Creator: Jack Thorne
Starring: Yasmin Paige, Jordan Stephens, Billy Howle, Charlotte Spencer, Jessie Cave, Faye Marsay, Tommy Knight
Extras: “Find Out What Happened Before Cal Was Murdered”
Since Skins ended there has been a teenage-angst shaped hole left on our TV screens but E4 managed to conjure up another offering in the form of Glue. Did it live up to the E4 hype, or has the moment passed for these teen TV shows?
Glue follows a group of teenagers in the fictional farming town of Overton. Nothing much happens there, the only things that keep teenagers interested are racehorses and recreational drugs. But when one of their own is found dead under the wheels of a tractor, the town – and their friendship – is bought to a stand still and everybody does what they can to find out who killed Cal Bray.
Since his BAFTA award winning show The Fades, writer Jack Thorne has kept everyone on their toes about where he was going to go next. From the man that bought us The Fades, SCOUTING BOOK FOR BOYS and Cast Offs, we knew it was going to be a bit different. Glue incorporates the world of Romany gypsies, professional horse racing and farming into an eight-episode “Whodunit?” that makes the viewer work for their answer.
Glue enters in a dream-like state from the opening moments, capturing the countryside in a sea of perfectly framed shots and slow-motion action that makes you feel carefree as the characters on screen. Although it builds slowly, we find ourselves gripped into this original world and trying to pick up clues along the way.
My only problem with the show itself is its ability to keep you hooked within the smaller story arcs. All of these characters are way too absorbed into their own ways that we start to not care about the stuff that is happening to them, and when their actions start to face consequences you cannot help but miserably think “good!” Out of the group, I only felt sorry for a couple of them (one of those is Cal, who’s story is told in flashbacks and drug hallucinations of other characters) but it does lead to wondering if we should care about them the first place.
Glue is a hub of bright British talent and, dare I say it, could give those lot over at Broadchurch a run for their money. Billy Howle captures the energy most on-screen and you find yourself immersed when he’s there. Jordan Stephens and Jessie Cave provide the show with needed comedic relief but in true drama fashion find themselves falling under the pressure. They all hold their own, and we will no doubt be seeing them in the future.
Overall Glue might find itself falling into some coming of age conventions that should have been left with the last generation of Skins but it holds enough merit to be one of the best dramas of 2014. Will we see another series? Probably not, but it’s still not to be missed.
[usr=4] Glue is out now on DVD.