Fresh Meat is reaching its close as the students approach their final exams. It’s been a heady three years for them (longer for us viewers due to the gaps between filming), but adulthood awaits. This last season already seems to be ramping up the ‘tragi’ elements to the show, with past errors taking root and a horrible dawning on the whole group of the compromises they are going to have to make.

The most recent episode drew these most sharply, for three characters in particular. Firstly Kingsley, the character most likely to perform acts of pretentious berkery (is that a word? I’ve decided it’s a word), spelled out his dreams of being big in the music industry, only to be reminded that his degree didn’t remotely qualify him for it. His last three years had, in many respects, been a waste. He can’t even write it off as a mistake and must instead accept it has a gigantic error of judgement, one that is costing him £9,000 a year.

Then there is JP, whose ludicrous dreams of success in any old job he fancies doing are getting shot down. Instead, he faces a future in a dull, soul-sapping job that eliminates any joy from life. Still, at least it’s well paid. On a side note, when the career advisor said that the average graduate salary is £22,000 a year, both mine and JP’s jaw dropped. JP as that will come nowhere near close to funding his borderline aristocrat lifestyle, me because I have come nowhere near to earning that amount, even 8 years on from graduating. If JP s feeling like a failure for achieving that, God knows what I’m expected to feel.

Lastly, Vod, who is having the roughest time of all. All of her previous mistakes are haunting. Her lost scholarship means she is mired in debt, her failure to take her degree seriously means her dissertation really is all or nothing and she is still got too much of a streak of self-destruction to really rectify any of her problems or prevent herself from causing new ones. If JP and Kingsley are facing disappointment, Vod is on the brink of disaster.

Like a lot of good comedies, Fresh Meat raises some serious questions about our society. Firstly, do we really need 50% of kids to become graduates? Most jobs I’ve had could have been done by anyone who was willing to learn from scratch. The rise of apprentices came too late for my generation, and the ones who did them are mostly doing much better than me.

Secondly, when you bare the haphazard job prospects and questionable quality of some of the courses to prepare you for the real world in mind, is university worth £9,000 a year. I was lucky, I got in on the last year it was just a £1,000. I pity the poor sods who are coming out with £30,000+ of debt to be told by large swathes of society that all they have got from it is a piece of paper.

I hope deep down that at least some of the cast have a happy ending. Not because they necessarily deserve it, but because seeing six people thoroughly miserable at the end would be such a huge downer that it would make the previous high jinks look incongruous. Sadly though, giving even one of them a happy end could just be the most unbelievable thing of all. Now that is a depressing thought.

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