Dave, Reading, 2002

Like I ever post in this thing anyway.

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Bang Bang Bang Went Frankie's Gun
Wat, Emily, S3E09
Bet they're regretting pissing that song away in 310, huh?

Okay, here's the deal. I've been working pretty much every Thursday for the last four months, so I haven't been watching and hence I've been unable to pass judgement. (I haven't been downloading due to bandwidth considerations, and I've decided that Skins USA was enough of a disaster to skip bothering to try.) I've bought the DVDs now though, so it's time to start abusing. I'm trying to do an "immediate thoughts after first viewing" thing like I did last year, but it ain't going to be easy.

I've managed to remain relatively unspoiled for S5, but I've caught little bits. So don't worry too much about tags.


I was always concerned about Frankie. As soon as the group shots first emerged, I thought she reminded me of my cousin's psychopathic ex-girlfriend too much for me to be able to give her a fair shot. She's less psychopathic, but that doesn't seem to have made her more likeable.

My first thought was that she was being wilfully awkward. Seemingly determined not to fit in, she struck me as somebody who refuses to accept that life is about compromise (despite a wealth of life experiences telling her otherwise). And the thing is that while "this is who I am, take it or leave it cause I AIN'T CHANGIN' FOR NOBODY, SISTA" is (extremely) brave, and admirable, and part of what the show's always been about, it's not going to get her very far.

That said, she found friends eventually. Grace seems like a less insightful Pandora so far. Nick's clearly a twat, Matty was good for the one scene he got, Rich and Alo seem like a couple of regular guys that I could happily go drinking with (you know, if I drank), and Liv may well turn out to be my favourite character.

And then there's Mini. Seriously, this episode might as well have been called "Frankie and Mini" because these two are clearly going to end up bouncing off each other for the whole season. (Complete with inevitable slash. I've been indulging in enough Naomily fic to know of the existence of Minky...) It's kind of an early-S3 Keffy dynamic; one crawling all over the other in search of acceptance into the in-crowd.

So, let's talk about the scene in the club. The "cuntless dyke-like nobody" etcetera felt much more effective when JJ said it in 307, because he made it sound as though he believed all the insults people had shot at him for years and they'd managed to get him down. Frankie's encased herself in a shell in the top of a tower (see her bedroom being up on the very top floor of a very tall house, complete with Vertigo poster), and the thing about being that high up is that you're setting yourself up for a fall.

The worst bit, though? "And I really feel that we could be mates. Fucking awesome mates." You can't say that line, ever. I don't care how good an actress Dakota is - and she's clearly half decent - that shit's on a par with the "I love you" from Star Wars. What it felt like, to me, was JB pleading with the audience. To stop the hating, and the skepticism, and the lack of Naomily, and love the new batch. And... sorry man, but I'm not there yet.

There's good stuff going on. I really like Rich, and Alo, and Liv, and I think Mini's going to turn out to have quite a lot more going for her than leader of the Plastics from Mean Girls. Some of the shooting was well done (particularly in the shopping centre). Matty was the sort of interesting enigmatic that Effy used to be. And all in all it felt like a return to the show's Gen1 roots (the frame-for-frame remake of the opening shot, for instance). But something's missing.

But hey, we're one episode in, Kyle Lynd is still Kyle Lynd (a lot of good songs here, although only a couple of truly great ones), and Skins is still Skins (when it's not Skins USA, which isn't Skins). So... we'll see.

Songs to download
Thieves Like Us - Never Known Love
Aeroplane - We Can't Fly
British Sea Power - Waving Flags


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