When Kathryn Prescott sniffing her fingers
to see if she used them night prior is the most realistic thing about an entire Skins series, you know something is rotten in the state of Denmark. (SEE WHAT I DID THERE? I quoted Hamlet. Again.) HEAVEN WILL DIRECT IT... Back to heaven; RIP Skins.
I'm going to rely on some real judges to help me out here. But fair warning: This could get rather long
(like Freddie's greasy locks) and ranty, and as immature as Emily Fitch.
So here we go, one last time.
( a broken stringed guitar can only be played for so longCollapse )
I honestly have no clue where to start, or if I even want to cos at this point, it seems pretty fruitless to complain and criticise. After all, it's all said and done. No amount of whinging on and on will change the absolute tragedy of Skins series 4. And no, not a Hamlet-like tragedy. (JB *wishes*) More like... a travesty. Better word choice there.
I suppose I should preface this whole thing by saying, I was apprehensive about this entire series before it even began. Maybe I'm biased. Especially as soon as we heard the dreaded "only 8 episodes" bit. For the entirety of the series, I have sat round on Friday afternoon going "What the shit is going on?" and wallowing in the ineptitude of the Skins writing "team". (Wait, there's no I in team? OH. Coulda fooled me, Skins writers.) And generally trying to fanwank away all the glaring inconsistencies, plot-holes and massive gaping chasms of faulty research. Please, can I say (and I swear this will be the last time, obviously)? I knew this series was doomed the moment Sophia took MDMA (the worst way possible, btw) and jumped off a balcony. People just don't do that. The second they chose to call it MDMA instead of a more realistic drug for that kind of behaviour, I felt the faith slipping. And then when they decided to ignore the ease of a Google search in favour of creating make-believe crimes in order to create drama for Naomi and Cook, I just lost it completely. (As those of you on my f-list well know, haha).
What happened to Skins being "real"? We all know it's not ~realistic, but it was at least moderately believable at one point. This series was quite possibly worse than the entire run of The O.C. and that's saying something.
Wow, that was not where I wanted to take this. Anyway, back onto EPISODE 8. My preface was supposed to mention that I made an error possibly in my choice of entertainment prior to the finale last night. I decided to watch Harry Brown
. That was likely not a good idea. Simply because, other than the fact I cried for pretty much the entire second half of the film, (for very complex and complicated reasons I won't go into here since I'm talking
Skins, not films) it was much rawer, and everything Skins tries to be and isn't. (And btw, it's better than Gran Torino
, jsyk.) Then I had only an hour to kill between the end of the film and Skins. Mmm. 7-11.
Speaking of food, I am super hungry & a pretty magnificent grouchy bitch, so I'm going to try not to be a total cunt, but no promises. At least, not til my pizza finishes in the oven.
I honestly have no idea where to begin, and that's why I keep rambling about inconsequential things. OK. Bad news first?
Sure.Things I hated...
AH FML. Burnt my hand inside my stupid complicated German oven.
Now, I've never thought Skins wrote particularly good finales (bar parts of S2). This was pretty much on par with what I expected from a finale in terms of resolution. However, when you have 8 episodes in which to tell 9 different stories, and then a total of 48 minutes to wrap the entire thing together, you don't waste time with things like extended, awkward "dance" scenes with Lily Loveless, tearful goodbye scenes with evil psychiatrists who were only introduced last ep, or, you know, Thomas. He is completely useless, both as a character and an actor. I would gauge that only approximately 10% of the viewing audience even gave a shit about him.
While we're on the subject of filler, Pandora/Thomas? Really? I kinda thought that ship sailed a long time ago, what with Thomas being a massive tool and Pandora being mainly non-existent. Did I give a shit about that? Nope. And I actually really like Panda, but that whole thing was plain stupid.
Why can't a boy and girl on Skins just be friends
? Why is that such a foreign concept this series? Oh right, Congo cock.
