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23 February 2012 @ 05:20 pm
SKINS 6x05 - MINI  
I eventually broke and watched it cos my friend wanted to rant about it. So, alas, I apathetically switched it on 4oD...

Here's what I thought about it.

It sucked.

It was just one boring, predictable cliche after another, to the point that if I had been playing some sort of drinking games cliche-bingo, I'd be unconscious, vomming all over myself by the end of the episode. Pure amateur hour for Jess Brittain, who wrote an episode that differs from typical, mediocre fanfic only by ONE factor: the fact Skins is an exercise in blatant nepotism and her episode actually made it onto TV because of that. Go back to school. Oh wait, that won't help cos they can't teach you creativity.

Such a yawn-worthy episode, well, when it wasn't completely schizophrenic or made me go so far beyond the mere suspension of disbelief necessity Skins normally employs.

The work do. Again, I'm fairly certain at least someone on the writing team would have been like, "Oh yeah, I've been to a launch party before." (UM DOESN'T SKINS ITSELF HAVE THEM?!) Hey, guess what: When I go to a club, there are these silly men at the door called bouncers. I know, crazy right? You know who else is usually at the door? People who take your ticket... cos events have tickets. Launch parties would have invitations, or like, a GUEST LIST. HEY WAIT, remember last year, like, I dunno, 5x01 when Mini had her bday party? And what was that? SHE HAD A BOUNCER AND GUEST LIST.


Yet her daddy's presumably successful advertising company doesn't? Seems legit. Totally can see how a bunch of scrubby looking teenagers just walked right in.

This is the sort of thing that is completely unacceptable, yet the sort of lack of care and attention that Skins has by the bucketful these days. Remember in S1, S2 and S3 when they had to queue, had to get past bouncers, try to either con their way onto guestlists with Karen or get Jal to waive them through? Yeah. What happened to that? The reason shit like this pisses me off so much is because it's part of a key plot point, and it's something that is SO easy to address.

Yeah yeah, they wanted an excuse to use the cellar under Colston Hall, which is all well and good but if you're gonna go that way, you have to look at the little things. Like the fact that there is effectively no way in Hell that the kids would have been able to crash a professional launch event in an established venue, that there's also no way that coat check would be unattended like that. Not to mention a dress code would have been established and said party organisers woulda chucked those kids out ASAP if they were dressed like that. And they wouldn't have been served by teh staff either. staff are trained.


I've worked events like that before. Like fucking hell a bunch of suits would just leave their jackets and such in some random room, especially with valuables like wraps of coke in them. Like hell the organisers of the event wouldn't know this. It's such utter bullshit and completely shows Jess Brittain's complete lack of worldly experience and writing talent. Sorry.

Again, I come back to that bit in 'Elf' about the last pages of the book being missing and the suits saying how it doesn't matter cos kids are stupid, they only look at the pictures anyway. This, I can see clearly, is Skins' manifesto this year. Cos, I'm completely certain there is a large percentage of the viewing audience that totally doesn't see all the glaring inconsistencies, problems and plain idiocy of the writing and plot. Lucky them, tbh. But hey Skins, THIS is why you're never going to win an BAFTA ever again. Hasn't anything in the last 3 years taught you anything?

I guess not.

So, I chose there to pick out one specific piece of this hot mess of an episode. If you turn off your brain, I'm sure it's a great episode. But if you even think about it even a little bit, or if you were actually invested in any of the characters as they were built last series (and in the book) this episode is a pile of shit. Mini's ED? Meh. It's gone. Cool beans, guys. Way to go. Mini didn't know who her dad was? Oh yes she does and she speaks to him! Awesome. Way to keep on message. OH! And they've known Grace for YEARS? Excellent example of continuity. This all coming from the same chick that wrote BOTH THIS EPISODE AND THE NOVEL WHERE ALL OF MINI'S BACKSTORY WAS ESTABLISHED.

Well fucking done, you idiot.

