5 best student sitcoms
As the latest series of Fresh Meat unfolds, Condor Properties looks back at the best student sitcoms for rainy days at university.
The Young Ones (1982-1984)
Depicting student life at its strangest, this seminal sitcom follows the fortunes of four undergraduates who share a dilapidated student house in North London; there’s Neil, the paranoid hippie; Vyvyan Basterd, the violent punk; Rick, the Cliff Richard loving anarchist; and suave Mike, who shares a bed with a sex doll.
Margaret Thatcher’s Britain is the backdrop for this anarchist sitcom, which first aired in 1982 and featured cameos from the likes of Stephen Fry, Dawn French and… Motörhead. Only 12 episodes of the Young Ones were filmed but the series is attributed with helping bring alternative comedy to television audiences.
The Inbetweeners (2008-2010)
They widened our vocabulary with words we daren’t repeat and defined that awkward transition between youth and adulthood, but after three series Will, Jay, Neil and Simon finally graduated from this brilliant student sitcom.
A film followed, but it wasn’t a patch on the series, which shadowed these suburban teenagers as they haphazardly navigated through their school days, trying desperately to pull girls, pass their exams and impress each other. “On holiday in Spain one year me and my mate took a pedalo and went to Africa,” said Jay (of course) in one of his cleaner lies.
This BAFTA nominated comedy showed student life from the view of the teachers – and you thought students were badly behaved! The comedy drama takes pupils beyond the usually-off-limits staffroom doors and into a world of chain-smoking, extramarital affairs and incompetent teaching.
The tutors are heavy boozers, oblivious to bullying epidemics and are prone to puerile conversation. Set in the fictional Summerdown Comprehensive, there are 40 episodes in all and by the time you get to the last one you’ll never look at teachers the same.
The Big Bang Theory (2007-present)
No need to ask for the Big Bang box-set this Christmas, because it is being chronically overplayed on E4 as we speak. The series has been attributed with fuelling an uptake in science subjects among A-Level and university students, although some viewers find its appeal harder to understand than the periodic table of elements.
Now in its sixth series The Big Bang Theory revolves around geeky and socially awkward roommates, Sheldon and Leonard, who are highly-qualified physicians with a penchant for gaming, sci-fi and comic books. But these brainboxes aren’t quite so knowledgeable when it comes to relationships and the “real world,” which they navigate with comic ineptitude.
Fresh Meat (2011-present)
If you haven’t seen Fresh Meat by now then where have you been? The third series of this student sitcom hit our screens earlier this month and its cast are in fine fettle once again.
Written by the people who brought us Peep Show, this award-winning television series marks the acting debut of comedian, Jack Whitehall, who plays one of six students sharing a house in Manchester.
Now in their second year the misfiring scholars continue their booze soaked, spiff strewn studies at the fictional Medlock University, but this year they are harbouring illegal immigrant, dirty secrets and even more elaborate plans to pull “hotties.”