Skins fifth series has been criticised and if this continues it may be their last series. With a whole new batch of college students, who in convention of the series continue to exercise their right to drink, do drugs and have love triangles. However in 2011 the formula seems to be broken.
The first episode was centred around one character, Franky (Dakota Blue Richards). She was the new girl in town and has always been an outsider, due to her history in foster care and her unconventional lifestyle. Obvious conclusions are drawn as she attempts to “fit in” and in a conventional type revelation appears to be liked and lust after by her peers.
As we are further introduced to characters it becomes obvious that the Skins producers have tried to provide a personality from every type of subculture. This prevents the established “friendship groups” from being cohesive. From a ballet dancer, Grace (Jessica Sula), whose best friends with both a bitchy, virgin princess, Mini (Freya Mavor), alongside the immoral hard partying Liv (Laya Willis), to metal head Rich’s (Alexander Arnold) friendship with an avant garde raver Alo (Will Merrick).
The bonds and sentiments of the characters seem forced and contrived as even more bizarre matches are made: the posh ballerina Grace’s romance with the sallow metal head Rich. Unsurprisingly, the early episodes see these bonds begin to crumble and become disjointed. At this point, it is not obvious where it will go from here, or indeed if anyone cares.
Previous series of Skins provided lovable though unconventional characters whose friendships and relationships were believable and heartfelt. Episodes filled with an array of endearing characters and egotistical rebels.
The new personalities, however, are not relatable. You may feel like you know someone similar to each character but you don’t associate yourself with them or wish to befriend them. This is the key difference.
Events continue to unfold in an unsurprising fashion yet in odd, unrealistic locations while you wait for something believable or important to happen. This was not a winning combination.
Unfortunately by the finale of the fifth series, the characters were still hollow and insincere, befriending overblown stereotypes, in a way which lacks emotion or reason. This series was certainly not worth the wait, for an avid fan. Those new to Skins should hop onto 4od and checkout the other four series. If, however, you’re a masochist Series 5 is still available for your perverse self flagellation.
Also posted on InQuire Live.