Also that bit with Rich's return was so bloody stupid I can't even comment. The Skins teachers have always been way over the top, but never so completely ridiculous. Have they? That would have NEVER EVER happened. And really, reality check: No one gives a shit if your girlfriend dies. I had a kid die in an accident at my school one year, who had BROTHERS still attending and a girlfriend. No one made a big fucking deal about that. You know how a big deal is made? Like this one girl's sister committed suicide, so that year for Charity Week, she led a huge fashion show event and all the proceeds went to research and help organisations that deal with depression in teenagers. THAT'S how it happens in reality. Not once did she have teacher's fussing over her and putting on that kind of ridiculous display in class. She took a leave of absence, and all her teachers were aware of it, and when she came back, it wasn't a huge fucking deal -- and everyone admired her strength yes, but moreso cos she focussed her grief into such a massively successful charity event. It's just so ridiculous how big a deal they're making of this at this college. Shit like that does not happen. Or maybe me and everyone I know just went to cold, uncaring schools.

What the hell's Rich doing walking into class late anyway? That was stupid just by itself. He could have just waited til the next class. It's not like anyone's gonna care if he misses one more class.

>> Are you a female 16-22 years of age?
>> Do you enjoy casual sex?

>> Well, does Skins have news for you!
>> (Or get raped.)

Hey, Skins, you did realise that when they said that in 'Mean Girls' it was ~mocking this notion? It was hyperbole. Oh, missed that memo? Ooh. Tough break.

I'm not even going to talk about Franky, cos seriously, what the FUCK was that?!

I also really appreciated the message that since no one loves you, you should have a baby cos it will love you. It has to. And also, cos people say you can't love anything, you should try to prove them wrong by having a baby! THAT'LL SHOW EM. I hope she's still so determined when her baby has FAS and comes out mentally retarded. I thought it was a really lovely thing to send out to lonely teen girls everywhere.

I feel like if you like Malo, you'd enjoy this episode. Otherwise, meh. Mini was downright despicable with her mother. I understand that people often say hurtful things to each other, and when we're young this is 100x worse (I've said some equally nasty things to people I love when throwing those typical teen tantrums)... but Mini just... Above and beyond, my dear. I was just like, "I hope her mother kicks her whiny, bitchy, ungrateful, stupid ass out." I would. Fuck that. Yeah, her mum was a bit much at times, but other than the baby oil thing, I really didn't think she was THAT bad. And, erm, where was the mum's "I already know, Mini," bit that would have happened.

Cos uh. Mini's mum is Mini a few years down the road. She'd have known all the signs, and there's no way in hell that when Mini was out, that woman wouldn't have gone through her drawers and found the drawer full of used pregnancy tests (again, wtf.). Not to mention the puking loudly every morning... Just saying. Even if she didn't suspect pregnancy, she would have been wondering. I just hope that if she has a baby it turns out as miserable and bratty as her.

I also did not appreciate the Michelle vibes I was getting from this at the beginning. Michelle is a totally different character with MASSIVELY different issues, different flaws, different backstory, different motivations. But it was like, Michelle 2.0, except way bitchier, here. Like Jess B couldn't figure out how to write it, so she just copied Michelle for a bit. But it doesn't work with Mini's character to shove her into the mould of a previous character. (Hasn't BE learnt his lesson about this YET? I suppose not...). But I mean, I can't deny that it seemed very Michelle-esque and I did not like it at all. So Michelle and Mini both have mums that are a bit flighty and promiscuous. So that means they both have to react the same? I don't get it. Mini's a different character. Why why why.


In short, Mini's stupid. This episode was stupid. And boring. And predictable. And... just no. Cliched to the extreme, right down to the painfully dull and expected ending of the dad making a false promise, then Mini going over to see that his flat is empty, the disconnected phone line and ripping up the cheque, the tearful reconciliation with teh step-dad. I can't even count the number of times I've seen that on TV/in films. TOO MANY. It's pathetically bad writing, imo.

There was one good thing about it tho: Freya Mavor. Thank god DBR didn't get an episode like this. She got all the flashy, action-oriented shit to do cos they had to distracted the masses from her shitty acting by flashing things at us. But Freya Mavor can handle this sort of character-driven story-telling.

Too bad it was such a piss-poor story. Freya deserves more to work with and she got absolutely nothing of substance here. (Tho I will say she's coming off dumb as a bag of bricks in interviews lately for some weird reason.) Freya has the ~chops to really chew this sort of work, and she emoted wonderfully and really sold MINI. I just didn't care for the character or the story. Which is a damn shame, imo. Put her in something deserving of her talent and she'd really blow everyone away, I think. I'd really like to see her actually do something legitimate cos she's so fucking expressive that it seems like Skins only skims the surface, and I honestly think any of the other girls in that role would have made this a much, MUCH more insufferable episode.

