scripts and performances.[31] The Guardian felt it had "managed to live up to sky-scraping expectations",[32] and Metro said "Originally billed as a university version of The Inbetweeners, Fresh Meat has developed into something much more sophisticated than its more-established sibling."[33]

The second series continued to receive positive reviews,[34] with The Observer declaring the second episode "almost an hour of laugh-out-loud comic astuteness that single-handedly restored faith in the British ability to be funny",[35] while The Independent on Sunday said "First time round, the student sitcom was chipper but clunky fare. But, just as its fresher gang have grown up, so the whole thing has become sharper, wiser, and more lovable".[36]

The third series also continued to receive positive reviews.[37] Andrew Collins of The Guardian identified some similarities between Fresh Meat and The Young Ones, but he suggested that "to say that Fresh Meat is a Young Ones for the Jägerbomb generation does neither show justice" and said "The Young Ones was like being picked up by the lapels and repeatedly shaken. Fresh Meat is more like being invited to stay".[37] Collins also recognised Jack Whitehall's performance as J.P. and refuted Jonathan Ross's quip at the British Comedy Awards that, as an actor, Whitehall has "less range than a North Korean missile", adding that Whitehall's performance deepens with each episode.[37]

Thomas H. Green of The Arts Desk wrote that, after "rocky" earlier episodes of the third season, the finale of the third season of Fresh Meat had "retrieved its sterling reputation".[38] Green suggested the circumstances in the seventh episode of the season were incredible and "reality was pushed too far" but conceded that the finale delivered, with Kingsley and Josie's "soul-wringing, half-hearted" attempt at an open relationship and then the "wrenching" dissolution of their relationship for the sake of their friendship; Vod's wildly promising run at president of the student union and then sabotaging her own campaign to mend her friendship with Oregon, who wins but inherits dire straits facing the student union and its executive; the development and progression of Howard and Candice's relationship, culminating in romance; and JP, who "applies for a position" with (or attempts to seduce) Josie (who is in an open relationship) via a PowerPoint presentation, moves on from Sam, cleans the house and attempts to sell it, and laments that he is "horny".[38]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Series 1[edit]

YearAwardsCategoryNominee(s)ResultNotes
2011British Comedy AwardsBest New ComedyWon
2011British Comedy AwardsBest Comedy DramaNominatedWon by Psychoville.
2011British Comedy AwardsBest TV Comedy ActorJack WhitehallNominatedWon by Darren Boyd.
2012NME AwardsBest TV ShowWon
2012Loaded LAFTAs[39]Funniest TV ShowWon
2012Royal Television Society Awards[40]Best Scripted ComedyWon
2012Royal Television Society AwardsBest Writer – ComedyJesse Armstrong and Sam BainWonFor episode 1.
2012Broadcasting Press Guild TV and Radio Awards[41]Breakthrough AwardJack WhitehallNominatedWon by Olivia Colman.
2012Broadcasting Press Guild TV and Radio AwardsBest Comedy/EntertainmentNominatedWon by Rev.
2012South Bank Sky Arts Awards[42]Best ComedyWon
2012BAFTA Craft Awards[43]Breakthrough TalentTom BasdenNominatedWon by Kwadjo Dajan for Appropriate Adult.
2012BAFTA Television Awards[44]Situation ComedyNominatedWon by Mrs Brown's Boys.
2012BAFTA Television AwardsYouTube Audience AwardNominatedWon by Celebrity Juice.
2012The British Comedy Guide Comedy.co.uk Awards[45][46]Best British TV Comedy DramaWon
2013Monte-Carlo Television FestivalBest European Comedy TV SeriesWon

Series 2[edit]

YearAwardsCategoryNominee(s)ResultNotes
2012The British Comedy Guide Comedy.co.uk Awards[47][48]Best British TV Comedy DramaWon

