Off The Hook fills the void

When Off The Hook arrived at the TV.com offices, we, like many of you, where sceptical about what to expect. We were worried that the show, about a group of students that consistently, but comically, fail in social situations, was trying too hard to be like The Inbetweeners at university. After all, it even stars James Buckley, who plays smutty, sex-obsessed Jay in the Channel 4 series. Luckily, we were wrong.

Though the comedy series is yet to broadcast on the BBC TV.com users have already awarded the show a mediocre score of 5.6. Quite harsh, really. OK, so the trailer doesn't make you laugh out loud but, as with so many shows, the Off the Hook trailer is nothing on the series as a whole. Yes, there are bits that will make you cringe (for both the right and wrong reasons), but overall it's an amusing, honest, show that really will make you laugh.

Buckley's character, Frank, is undoubtedly the funniest -- and he shares no resemblance to his Inbetweeners role. For starters Frank's actually a hit with the ladies, even with his depressed outlook on life and limited musical talent. In fact, we wouldn't be surprised if phrases from his gloomy song "What's the Point?" soon become popular in-jokes.

The rest of the characters aren't bad either, though Shane (played by Tonightly's Danny Morgan) takes a while to get used to. A shame considering he's one of the lead, and most featured, parts. Overall, the seven-part series stars a host of both new and established actors including Little Dorrit's Georgia King and Krod Mandoon's Orlando Searle, all of which (on the whole) complement one another well.

Despite being set in a fictional campus the scenes ring true for most university experiences, from the generic student flats to the embarrassing first encounters. The series, which explores the lives of a mismatched group of freshers, sums up the awkwardness felt in those first few weeks, though at points is a little unrealistic -- but that's what makes it a scripted comedy show.

Off The Hook doesn't provide as many laughs as The Inbetweeners and isn't as provocative as Skins, but it is a decent British teen show. It's also the first home-grown comedy series to make the transition from online (where it made its debut on BBC Switch under its working title Fresh) to a BBC TV channel. That's got to count for something too, right?

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