As those winter nights draw in, there’s nothing better than a new programme to make us laugh the mid-week blues away, and E4 promises just that with a new show set to hit our screens later this month. Earlier this week we joined E4 at Shoreditch’s Concrete to enjoy a sneak preview of their new British sitcom, Drifters to find out exactly what our favourite comedy channel has in store for us.
In the male-dominated world of commercially successful comedy, it’s refreshing to see such a brilliantly funny sitcom with an all-female cast. Jessica Knappett both writes and stars in Drifters in the lead role of Meg, alongside Bunny (Lydia Rose Bewley) and Laura (Lauren O’Roukre) who together form a trio of friends caught adrift in the strange world of post-university life. Comic legends Arabella Weir and Bob Mortimer take to the screen as Meg’s parents, in this irresistibly quirky new British comedy that we predict will soon become compulsory viewing.
At the launch we noshed on slices of pizza from Shoreditch’s very own Pizza East and sipped potent tequila-cosmos, before being invited to take a seat by E4’s charming Head of Comedy, Phil Clarke to take the very first look at Drifters. During the screening we snacked on popcorn served in adorably kitsch Drifters popcorn boxes and bags of our favourite childhood sweets (cola-bottles anyone?), but the preview was an easy-to-watch comic pleasure that didn’t need to made any sweeter, and the by the time the credits rolled on the third episode, we were dying to watch the next instalment.
Still reeling with laughter from the episodes, we had the chance to meet the cast and find out exactly how much they have in common with their characters, and it turns out, quite a lot. Watching the Drifters girls off-camera, it’s clear that their on-screen chemistry is not in the slightest bit contrived. The three share an infectious sense of fun that flows as freely as their easy banter, making an audience with them an absolute raucous delight.
With the same producer as The Inbetweeners and a cast that starred in The Inbetweeners Movie, it is natural that comparisons will be made, but despite these connections, Drifters bares little more than a passing resemblance to Damon Beesley and Iain Morris’ hit comedy. Instead Drifters has a unique vibe as Knappett captures the modern young adult experience with comic perfection. Knappett describes the show as highly autobiographical, but written with a generous creative license, regarding Drifters as a product of the years that she really did spent ‘drifting’, writing down her experience as she went, never imagining that her stories would amount to such an incredible adventure. Drifters recalls the experiences of modern twenty-something life, graduating from university with great expectations of fame and fortune, only to be caught adrift in a sea of low-paid demeaning jobs and even more demeaning unpaid internships, awful relationships, bad dates and awkward one nighters; staying afloat with a little help from your equally ungrounded friends. Sound familiar? Then Drifters will have you in stitches as you raise a glass to the joys of the not having it all.
Drifters hits our screens at 9pm on October 31st on E4.
Words: Lara Tutton