Don't even get me started on the pure shit they gave Katie
this episode. And why the fuck she dresses the way she does. My eccentric great aunt has the same outfit, Katiekins. She enjoys polo mints and brandy for breakfast. And has 3 cats. Katie was possibly the most real of the characters this series, if only cos she wasn't given this overwhelmingly melodramatic breakdown to cope with. (Everyone else got one.) And yet, she gets about 1 minute of screentime and most of it consisted of a)some weird, awkward thing with Thomas and b)farting in her sleep. Great. (Speaking of which, so Katie's living at Naomi's too, and sharing a room with Cook? No, seriously. When she's talking to Thomas, you see her clothes hanging on a rack. Unless, Emily's decided to punish Naomi with excessive animal print, and have one of those "Which twin is which" headfucks with her.)
WHY IS PANDA @ NAOMI'S?
This was never explained. Not that it's particularly important. It just doesn't make any sense either. Convenient, yeah?
You know, let's just go character by character...Pandora:
So... she's secretly a genius?
ARE YOU FUCKING SHITTING ME?
She secretly took exams? She secretly got a make-believe history scholarship to HARVARD? She's actually entirely fluent in French after just learning the word "incroyable" last series? How can you even get into a french A-level without some background in the language?
Where is my Panda-pops I loved before?
Keep in mind, this is the same girl who, when Effy first met her, was drinking ink out of her pen and then almost hung herself in the park. And apparently had no idea how to paint a picture
and needed Effy & Sid to do it for her. Oh, and she's the same chick who downed an entire baggy of make-believe superdrugs cos she thought that's how to do it. And needs a sign on her own bathroom to remind herself what it is.
Pandora honey, there aren't enough Playmobil sets in the world to get you through four years of a History BA at Harvard. Honestly, if she had to learn by throwing sheep around a library, I'm not sure Harvard would offer her a place, let alone a scholarship (that doesn't actually exist. Way to go, fact-checkers. AGAIN.)
Which, let's just touch on Thomas
again who magically, without any rhyme or reason gets another made-up athletics scholarship to Harvard, despite being expelled from school and not actually getting any A-levels at all. He's just that fast. Like a dog, right. (Can I just mention that when someone is compared to a dog it's usually not in a good way? Like, usually visions of humping people's legs and multiple penises come to mind. Not running fast. Cheetah, maybe. Dog? Not so much. But maybe that's just a cultural thing I don't understand.) Plus, dogs aren't ~that fast. Meh. Especially those stupid frou-frou ones.
I think perhaps the Skins writers have confused Harvard University with the McDonalds at the community college down the street. You can't just walk in the door and sign-up.
Or maybe, it's actually a university called Arvard and we are just assuming it's Harvard cos they have accents. Yes? Perhaps? ;P
And Tommo doesn't want to run for whitey, eh? Well, perhaps Harvard isn't the place for him then. JUST SAYING. If you want pompous, white assholes to bring your down and break your spirit, that's the place. (I hate university, can you tell?)Freddie:
Oh. He's a ghost now and talks to his loved ones... Okay.Karen:
Is 12. I don't understand what they were trying to do here. Not only did they make her look loads younger, she was also talking like she was 16. That bit outside Naomi's with Thomas when she was going on about her interests. As someone who is older than the Skins kids as well, it didn't make sense. Britney? Posh & Becks? Heavy petting? Seriously. How old is she again?Effy:
Who? Oh, you mean Angela from My So-Called Life? Hey, Effy, the 90s called. They want their terrible fashion back. Also, where is Effy? What is going on with Effy? Why is Effy even in this episode? What the fuck did Kaya do to piss off Bryan Elsley so much? Cos really, she's spent 4 years on the show and THAT'S what she gets? It's hard even to comment on Effy cos she was barely in it.
