So, this show is British. And not being British, I’m sure there are some things about the way that TV works across the pond that may make this show seem more abnormal than it actually is. Or, this show could actually be as weird as I think it is. Either, way this show is extremely entertaining.
The show is character driven, meaning it’s not so much “about” something as it is just watching characters live their lives. It follows the cast around as they live their lives in college. It deals with relationships, mental illnesses, tragedies, awkward situations, and really about anything you could think to put on TV. To me, the strangest part of it is that this whole thing’s set to a constant background of sex, drugs, profanity, vulgarity, violence and everything else that would normally leave you to dismiss a show as juvenile or moronic. Even stranger, is the fact that the show comes off as anything but. The way the characters are written and handled just makes them so easy to invest in, that I find myself just watching one episode after another.
Structurally, the show is also different for me. The episodes run around 45 minutes long and there’s usually 8 episodes per season. The main cast usually consists of around 6-8 people (depending on what you define as a main cast) and each episode is focused on one character. There are a few episodes that focus on the group, but don’t worry about telling which ones are which; the episode title’s are just the name of the featured character(s).
The main characters are students in college (which apparently only takes two years or so over there?) and seem to be rotated out once their time there is done. The good part about that is that you get a fresh set of characters every two seasons with new issues to explore. The downside is that you’re out of luck if you happened to get really attached to a character or a relationship or a story line. I felt like the first cast was wrapped up really well, the second cast not so much, and the 3rd case was probably given the most time to resolve their stories, even if the resolutions might not have been as satisfying.
I know that this review may seem vague, but that is on purpose. There’s so much that happens in this show that’s important and shocking and engaging that I just feel like discussing any of it would be doing any reader a disservice if they haven’t seen the show. My main goal in writing this “review” is to say that, in general this show is definitely worth watching. I watched the entire thing on Hulu. If the warning isn’t enough though, keep in mind that this is definitely rated R material, so if that’s not your thing, stay away from this show. However, if that is your thing (or you’re just not put off by it) this show is definitely worth owning.
p.s. I know that “Seasons” are called “Series” for British shows. But because I watched it on Hulu, where they’re labeled as Seasons, that’s the word I used.