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Clique series two: An overview

Brig writer Iona Young provides an insight into the latest series of BBC Three drama Clique

If you are looking for an easy series to binge across the Christmas holidays that isn’t your typical drama, with the same predictable story lines shown this time every year, it’s time to check out Clique. The Edinburgh based drama thriller by Skins writer Jess Brittain follows a group of students through corruption, crime and pretty much the opposite of typical student life. It is refreshing to see a BBC drama set in the capital and feature a range of talented young actors. Jess Brittain said to the Guardian:

“While Clique draws on my own social insecurities and failings at university, the stakes for young people are very different to the ones I experienced. Teenagers aren’t allowed to be dicks any more.”

Clique is based on a number of interviews with students, and it is easy to understand that with so much pressure to have a career after university and succeed, people will go to any length to do it.

Holly is back, and this time with a mysterious group of guys. The final episode of the six-part second series was released on BBC Three online a couple of days ago. This series once again focused on some difficult issues including sexual assault, violence and substance abuse tangled up in the lives of a group of strong but broken girls trying to piece themselves back together after losing a number of close friends and testifying in court against the head of the finance company where the group of friends were doing an internship.  

The main character Holly seemed to be affected most as illustrated in the first couple of episodes. She had always been shy but now she is much more distant and furthering herself from friends and the people she meets. She uses Instagram to paint a picture of a happy young woman, enjoying herself and partying whilst keeping her head down and working a lot. Her flatmate Louise was by her side during the whole ordeal in first year. She was closer to Faye, one of the girls who killed herself. Despite this, Louise presents a more positive outlook by trying to move on and bring Holly with her. 

The main difference between the first and second series is Holly’s introduction to a group of guys, one of which she is instantly drawn to. The boys are part of an organisation led by a peculiar ex-lecturer who is adamant on “telling the truth” and criticizing any feminist movement around the university aiming to ridicule people involved. Consistently using the term ‘snowflake’ and trying to lead the boys astray which eventually backfires.

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credit: Radio Times

Between being falsely accused of rape and being the son of a politician who is center stage in local elections, we are introduced to Jack. He is quite reserved and behaves strangely from time to time experiencing blackouts. So, of course, Holly needs to know more. Although focusing on the male clique, Jess Brittain said in the Radio Times:

“It’s still very much a show about female friendship and a woman’s perspective… It’s still very much about Holly’s relationship with other women. The clique, the male clique, test her and push her into different areas, but her relationship with other women are still the centrepiece of the show.”

The first two episodes are quite dry compared to last season, but the themes of toxic masculinity illustrated through a feminine gaze makes it subtle yet gripping. Expect to see some old faces and become more entwined as the series continues.

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