All I know is that her story made me the saddest cos look at it... Her boyfriend's just been brutally murdered by her doctor who it is implied sexually assaulted her in some way after she tried to kill herself, her best friend is leaving to go to "Harvard", her ex-boyfriend is either dead from avenging her boyfriend or on the run from the po-po for eternity for committing murder, her dad & bro have pissed away to nowhere land, her lezzie pals (Naomi who is the only one who actually bothered to visit Effy the first time) are setting sail to India to get sand up their vaginas, literally, so.. what? She's left with an autistic kid who's now raising a baby for the rather fly-by-night girlfriend he has and... Katie. The chick that she bashed over the head with a rock and left for dead in the woods, and has somehow put all that behind her.DO WE SEE HOW ~THIS IS THE REAL TRAGEDY?
Cos, holy hell. Effy, poor girl.
(While Katie would be enough for me, and is probably the best person for Effy (cos they're obviously in love or something. Why exactly was Katie sleeping over in the mentalhouse?) Effy has lost her "support" net. Not that the bunch of drunken, insane enablers she had for friends are the best support system anyway, but still.)Emily:
I don't even want to talk about Emily, tbh. She managed to piss me off every single time she was on screen. Just like she has since Katie's episode. CRY MOAR KATHRYN PRESCOTT. (I actually yelled this at the TV. My friend laughed politely.) That is literally all she and Lily Loveless have been given this whole series. It's boring, trite, and stupid. I've ranted about the portrayal (or lack thereof) of the so-called "relationship" at length in the past. I am just so fucking sick of seeing Emily cry like she's such a bloody victim all the time.
What really annoyed me far more than anything else she's done this series (and trust me, I really can't stand most of it), was that look she gives Naomi as she walks in the door to Fred's shed. Like Naomi needs to prove herself. Not the other way around. But, I don't really get the whole thing. Um. Naomi broke up with her cos Emily was lying for weeks (if not months) about what she's been up to, and dating and sleeping with Mandy (okay, just ~sleeping... naked, supposedly) and yet somehow it's STILL Naomi's fault?
Newsflash: It's both your faults. You stupid twats. The fact Emily didn't apologise at any point the entire time really rubbed me the wrong way. To me, that said, "Sure, if your girlfriend cheats on you once, it's perfectly acceptable to punish them to the point of borderline abuse for a year. It's their fault anyway." And I realise people can say "Well, Emily's apology was her saying "I love you"/kissing Naomi. It didn't need to be explicitly said." But it did. For once. I didn't feel the love from Emily really. I don't feel like she grew as a character at all, all series. She started out fine, then turned into this scorned, spoilt brat for the rest of it. "Oh boo hoo, my girlfriend doesn't want to go to Goa! Let's go pick up giants at the pub and bring them back, get them naked, wonder if you drunkenly shagged them, and then lie about it all! Oh, but wait, she's giving me tix to Goa so now that I get what *I* want, I guess it's okay!"
Not to mention the way she was using Mandy wasn't cool either.
I just... Don't even want to talk about it anymore.Naomi:
Something was off about her. I don't know if it was a result of the editing, pacing, lack of development or what but what kind of drugs is Naomi on at 9 AM? I want some. Last week had her wondering how "okay" she and Emily were (which I already discussed the weirdness of such a statement). This week she's prancing around, obviously either intoxicated or brain-damaged from previous intoxication, putting Emily to bed with another chick, making her breakfast, kissing her, making somewhat mean sounding sexual innuendos, before getting lashed @ 11:30 AM and listening to shit 80s music, before providing possibly the most awkward grinding I've ever seen... and some of my middle school dances were fairly well-lit.
When did Naomi become so stupid? I understand wilful blindness. Ignorance is bliss and all that. But she could not have really thought Mandy was straight, right? That's why she kept pushing? ...But then why was she so fucking surprised when it was confirmed? Like... *shakes head* The vibe I got was that Naomi knew the whole time but she was repressing it or not saying anything, in order to test Emily. (EMILY FAIL.) Which, while fairly passive-aggressive, is not particularly unfair. It proved to me that Emily is just as guilty of the things she holds against Naomi. And that means they BOTH are in the wrong. Still. After 7 episodes, nothing is any different. The only new info we got was a bit of background on Naomi's massive childhood love affair with Emily (which I won't go into cos I thought it was actually understandable, and can fit with S3 actually... but horribly written.) & subsequent justification for promiscuity. But anyone who uses "slave to the way I feel" automatically loses cred with me. Soz, Naoms.
