TV | Glue – Gritty New E4 Drama

Rural England is disintegrating, and nothing pushes teenagers over the edge like boredom. Written by Jack Thorne (This Is England, Skins), and based on his own experiences of growing up in Berkshire, this show promises the same level of grit as his earlier works. Turning the picturesque southern countryside into the sinister is no mean feat, but Thorne does so with deftness.

The lives of six friends are turned upside down when the body of their fellow friend, a Romany traveller, is found under the wheels of a tractor. Their questionable habits and many secrets are now all under scrutiny. Yet, Glue seems to offer a unique insight into the self-destructive nature of stable boys and girls. With the countryside offering so little in terms of entertainment, which their lives so desperately lack, these kids take matters into their own reckless hands. Glue gives a new and very different portrayal of the countryside, through the experiences of a new gneration. Gone are the worlds of Midsomer Murders’ and Emmerdale.

What’s more, this cutting new series provides a complex portrayal of Britain’s Romany community, communicating its complexities of seeing standardised education as unnecessary and prioritising life and social skills. E4’s previous venture into the lives of the Romany, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, has received criticism for derogatory stereotyping. In an effort to create a more rounded portrayal of the community, Candis Nergaard, a Romany actress was brought in to advise on setting and tone.

This eight-part murder investigation series, with an attractive young cast including Yasmin Paige (Submarine), Jessie Cave (Harry Potter), Faye Marsay (Fresh Meat) and Jordan Stephens (one half of hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks), is sure to win over the intended young-adult audience. Its only weakness an over-emphasis of how reckless the teenagers are, which makes the characters harder to warm to. Yet, with another seven episodes to go, and so much being crammed into the first instalment alone, the show has the potential to become

Anastasia Kennedy

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