This week’s Glue is a straightforward, finely-scripted, hour of youth angst: a love triangle (usually the most boring of romanti-sexual shapes) made interesting because of our understanding of the characters.
Glue hasn’t always been the fastest moving murder mystery on our screens, but in taking its time it has created characters that are easy to be interested in.
Tina wakes up under Eli and decides that she’s made a huge mistake, and not just because it’s inadvisable to have sex on a bale of hay (it’s a horse’s dinner!). Guilt propels her into the knee-jerk reaction of asking Rob to marry her, but the need to find the man who can provide an alibi for newly-arrested James puts the proposal on hold.
Like a young, weed-smoking Hart to Hart (ask your mum), Tina and Rob end up on a jaunt that sees them chasing down potential witnesses and finding the body of Ruth’s colleague Ian in a house straight out of a horror movie.
Cliché-riddled though it was, what with the thunder and lightning, it still made me jump. Who could possibly have killed him? Ruth? One of the Roma? A horse, angry and delirious with hunger after refusing to eat the sex hay earlier in the day? Glue‘s mysteries are still strong enough to keep us stuck.
As the plot thickens there’s still time for Tina and Rob to do soul-searching and have the kind of random conversations you have when you’re young and talking around a difficult subject. It’s strong and realistic writing, delivered by two confident young performers.
No offence to Rizzle Kicks, but Jordan Stephens should probably drop the mic and start picking up more scripts. And Charlotte Spencer holds it all together as Tina. It’s a terrifically well-judged performance: vulnerable and assured in the right places. Typically youth
Perhaps the most exciting thing about Glue isn’t that E4 has nurtured a grown-up drama out of adolescent frivolity, or that it’s kept the stale old murder mystery genre fresh for the hashtag generation, but that it shows that the next generation of British talent is something to be genuinely excited about.
Aired at 10pm on Monday 20 October 2014 on E4.
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