Recently a post I published on 02/01/2009 has been getting an incredible number of hits.
Presumably because it was tagged ‘Skins’, ‘Frankie’ and ‘controversy’, fans of the E4 teen drama are curiously searching for hints and clues for the new series, which kicked off a week ago.
It seems ironic that I wrote a post querying the chaotic series 3 trailer, then wrote and a more positive blog the following year about the penultimate episode of series 4. This change probably came as I worked over the summer on the Skins website. I even got to visit the set in Bristol, and took part in the filming of Series 4, Episode 1. I also enjoyed the new cast in the ‘second phase’ more than I expected to, and was pleasantly surprised when they were all wonderful people too.
So what of the new series then? A common comment on the last series is that it was considered ‘too dark’. Last Thursday’s opener did away with the wild raves and portrayed a more truthful portrayal of what it means to be 16 and an outsider. Even glamourous ‘Mean Girl’ Mini had a party in a bar that featured nicely dressed teenagers, as one would expect from a ‘sweet sixteen party’ – rather than an ecstasy-fuelled romp. Franky, almost underplayed by former child film star Dakota Blue Fanning made for intriguing viewing, with her unsteady social standing creating a mystery around how our ‘gang of eight’ will finally come together as friends in time for series 6. Thankfully we’ve also been spared a love triangle too!
I’m not sure how long this more realistic portrayal of teen angst and social awkwardness will last, but TV series are allowed to descend into fantasy, aren’t they?