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Fresh Meat". Channel 4. 14 September 2011. Retrieved 7 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "Programme Information". Channel 4. 7 September 2011. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "Interview With Jack Whitehall". The Sun (United Kingdom). 7 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  4. ^ Channel 4 – TV Listings – Tuesday 9 October 2012[dead link]
  5. ^ [1][dead link] 30 October 2012
  6. ^ "Third series of Fresh Meat ordered – News – British Comedy Guide". Comedy.co.uk. 2012-11-22. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  7. ^ a b "Fresh Meat and Peep Show films in development – News – British Comedy Guide". Comedy.co.uk. 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  8. ^ "Press pack – Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong". Channel 4. Retrieved 27 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "Lime Pictures to shoot new comedy at Sharp Project". Manchester Evening News. 7 March 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "Fresh Meat – JP". Channel 4. Retrieved 22 September 2011. [dead link]
  11. ^ http://www.manchesterconfidential.co.uk/News/The-Kings-Arms-Is-Up-For-Sale-Sort-Of
  12. ^ "31 Whalley Range, Manchester". Google Maps. Retrieved 2014-02-13. 
  13. ^ "Channel 4's Fresh Meat to return for second series". The Guardian. 25 October 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  14. ^ "Twitter / ComedyOn4: How can I put this? YES THERE". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  15. ^ Lazarus, Susanna (23 December 2013). "Will there be a Fresh Meat season 4? Sam Bain is hoping so as he reveals he'd like to write another batch of episodes starring Jack Whitehall, Joe Thomas and Zawe Ashton". Radio Times. 
  16. ^ Gilbert, Gerard (1 November 2013). "Fresh Meat's Greg McHugh on playing TV's weirdest student". The Independent. 
  17. ^ Fresh Meat, series 2, episode 6.
  18. ^ "Fresh Meat #2.6". The Shirker. Retrieved 2014-02-13. 
  19. ^ "TV Review: Fresh Meat — series 3, episode 2". Nouse. Retrieved 2014-02-13. 
  20. ^ Cayford, Scarlett (25 November 2013). "Have you been watching ... Fresh Meat?". The Guardian. 
  21. ^ "Fresh Meat – Series 1 [DVD]: Amazon.co.uk: Joe Thomas, Jack Whitehall, Kimberley Nixon, Greg McHugh, Zawe Ashton, Charlotte Ritchie, David Kerr, Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain: Film & TV". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  22. ^ "Fresh Meat – Series 2 [DVD]: Amazon.co.uk: Joe Thomas, Jack Whitehall, Kimberley Nixon, Greg McHugh, Zawe Ashton: Film & TV". Amazon.co.uk. 2013-02-14. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  23. ^ "Fresh Meat – Series 3 [DVD] [2013]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-11. 
  24. ^ "Fresh Meat – Reviews and Articles – British Comedy Guide". 22 November 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  25. ^ "Last night's TV: Fresh Meat; The Fades". The Guardian. 22 September 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  26. ^ "Last Night's TV: – Fresh Meat / Channel 4, The Fades / BBC3". The Independent. 22 September 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  27. ^ "Fresh Meat, Channel 4, review". The Daily Telegraph. 21 September 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  28. ^ "Why 'Fresh Meat' is off my menu". The Daily Telegraph. 31 October 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  29. ^ "Fresh Meat". The New Statesman. 26 September 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  30. ^ "Fresh Meat Series 1 Episode 8". Radio Times. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  31. ^ "Fresh Meat, final episode, Channel 4, review". The Daily Telegraph. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  32. ^ "Pan Am, Fresh Meat, highlights". The Guardian. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  33. ^ "Fresh Meat's finale was touching and amusing in equal measure". The Metro. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  34. ^ "Fresh Meat – Reviews and Articles – British Comedy Guide". 2 December 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  35. ^ "Rewind TV: Order and Disorder; Me and Mrs Jones; Hebburn; Fresh Meat – review". The Observer. 21 October 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  36. ^ "IoS TV review: Kookyville, Channel 4, Sunday; Peep Show, Channel 4, Sunday; Fresh Meat, Channel 4, Tuesday". The Independent on Sunday. 2 December 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  37. ^ a b c Collins, Andrew (17 December 2013). "The best TV of 2013: No 7 – Fresh Meat (Channel 4)". The Guardian. 
  38. ^ a b Green, Thomas H. (24 December 2013). "Fresh Meat, Series 3 Finale, Channel 4". The Arts Desk. 
  39. ^ Alex Fletcher (08-02-2012). "Rob Brydon, 'Fresh Meat' win at Loaded Laftas 2012'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 10-05-2012. 
  40. ^ "Fred West Drama 'Appropriate Adult' wins RTS awards". BBC News. 2012-03-21. Retrieved 10-05-2012. 
  41. ^ Torin Douglas (2012-03-30). "Rev wins 4 prizes at Broadcasting Press Guild Tv and Radio Awards". Retrieved 10-05-2012. 
  42. ^ Alex Fletcher (01-05-2012). "'Sherlock', 'Fresh Meat' win South Bank Sky Arts Awards". Digital Spy. Retrieved 10-05-2012. 
  43. ^ Kate Goodacre (2012-05-14). "BAFTA TV Craft Awards 2012 winners in full". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2012-05-14. 
  44. ^ "Television Awards Winners in 2012". Bafta. 2012-05-27. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  45. ^ Brown, Aaron (23 January 2012). "Winners of The Comedy.co.uk Awards 2011 announced". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  46. ^ Boosey, Mark (23 January 2012). "The Comedy.co.uk Awards 2011". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  47. ^ Brown, Aaron (23 January 2013). "Miranda picks up top Comedy.co.uk Awards titles". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  48. ^ Boosey, Mark (21 January 2013). "The Comedy.co.uk Awards 2012". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 

External links[edit]