The new E4 drama Glue is tipped to be a big hit this autumn. From Jack Thorne, the writer of This is England and Skins, the show follows the lives of nine teenagers in the fictional countryside town of Overton, shot in the rolling hills of Berkshire. Launching on Monday 15 September at 10pm, the first episode certainly packs a punch with the opening sequence providing a visual thrill as we watch the characters jump in slow motion into silos of grain; one of whom comically did so without clothes. Within the first fifteen minutes, you would be forgiven for comparing this to Skins due to the pretty explicit nudity, sex and abundance of reckless drug taking.
However, the show quickly twists away from this somewhat unrealistic representation of teenage life due to the sudden death of a character. At which point the cast of rising stars offer a genuine and believable response to such a tragedy. Billy Howle, in the role of James the local farm-boy, provides a particularly moving performance as he describes the gruesome reality of discovering the dead body of his 14 year old friend.
The show also features Jordan Stephens, the tall one from Rizzle Kicks, in his acting debut, taking on the part of carefree and hedonistic Rob. Despite his previous lack of acting experience Jordan is a natural, along with his on-screen girlfriend Tina (Charlotte Spencer). Harry Potter fans will also find interest in the casting of Jessie Cave, better known as Lavender Brown, in the role of Annie.
Glue is a fresh and cutting edge drama in its own right and will be enjoyed by watchers of shows such as Homeland and Broadchurch. The unusual choice of a rural setting contrasts to the urban scenes that typify an average teen drama and the twisted plot captivates the audience by creating a dark, sinister tone to this series. There is something unique and unpredictable about Glue: with the interesting characterisation of druggie Tina aspiring to be a jockey; the important role of the Romany traveller community; and the creation of an intense murder mystery that will not be solved until the end of the 8-part series.
Filled with suspense, this teen thriller is definitely not one to be missed, and, if Thorne’s history of writing is anything to go by, will get even better as the series progresses.