Ficus Reviews: Skins Series 5, Episode 1

Posted: January 28, 2011 in Ficus Reviews
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Does Choice Determine Identity?

Judging from the conclusion of episode 1 of the new Skins, the answer is undoubtedly in the affirmative. Frankie, generation 3’s resident lesbian (at least in spirit), was the focal point of this episode.  I have to admit that I wasn’t impressed. I suppose it’s asking too much for an original character in Skins now, but Jane Doe’s portrayal of a confused, insecure teen wasn’t very convincing. It lacked sufficient emotion and any gravitas. In this episode we see Frankie toy with the idea of trying to fit in before letting her inner freak flourish in her new home. On the other end of the scale is Mini, resident crazy cutthroat bitch, I suppose the female counterpart to generation 1’s Tony (sans charisma, looks, charm etc.) She’s popular, cruel and highly manipulative. A couple of louts, Mini’s boyfriend, his sidekick and two of Mini’s devotees (one who joins the dark-side) complete the Skins cast. Oh and some weird guy that reminded me alot of Angel…a really crap Angel. These characters face a stark choice between embracing one’s inner self and hiding this self behind a veneer of materialism and ritual aggrandising superficiality. To wear your bathers or to skinny dip in the public pool (totally disgusting by the way)? In other words, do you want to let your freak flag fly? Paper or Plastic? Who adorns your walls- The Boy who Lived or the Boy who Sparkled? This is an interesting starting point for the 3rd generation of the Skins franchise. One could argue that both previous sets of Skins characters faced this dilemma. I mean the show is about the Skins we wear…But here the question is posed in a very unsubtle juxtaposition. There seems to be two opposing camps, set on a collision course for the sun…or the local pub. Regardless, it creates some interest and I think the show needs it. From what I saw of the characters and the cast there isn’t much to get excited about. One disappointing part of this episode was the total lack of humour. Sure, Skins can be dark but there must be laughter. For without laughter there is no Skins. Also, there is no standout character. No Tony. No Cassie. No Sid. No JJ. No hope. That’s perhaps a bit harsh. Where there is conflict, identity crises, philosophical arguments concerning life and sex there’ll be viewers. And where there’s Skins, there will be Ficus. For at least another episode…

P.S. Just to clarify: where there is Skins (UK), Ficus will be there. Where there is Skins (US), Ficus will be concentrating on photosynthesis.

Keep Watching Your Screens

A Slightly underwhelmed yet still hopeful Ficus


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