But... *sigh* I was disappointed that Gina never appeared. And errr, Naomi accepted Goldsmiths? I dunno. That seems... odd. Not just because WHY THE FUCK IS NAOMI GOING TO A PREDOMINANTLY ART-FOCUSSED SCHOOL? YEAH THE SAME ONE THAT IS ATTACHED COMPLETELY TO THE MEMORY OF THAT SUICIDAL CHICK THAT OFFED HERSELF AFTER GETTING IT ON WITH AND STALKING NAOMI? YEAH THAT WHOLE THING THAT PARTLY CAUSED HER BFF COOK TO LAND IN PRISON AND MORESO THE LAST 12 MONTHS TO BE LIVING HELL?
(Yeah, yeah, good sociology dept too. Whatever. Leave me to indignantly scoff in peace, pls. And I'm fairly certain that will straight As she could have got into a school with a better sociology program. Like, one that isn't tied to such terrible memories. js.)Cook:
Hmm. I feel bad for Cook simply cos they took in him in one direction at the end of his episode, and undid ALL that growth throughout the rest of the series. Escaping from jail was the first step backwards. And then everything after (save his speech to Freddie about manning up). And so, it ends with him either merking someone, or dying. :(
Despite saying how much I enjoyed Harry Brown
, I do not believe in vigilante justice. I don't think Cook was heroic. I don't think murdering the doctor is okay. Sorry. An eye for an eye leaves us all blind. Everyone who is creaming themselves over what a great guy Cook is need to look a little harder, imo. Without getting into this incredibly complex issue of "justice" (especially since across cultures, yes, even within various English-speaking ones), I don't think vengeance is an acceptable justification for murder. That's all I'm going to say about it. I took a law course in this exact subject and could talk for HOURS about it. So, just... No. I'm not going to talk about it anymore.
This is it:
"Vengeance is a lazy form of grief."
I dunno. I felt they did his character a huge injustice. After everything that's been built, fucking burn it to the ground. Though, that's pretty much my general view this whole series. "Yeah, let's do that. Let's build something, and then we'll tear it down! Fuck it, come on. Say it."
Jal. ILU.Watch it here.
(PS. Chris=Naomi, Jal=Emily --- except Chris/Jal dealt with the issues 100x better. Seriously. Think about it. Naomi/Emily's storyline is so much less "impressive" when you consider this. The parallels are great. But Chris/Jal is how normal people, non-insane bitches who are in love deal with cheating. Naomi/Emily is just... how people deal with it in MelodramaticCrazytown. This was one of the things I mentioned a long time ago in relation to how uncreative Series 4 has been when compared to S1/2.)
Skins built something. It wasn't perfect, but people loved it for a reason. Then they said, fuck it, we have no idea what to do with this, so let's fuck it up so magnificently that we'll make it completely indistinguishable from the thing people loved in the first place. And we're left really with a series that's main focus was vengeance. Not love, not life, not even justice or consequences. Just revenge and darkness.
(And I can't help but think it was purposeful sabotage. They created a Frankenstein monster in a sense. This massively popular and ridiculously loved show, with a cast that exceeded beyond anyone's expectations and drew mobs of fans, literally. But they're faced with a new gen and series next year, and to prevent us from hating/dreading it off the bat, they destroyed what we loved so that our expectations are so low, our opinions can only go up next series. Too bad half these fans won't be watching any longer.)
But back to Cook, as much as I enjoyed his half-nakedness, it just couldn't make up for the backslide in his character development. Like, there wasn't any movement. The speech at the end? Similar to his ramble in JJ's ep last series. And the whole idea of nothingness? I dunno, I got Misfits vibes from it. Nathan's speech was better
. I still enjoyed Cook's though. NGL. If only for the very last line. (The rest reeked a little of the same hubris
Cook had in S3 ep2, imo, which just means he never did learn or develop much at all; and that saddens me).
