Sabre On TV

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Tag Archives: Skins

Skins 5.02 “Rich” Promo

Thursday night saw the new series of Skins debut with 940,000 viewers, which included the timeshift channel an hour later. This combined figure was down by the series 4 opener last year, which drew over 1 million viewers.

The next episode is Rich; catch the promo below

Skins 5.01 “Franky” Review

Skins is back for a fifth series and its third cast. After the seriousness towards the end of series 4, it was great to see the new series open with some light-hearted scenes. We are first introduced to Franky; she literally crashes into college on a mobility scooter after being chased by schoolboys.


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Two Upcoming Skins Premieres

January is a good month for anyone involved with Skins. Skins S5 airs in the UK on Thursday, 27th at 10pm on E4 while the US remake premieres on MTV on Monday, 17th at 10pm/9c.

I’m usually one who initially hates the news of any remakes or reboots but I’ve decided to take a different approach from now on and reserve judgement. I’m interested to see how much of the UK version will the US one adopt; will they follow the exact same storylines?

It’s premature for me to ask but if the show is a success, will they follow the same route of changing the characters after two seasons? The thing that keeps the show fresh is the fact the cast changes; S5 sees the UK with its third cast.

You can take a look at my reviews for S4 below and the promos for both the UK and US version

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Review: Skins – Series 4

As the dust settles on another series, Skins has already been commissioned for a fifth and sixth series. Details of auditions have been announced to cast a new set of characters. There is also news of a possible film, which might feature characters from both sets of casts. The opener drew 938,000 but the viewing figures declined week by week, dipping as low as 648,000 with the Effy episode. The figure for the finale did rise with 728,000 viewers.

Series 4 has been described by some as too depressing; suicide attempts, breakups, deaths, fighting and mental illness. I do agree that this was the case but then the show has always tried to push the envelope with certain subjects. To me, this series seem to wreck most of the good things they achieved in series 3. Pandora, Thomas, Emily and Naomi’s relationships went south and each episode seemed to be about how bad things can get for the characters. The only person that had a happy episode was JJ. The whole series was disjointed at times and certain things just seem to come out of nothing, like Effy’s mental illness. They had a real opportunity to do something great with the subject but her psychiatrist being obsessed with her and killing Freddie spoilt it. It seems like they are having a regular occurrence of one of the cast members dying, though Chris’ death in series 2 didn’t invoke the same kind of emotion.

My favourite episodes were the ones centred on Emily, Katie and Cook. With Pandora and Naomi not having centred episodes, I think they could have at least one of them share an episode with one of the others. I was however disappointed in how they developed Cook after his centred episode. It seemed like they were really trying to give him another dimension, when he took the fall for Naomi and also went to prison. Afterward, it didn’t seem like it was worth going down that angle, when they had him escape and behave exactly the same as before.

Will Young’s character seemed pointless and I don’t think it served any purpose. Any of the other faculty members could have delivered the message to Freddie, that he was trying to, and seemed stupid doing it. Hugo Speer sold the part of Jon Foster even though I didn’t like what they did with him. The main highlights of the supporting cast were the rest of the Fitches. The twins mother, Jenna (Ronni Ancona), father Rob (John Bishop) and younger brother, James (Redd Smith)

It will be interesting to see what route they take with the new cast and if they follow some of the same patterns like killing off one of the characters or having a one of the characters suffer something traumatic involving their brain (Tony losing his memory in series 2 and Effy’s mental illness and suicide attempt).

Review: Skins – Everyone

Told over a two day period, the teens are in each other’s orbit for their last episode. Converging at Naomi’s house, it’s the morning after a night of partying.

Cook’s latest conquest stuns Naomi and the rest of the gang. Cook doesn’t see it at first but the girl resembles Effy and in a slip, Naomi even addresses her by that name. The next day, Cook is nearly caught by the police as they close on him at Naomi house. An escape leads him to Freddie’s shed and one by one, everyone convenes there to celebrate Freddie’s birthday.

Dr Foster made a couple of appearances; telling Effy he had quit his job and lurking in the shadows outside Freddie’s house. Cook follows Foster to his home and confronts him after finding bloody clothes.

At the beginning, I was left wondering when Naomi and Emily’s dynamic switched; Naomi was perky around Emily. It was like their scene from Katie’s episode never happened. Emily was the opposite; being quiet and in one scene, she was alone and crying.

As this was the last episode, with the current cast, some storylines were being tied up. There was no additional storyline regarding JJ and Katie. They were supporting characters; JJ babysitting his girlfriend’s baby and moments with Cook. Katie’s scenes with Thomas, Pandora and Effy were more about them and not her.

I have to say that I was underwhelmed by the end of the episode. My main problems were the way they played out certain characters and the last scene with Cook and Foster. It left me thinking ‘is that it?’ The scene between Thomas and Freddie’s sister played out a little too long. Things were resolved for Naomi and Emily, but Thomas and Pandora were left with possibilities. Both are heading to Harvard but only Pandora knows it. The reality of Thomas being given a sport scholarship within a day is lost on me. Nothing was resolved for Effy, though she did crack a smile or two. I do have point out a funny moment when Freddie’s sister, JJ and Cook were dancing to Kylie Minogue’s ‘Can’t get you out of my head’.

This episode was not among my favourites but with another chapter finished, another must begin. When it returns, there shall be a new set of characters. I will be doing a post briefly talking about the series as a whole.

Review: Skins – Effy

I’ve been trying to let the episode resonate and not post the first thing that came out. To say that I was shocked by this episode was an understatement. For the most part of the episode, I have to commend Skins for tackling the subject of Effy’s illness. Sure, this isn’t the first show to tackle a subject like this but with this show being aimed a particular audience; it was good for them to try. Unfortunately, for the subject itself, most people will not be talking about that. Instead they will be talking about the last 5 minutes.

