10/10/2012 11:29 BST | Updated 10/12/2012 05:12 GMT

TV REVIEW: Is Fresh Meat Still Fresh? Jack Whitehall, Joe Thomas And Zawe Ashton Return To University Life

This boisterous comedy exploring the pleasures and pitfalls of university life enjoyed a rip-roaring first run - British Comedy Awards to boot - with its debut series, meaning the follow-up was always going to be a challenge.

fresh meat

"This a cool house, we don't want anyone interfering with the vibe" - the Fresh Meaters don't welcome newcomers

But last night's debut episode found the writers in fine form, using the cunning conceit of a prospective new housemate to remind us of the idiosyncrasies of this particularly diverse bunch of college-roomies.

As Kingsley, Joe Thomas carried on where he left off as an Inbetweener - but with some classic pretensions of grandeur, recognisable to anyone who's sat through Freshers Week. "I'm just letting it do its thing," he reported on one of those little Billy Goat beads that he was duly sporting.

And Josie (Kimberly Nixon) had to deal with a new great friend, Heather, with whom she could look forward to hours of "forming a clique, and mocking outsiders". Until Heather had the temerity to hook up with the above-mentioned bum-fluff of Kingsley, and Josie had to spend the rest of the episode unhooking them, and being a terrible friend to both, telling Heather, "He's Russell Brand on the inside, Russell Grant on the outside." Again, all instantly recognisable, all-too-true material.

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Kingsley (Joe Thomas) had experienced a metamorphosis in the time away

Having not sat through the first series, my only experience of Jack Whitehall was of a particularly self-confident guest on Have I Got News For You and the like.

But as posh JP, Whitehall was a revelation, gloriously wanna-be alpha-male - "let's just turn the upstairs room into a massive bong" - and then exquisitely uncomfortable with the news that his school chum Giles was really gay, and that their "power showers" might have been the real thing... "Now he's saying he'd grow a moustache and have a baby." The horror.

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JP (Jack Whitehall) was quiveringly disturbed by the memory of his schooldays and "power showers"

Meanwhile, Oregon (Charlotte Ritchie) was having trouble getting a job at school, probably not helped by the fact that her recruiter Jean Shales was the wife of her previous term's inappropriate fling, as the latter kindly pointed out,

"I'll just put you on the shortlist with all the other candidates who haven't humped the hubby, and we'll take it from there."

If it stays this good, I'll bed in for the term.

Fresh Meat

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