And honest truth? I didn't mind the cliffhanger. Not at all. I expected as much. I just thought I would care a little more. Everyone's flipping out about lack of resolution but again, expected. It's not the cliffhanger that annoyed me. It was everything else about the episode. From it's ridiculously incoherent pacing, lack of cohesive character growth, random contrived plot devices and overused cliches, unconvincing acting & writing, and general messiness.
And, I have decided that if I ever want to commit a bunch of crimes and get away with it, I should just move to Bristol. They appear to have the most moronic police force since, I dunno, Mr Plod in Noddy books.
So. I also haven't really enjoyed the music. I thought the track chosen for the end montage was TERRIBLE. There hasn't been a single track this entire series that I've been like "WOW, what a fantastic choice! I love it!" (I thought there were FAR more in previous series). The only one they played that I was actually like "Nice" was the Panda Su track with Karen.
But the thing that really irked me and became crystal clear this episode?
The lack of friendship. Skins was supposed to be about a group of friends learning, suffering, growing up together. From the get go of S3, Gen2 has never really connected to each other the same way as Gen1. They have their own little cliques within the larger group, with a little connection to another clique here and there, and no relationships beyond the romantic are ever really explored in great detail other than those that were pre-existing. The fact that Emily and Thomas had never even been to Freddie's shed before? And we're supposed to believe that these were all tight buds? Nah. Not buying it. They've always felt like a group of people who have hung out together cos they don't have anyone else, not for any genuine connection. Any such connections were never explored to the degree where I could believe they really were a whole group of close friends; like not in the same sense I felt in Gen1, where you knew (with perhaps the exception of Anwar cos he wasn't really developed; and Cassie S2 cos she went off the deep end and burned her bridges pretty effectively) if one of them was upset, they ~could turn to any of the other people in their group. And don't even get me started on the lack of Katie & Emily in the finale. (*That* was a direction/editing issue. There was far more they could have done during Naomi's speech. SO much more. It doesn't have to be verbal. Dropped the ball on that one. Big time.)
I think had the pacing not been quite so WHAM! BAM! this episode would have had much improved cohesiveness, and thus emotional sustainability. But as it stands, it was just one random, disconnected event after another, and nothing really happened at all for half an hour. It was a little jarring, especially Naomi's story. WHAM! She's happy/stupid, BAM! she's drunk, WHAM! she's mad, BAM! she's in outer space, WHAM! she's naked, BAM! she's sad, WHAM! she's confessing her undying love, BAM! it's over. Like...... what? Headspin much. There was no real build-up, especially to the final Naomily scene. *sigh* It came out of nowhere. She just walks in the door and immediately
starts on about her ~feelings. WHAT?
I expected better. Like, you all know me, I'm not a hater. I am (was) so in love with Naomi/Emily it's ridiculous but there's still something not quite right about it all for me. I was unsatisfied, I think. Disappointed, mostly in the fact that nothing really changed
or moved forward for the entire series when I really think about it. Things happened, mostly for no reason, and nothing really changed in the end.
So, JB and BE and Co. can try to justify their decisions all they want but this series did NOT have the magic of the previous ones. Plain and simple. Giving Naomi/Emily a happy ending doesn't make up for 8 episodes of crap. Sorry. You can't bribe me like that. So, continue on, JB.
I don't care.
Apparently love is revenge; life is hedonistic vengeance. That's all I know now.
But anyway, this is an epically long post and if anyone's actually made it this far, I sincerely congratulate you. The scary thing is that I'm not done. I don't have much else to say in terms of things I didn't
like, but I feel that I need to talk about the things I did like. But this post is far too long as it stands. So, there will be a part two which likely will incorporate both what I enjoyed about the episode (cos there were moments, unlike JJ's episode), and the series in general. I think it all can fit in one post, tbh.
So, until then... PEACE OUT, BITCHES. xx