Airs on E4, Monday, 10pm
Skins and This is England ‘86 writer Jack Thorne has debuted a new murder mystery drama series, Glue, an 8 episode series depicted in the idyllic English countryside. But this is no Midsomer Murders. It is quickly established that someone has met a sticky end, and almost everyone is keeping tight grip on their secrets.
The new E4 show features a whole range of talent, from Harry Potter’s Jessie Cave (who plays housemate Annie) to one half of Rizzle Kicks, Jordan Stephens, who portrays Rob, boyfriend to Tina (Charlotte Spencer), who has no idea about his future plans and seems to be perfectly happy hanging around in a bath with her all day. Also part of the countryside gang is Cal (Tommy-Lawrence Knight), brother to Eli (Callum Turner), Janine (Faye Marsay) and James (Billy Howle). With so much talent to give it’s no surprise that the show starts off in a rather intriguing, albeit slow, manner. We’re introduced to the cast slowly, which allows them to fully take centre stage.
The group spend their free time taking drugs and generally goofing off, and it seems that there are some interesting characters to deal with. Rob seems to be one of the more brazen of the bunch, and certainly appears to be one to watch across the next couple of episodes, along with his girlfriend Tina, who seems to have a wilder side. The episode is constructed well enough to showcase both sides of the characters, and their relationship as a whole. Jessie Cave performs particularly well as Annie; her wide eyed stare becomes a frequent feature of the episode. Turner’s Eli, with his wide range of emotions and sullen attitude, is captivating.
After the death of one of the group, it becomes clear that everyone’s got an agenda and some people know more than others. Cue police officers, enter right. Yasmin Paige sheds her skin as Beth Mitchell in Pramface, and takes on the role of the young and equally ambitious police officer Ruth, who is appointed secondary on the case. Ruth seems to know a bit about the other young characters, and this is what makes her possibly one of the most intriguing additions to the show so far. She shows young talent at its best.
Glue, unlike other series based in the city, has a unique set of sequences. For instance, where else would you see grain tombstoning? It’s a spectacle to behold on screen, and one of the more visually pleasing sequences that manage to engage you without saying much at all. Although the episode starts out like any other drama, it quickly distances itself from some more contrived shows, due to how much more realistic in terms of teen behaviour and the secrets that people can keep. The characters are engaging without being overtly annoying, and the drama is drawn out, and by the time you are half-way through you’re more than likely hooked. The actors are fresh and original, and the self-destructive nature of some of the characters is undeniably appealing and thought-provoking, which makes for a great beginning to a short series.
If you do nothing else on Monday, make sure you’re watching Glue. The series seems destined to get even better, so immerse yourself in a countryside which holds plenty of hidden secrets, and more than a few surprises.