A New Year, A new series of Skins. This time it’s not only a new series it’s a new generation of characters and we begin the series with a Franky focused episode. I’ll try not to give out any spoilers in reviews, just the general gist of how the story goes for those who’ve not seen it and don’t want to be spoiled.
It starts with Franky dressing for school and we see she doesn’t quite fit the norm, she dresses like a boy and has 2 gay dads. We’re also introduced to how messed up her life is by a load of school boys harassing her. She steals a disability scooter and a chase begins. At this point I begin to think of series 3 and our introduction to Freddie, and how I thought they were trying to hard with these new characters and that’s the feeling I got here.
I think back to series one episode 1 and think how much I hated that on first viewing, so perhaps I’m just being harsh. But the introduction to Tony was so much more real, with Tony pissing off his dad in a morning, but admittedly it did go overboard. Anyway back to Franky, the chase continues all the way to her new school, where she humiliates herself by crashing the scooter in to bike rack outside in full view of everyone and catching the attention of the school bitch and her less bitchy but very much under her influence, friends. During the chase we’re also introduced briefly to two slacker guys, who show up later and try to sort of befriend Franky. So this rushed introduction to the characters is just that, rushed.
As the episode goes on the bitch, Mini, and her friends, Liv and Grace, befriend Franky and invite her to a party, take her shopping and do her make up, etc. And to me at this point it starts feeling much more like a US Teen drama than Skins. Also I can’t help but feel the fact they have a cast of characters who weren’t already friends and have drama between them is what makes these last few series so much less than the first 2. Whereas Tony, Michelle, Sid were already friends and had their issues within that friendship made the overall story feel more cohesive because individual episodes felt like the contained the other characters naturally but the last 2 generations have been separate groups plus an outsider and the tension seems much more forced and pointless and much less cohesive to the overall story.
When it comes to the acting Dakota Blue Richards does well enough as Franky, but I can’t help but feel the entire thing is a little over-acted by everyone. They don’t really feel like real people at this point though as I said earlier I may be judging this episode harshly. Perhaps the series will improve but at this point I have a feeling series 5 may be where I drop Skins, but I’ll hang on for another couple of episodes to give the new cast a fair shake.