The Secret Life of Students was made by 40-year-olds, for 40-year-olds
Channel 4’s real life Fresh Meat was just as stupid as expected…
Channel 4’s invitation to laugh at students aired for the first time last night.
The programme starts by asking “Ever wanted to look into someone else’s phone?” before diving into a constant focus on texting and social media, thanks to their “ground-breaking new technology”. Any viewer who has no idea what university life is like could be convinced that we do nothing else but sit on our phones all day.
The programme falls at the first hurdle. The students get dropped off by their parents, who seemingly don’t care that much. What a horrific lack of care. This will surely mean they won’t behave like normal human beings.
Immediately the freshers revert to texting and messaging their mates from home, revealing their reservations, plans for tonight’s drinking games and what they think of their new flatmates.
“Top lad” Aiden admits to being a “right wing conservative” and sending provocative tweets like “What’s the most intelligent thing to come out of a woman’s mouth? My cock” just to get followers. He craves the popularity and pushing things to the boundary, letting his new flatmates film his putting a tampon filled with vodka up his arse. What a charmer, but not one we haven’t encountered before.
His input for never have i ever? “I have never fisted a girl.” But to be fair, the other options offered up were “I have never missed a lecture…” which falls on fairly deaf ears.
Josie, with a severe lack of self confidence, struggles with being away from home, hitting the crisis moment when she is the only one not to pull while new friend Mads gets with “two guys every night”.
Something she overcomes with her flatmates help, the “chocondom” and getting “smashed and dashed” by our knight in shining armour Aiden. The gossip spreads like wildfire, even though he struggles to remember her name.
Lauren is teetotal, and gets mightily pissed off that lots of drunk people are pre-drinking in front of her corridor so she can’t get back to her room. The social recluse sits beneath the stairs hyperventilating and says how her biggest inspiration is Anne Frank’s diary. Which Channel 4 decides to remind us is a holocaust memoir. Thanks guys.
When ring of fire takes a “nazi twist”, Lauren disapproves highly and nearly refuses to go out.
After the hellish initiation of fresher’s week, the programme follows them through paying absolutely zero attention in their first lectures and the “new craze sweeping campus”, the dreaded neknomination. It’s clever timing by the producers, with the death of a few young men after their neknomination attempts fresh in their minds.
Aiden, always keen to impress, can’t resist. He bites off a fish head before downing a mix of basics bitter, vodka, lube and menopause tablets, because he’s in touch with his feminine side, all in front of his massive batch of “mutant mass” protein powder. With 149 likes, he gets that good feeling.
To the untrained eye, students live an irresponsible life of debauchery, hedonism and cheap alcohol. The likely product of this charade will send parents into a frenzy that their kids are throwing nine thousand pounds down the drain along with last night’s sambuca shots.
This scare mongering and reinforcement of the student stereotype won’t help anyone. Some of their actions don’t require your approval, but they’re freshers in their first term of uni. Cut them some slack.