I really can't be bothered to pick apart the episode itself, tho. Sorry. All you get is the generally overview of criticism. It was hard enough to pay attention to it the first go around. I'm not sitting through it again just to disdainfully comment all of it. You all have brains. So you can do it yourself. It's not that difficult. The holes were gaping and the whole thing was just a cliched mess. Pull it together, Skins.

Ha ha ha. Who am I kidding? It's not going to get any better than this bullshit.
All I can say is that on it's own, in a vacuum far removed from the rest of the series (both S6 and S5!), it could be considered halfway decent stereotypical teen programming, if completely cliched and predictable. But it's not. And Skins is not supposed to be ~typical. My patience has worn so thin I can see its bones. And my distaste for Skins and this episode itself stem from a culmination of all these problems: The lack of attention to detail, the lack of continuity, the lack of integration of the GROUP as a whole, the unrealistic subplots, the total dissolution of all the characters into some weird half-assed Gossip Girl versions of their former selves. All of this once in a while is easy to dismiss. I quite happily would wave off any of these incidents in Gen1 -- cos they WEREN'T regular occurrences. But when they happen weekly, and not just one or two, but the entire arsenal of flaws, it's harder and harder not to hold it against the show. Something is very, very wrong with Skins itself, the entire enterprise. And unfortunately I'm not swayed enough by any of the characters, actors or ships in order to ignore the fatal flaws clearly evident in it these days.

It's officially halfway through the series and nothing is getting better, though it may be stagnating in the shit -- which I suppose is good, at least it's not getting magnificently worse. (Oh wait, wasn't Franky's gongshow of an episode last week? Yes. Okay. Hmm). I feel this is very much a repeat of S4 and MTV!Skins. If it hasn't sorted itself out by now (and addressed the massive failures of the premiere episode), it's not going to. I know my Skins history. I've seen the patterns and I don't suspect this series is salvageable at all. Now it's akin to watching a ship slowly sink.

And waving from shore, cos fucked if I'm going down with that.

I give it at C-. I'm feeling generous. Even if I sound like an utter asshole throughout this whole thing. That's just the way I feel these days towards this gongshow. Sorry. I once hated those fans who constantly went on about how great "old Skins" was. Now, I'm one of them. Eugh. Doesn't make it any better tho.
The end.
tunes: AWOLNATION - Sail | Powered by Last.fm
toadclubber: spiketoadclubber on February 23rd, 2012 05:54 pm (UTC)
After last series, I haven't watched any of the new episodes. And after reading this, I'm really glad for it tbh.
an idea is bulletproof: Buffy - miss tuesdayelizalavelle on February 24th, 2012 02:58 am (UTC)
LOL you have the same points about the entire private party that I did. JB must be so sheltered to not understand those sorts of things. Everyone over the age of 12 has probably been somewhere with coat check... how does she not know how it works?!

Somehow I did not know there was a gen 3 novel.... I'm torn between seeking it out and running away.

Yeah the message to keep the baby because it loves you... not so true. I like the daytime talk shows where the show girls who think that's true that actually babies don't love you for a long while. They mostly just need you and cry. You love them sure but that's not reciprocated for a long while.

MTV Skins... good comparison :(

mparamourjenjesse on February 24th, 2012 09:30 pm (UTC)
I love how you pay attention to details and can spot things that others don't see right away -- like your point about bouncers not letting those kids in, that didn't even occur to me. The writing has gotten so lazy this year.

What bothered me was Mini having like 10 used pregnancy tests but apparently she couldn't afford condoms? Like it's been pointed out to me that she could've been on birth control and missed a pill or maybe a condom broke which are all possible situations but it just looked stupid.
citb on February 29th, 2012 02:37 pm (UTC)
I sometimes wish I was in that writing room so I could continuously say the same things over and over again:

1) No cliches.
2) Originality does not mean ridiculous thinking.
3) Foreshadowing does NOT count as building a story line.
5) An episode is not an entire series. It's an EPISODE. Look up "episode".

I would also write out all the key elements of a character and stick them everywhere for everyone to see. Haha?