Clique Critique of the Week: Episode 1

Thank me later


The BBC series "Clique" made its return to our screens for its second series last Saturday, and given its basis in and around Edinburgh uni, I thought I’d give up my valuable Friday Night Dinner watching time to see what the (lack of) fuss is about.

Now, realistically, catching up on the entirety of the first series is beyond my journalistic capabilities, so to maintain some sense of professionalism though, I carried out some crucial research

The Tab’s announcement of the show’s return describes the series as an "outrageous bloodbath full of sex, drugs and murder." I'm not gonna lie, I’d assumed it was basically Made in Chelsea but above Hadrian’s Wall (it still well could be as I’ve not seen MIC either), so that’s me thrown before we’ve even started the first ep.

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Shit tattoos and pretending you're having fun – uni to a tee

As we all know, the key to a good series is the theme tune and title sequence (see Narcos, Peaky Blinders, etc.). Clique begins with images of people within a lava lamp type scene, backed by some horrific dance music you'd hear in a club whose demographic is 24 per cent 16 and under.

The episode begins with a hench man working out – I feel alienated already. We quickly head to a fancy gaff for afternoon tea, before immediately moving to a different fancy gaff for a party. There’s people getting off and giving head at a middle of the day party, which I found rather crude.

Thankfully, following a frantic beginning, we move into the comforting familiarity of Old College. Sadly, this scene also gives the first insight into the contrived, cliché nonsense that appears to be the central theme of the show.

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There’s talk of problematic teaching materials, safe spaces, and trigger warnings. Basically what baby-boomer BBC execs mistakenly think students are like. These must be the "challenging issues faced by young people in today’s society" my Tab research told me about.

We also get our first introduction to the alt-right clique who are to be the central feature of the second series.

On this occasion they're dropping some paper snowflakes onto the moaning students below – how clever – in order to create content for Twitcher. For those not familiar with this fictional blogs work, think Tab, but run by people who post Pepe memes.

This clique split their time between being edge lords and carrying out-group slow-mo walking. They get a "right-wing provocateur" to speak at a feminist event and film videos asking people what constitutes a micro-aggression. Tedious bellends, essentially.

Crucially for the plot, however, one of them is handsome!

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Why are the fit ones always gay ( or alt-right psychos)!

Head of the clique, Jack, is chasing the female protagonist, Holly, who last time exposed some banking scandal and lives with some lefties she found online. A handsome Tommy Robinson chasing after a left wing student type – it’s a modern day Romeo and Juliet.

The show trundles along with more clichéd nonsense: use of the word "libtards"; a character maintaining a false image on social media; talk of "offended sheeple" – you get the picture.

There are though a couple of developments before the episode wraps up. It turns out Holly killed someone! Who knew? Well, us, now that she’s visited her mate in a mental asylum. More on that as we get it.

Also, in a very "end of a GCSE English essay" development, we’re left with a cliff hanger after Holly’s flatmates are assaulted on the way back from a beach party, leaving one of them fleeing down the promenade naked to end the show.

I know my main concern here should be the victims of a brutal assault, but can I please turn your attention to the location of this attack? A party…at the beach.

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As well as being right-wing nutters, this clique have made the bold decision to live in a house by the beach and to host outdoor parties on the evening of a day in which they were earlier wearing scarves. This show is very much being written on the premise of no one having ever visited Portobello. I’m aware of the willing suspension of disbelief, but come on.

So, am I enthused enough to catch up on series one? God no. Would I recommend you tuning in to episode two on Saturday? Not if you wish to enjoy your weekend. Despite that, I shall persevere, and return next week with more info on the adventures of handsome Jack, troubled Holly, and the rest.