Tractors, murder mysteries and racehorses? Doesn’t exactly seem like the set up for a new cutting edge E4 show does it? But that’s exactly what Glue is. The show follows a group of teenagers who live in the countryside and struggle to deal after one of their friends is murdered. And just FYI, the show's set to be your new favourite thing to do with your Monday evenings.
The show’s been written by Jack Thorne who’s responsible for some of the early episodes of Skins and wrote This Is England '86 and '88. Perhaps thanks to this, the comparisons to Skins have been coming thick and fast. ‘When anyone asks me what it is I’ve been working on I’m like, “it’s Skins meets Broadchurch”’ says Jessie Cave, one of the show’s stars (she plays loveable dungaree wearing kook Annie), ‘But it’s only because I’m an idiot and I can’t think of another comparison. I watch SO much TV and I keep going blank about this!’
Whether you accept the Skins analogy or not though, what Jack Thorne has managed to recreate in Glue is a group of relatable young characters that audiences are going to be keen to invest their time in. ‘Always in the darkest things you have to try and find the most humour.’ Says Yasmin Paige who plays 20-year-old police officer Ruth in the show. ‘That’s how people cope and the show definitely shows that, I think that’s what makes it so touching – people can really relate to it.’
The girls are full of praise for the show’s creator. ‘Jack’s really funny as well,’ says Jessie. ‘Even though *Glue’*s quite difficult to watch sometimes, there’s some really funny things to come out of it.’ She’s right, the opening scene shows a boy jumping naked into a grain store and, despite all the drama that unfolds, he spends the rest of the episode trying to pull kernels of grain out of his nether regions. ‘It was so cool to be part of a drama,’ Jessie continues, ‘I’ve only really done comedy so when everyone was asking me what I was doing I was like, “I’m doing a DRAMA,” and then when I got the script I was like, “SHIT she’s funny!” I do get to cry a lot though, so there’s that…’
The show’s central theme might be that of a whodunnit murder but there’s much to be said of how well it captures contemporary countryside life for teenagers too. With nothing to do and nowhere to go, as anyone who grew up without public transport into the nearest town available knows, drink and drugs play a big part. On top of this, the characters have to deal with everything from family issues to that terrifying ‘What Next?’ question everyone’s suddenly faced with when they leave school. ‘I can really relate to that,’ says Jessie, ‘I think being an actress is a lot like being a teenager with nothing to do a lot of the time because you’re waiting for jobs or for something to happen and it might never do.’
The drama unfolds in a small community and over the course of the eight weeks it’s set to be on our screens, we get closer and closer to finding out who the killer is (hence the Broadchurch and Happy Valley nods). Inevitably, it’ll be one of the gang of friends. Not that the actors had any idea who it actually was until they filmed the last episode, ‘It was so great because none of us knew how it would pan out.’ Says Jessie, ‘But then I did want to know if it was me…’ ‘Yeah’ agrees Yasmin, ‘The scary thing is you begin to think, “Is it me?” By the time I found out I was like “OMG”!’
Not that they're giving anything away to us mind you. ‘To be honest’ says Jessie, who’s currently pregnant, ‘I’ve got such a bad memory at the moment anyways I don’t even know if I can even remember myself...’ A likely story. Guess we'll have to watch it to find out.
Glue starts Monday 15 September on E4 at 10PM
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.