“What really holds the thing together is an underlying sympathy.” Read on for the verdict on last night’s TV.


“At one level it’s a rather crude, simple show about a bunch of students sharing a house. Being a show about young people on C4 in 2011 it’s full of references to drug taking, excessive drinking and promiscuity. On account of the people doing it , the way their characters are written and the way the actors act out their parts it is really a great deal more.”
Matt Baylis, The Express

“The conventional definition, and, indeed, criticism of comedy drama is that it is a programme neither very funny  nor very dramatic. A more generous critique is that the genre allows laughter and tears. On this measure it scores 50 per cent: its melancholy is overpowering.”
Andrew Billen, The Times

“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.”
Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

“I’m not sure how Fresh Meat will evolve, but, refreshingly gag-dense as it is, I want it to get existentially darker – for Bain and Armstrong to do for students what they did for twentysomethings in Peep Show. Fresh Meat risks becoming as sparkling as 30 Rock with added gross-out moments, which isn’t enough. It should – it must – become a tragi-comic monument to human contemptibility and futility if it is to emulate their best work.”
Stuart Jeffries, The Guardian

Storyville: Law of the Dragon

“The legal dramas in it have certainly been offering us a unique insight into Eastern ways.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Matt Baylis, The Express

The Fades, BBC3

“The writer has an ear for naturalistic dialogue and the fantasy is firmly grounded in realism.”
Andrew Billen, The Times

“I can’t really work out the cosmology of the thing and if I’m honest I don’t really care. But Jack Thorne’s script understands how much pop-culture references matter to those who will, and is scary and funny in just the right measure.”
Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

“The Fades deserves more prominence. Its premise that the dead walk with us unseen and that it falls to a nerdy bedwetter with special powers to fight them comes over like a screenwriting evening class exercise, but Thorne’s writing is sharper than it was on Skins and the performances (especially Daniel Kaluuya as Nerdy Boy’s wisecracking, Star Wars-quoting foil) are lovely.”
Stuart Jeffries, The Guardian