Only read on if you’ve seen the episode 

The last time we saw Effy, she was lying in hospital after her attempted suicide, in episode 5. Now she’s in a psychiatric hospital being counselled by John Foster, played by Hugo Speer. After being released, Effy follows a disciplined schedule, even writing the things she needs to do on a whiteboard. Effy reconnects with Freddie for the first time since the hospital; she refused to see him while getting treatment.

Going with Pandora to pick up her college results, Effy is called into Mr Flood office. More interested in league table averages and funding, Flood shreds Effy’s results. These had said she failed all her exams because she couldn’t take them due to her treatment. Flood gave her a new paper of results that said she got all A’s.

Continuing to see Foster, she seems to coping well, but memories are starting to fade to the point that she refers to herself as Elizabeth and doesn’t recognise Cook. Freddie goes to see Foster but encounters a locked door and a baseball bat; all that we see is blood spatter.

My initial feeling about Foster was right; I knew there was something not to be trusted. However I wasn’t expecting him to do what he did. I didn’t see the point of having Foster putting on Phil Collins and “rocking out” to Easy Lover. Are Skins trying to say that we should never trust a Phil Collins fan?

In season 2 when Chris died, there was an emotional connection with the characters and viewers. With Freddie’s demise, Skins seem to be going the opposite direction, in preferring to shock. It almost seemed desperate rather than story driven. They might have a lot of people talking about it but more people will wonder why they chose the way they did.

Next week will be last in the series and also the last with the current cast.

Review: Skins – JJ

The first few minutes are very chopping, as they try to show what an average day for JJ is. This includes work, his mother picking him up, her testing him on science and him talking in a microphone about his thoughts for the day.

JJ has a crush on a girl from work called Lara. Thomas, who also works there, prompts JJ into asking her out. Thomas tells JJ that if he doesn’t do it in ten seconds, then he’ll ask her out himself. JJ runs to stop him and ends up asking her out over the tannoy system.

Before his date with Lara, Freddie brings a heavy bag to JJ’s room. Inside is a recently escaped, Cook. JJ hides him in his room, locking the door as he leaves for his date.

JJ appears a couple of hours early so Lara still needs to get ready. While she’s doing that, JJ entertains her son with his magic tricks. Unfortunately, when trying to change baby Albert’s nappy, he pees in JJ’s face.

Nervousness and a comedy of errors lead to an awkward date between the two of them and failed escape plan for JJ. Despite this and JJ spitting drink her face, the two of them sleep together.

JJ is seen outside the psych support centre by Albert’s father Liam. Coupled with not wanting to talk to him after meeting his parents, JJ head butts Liam at work.

There are 2 key conversations that helps JJ towards the end of the episode; his conversations with his father and Liam. There was also a conversation with Emily but I feel that was more about Emily’s issues. Maybe it serves a better purpose for her to deal with her issues with Naomi.

Move over John Cusack and Say Anything. Apparently the way to win a girl’s heart is playing Spandau Ballet’s True, on a mini guitar, accompanied by others. I have to say I found it corny and by the end of the episode, I was left wondering if this was all in JJ’s head. There were only things of note for me in this episode; them finishing off by playing Spandau Ballet’s Gold and that I want to try JJ’s choice of drink, Capribena – Capri Sun and Ribena.

As I said before, the beginning was choppy. I found it uneven and it seemed more rushed than usual. This wasn’t an episode that I enjoyed and its the second episode in a row that I’ve come away feeling less than impressed. Effy’s episode is next and I hope it picks in quality.

Review: Skins – Freddie

Freddie and Effy are in their own indulgent, drug induced world. So much so that Freddie is neglecting his family, friends and studies. The latter sees him in a meeting with Mr Love (Educational Intervention), played by Will Young. I felt just as uncomfortable as Freddie was, watching this scene; the Michael Jackson references didn’t help nor did the slight reference to Young’s song, ‘Leave Right Now’.

Freddie spends the episode struggling with the past, concerning his mother, and the present, with how Effy is behaving; both women have more in common than he would have wished for.

I’m not going into the specifics of the episode on purpose, all I will say is that they tackle a big subject. I feel like they are trying to get an emotion from the audience that they achieved from one of the episodes in series two.

I would really like to know how much time had passed from last week’s episode and this week’s. Effy has always been intense but she seemed like a completely different person and I feel like I had missed an episode.

This episode left me scratching my head. I commend the effort of tackling the storyline but in the context of the series, it seemed disconnected at times. Other main characters were thrown in at brief moments but I don’t think they helped the story. I was expecting more with the character Mr Love and it left me feeling flat.

I think Freddie’s scenes with his grandfather and father could have been slightly extended to help him, and us, understand more what his father went through with his mother. I feel this was an important element to why Freddie wanted to tackle things on his own.

Next week it’s JJ’s episode.

Review: Skins – Katie

The other half of the twins, Katie gets her bite at a solo episode. The show opens with her dressing older than she is, with a pearl necklace to round of her ageing outfit; she’s helping her mother with her wedding planning business.

Katie receives some shocking news and without revealing what it is, she promptly dumps her boyfriend straight after. Looking for someone to talk to, she calls Emily, but it goes to voicemail. She then tries to speak to her mother, but she’s too busy finding out that her husband has been hiding the true extent of their debt problems.

At the hen night, for the wedding her mother is planning, Katie meets the new girlfriend of the footballer she dated in the previous series. With literally a push, Katie ends up tripping and punching her, leading to the business being sacked by their only client.

Katie and Effy share a scene (Effy and Freddie were in the club where the hen night took place) talking about how differently things are for Katie now. I found it strange at how calm Katie was towards Effy. She was so angry at the girl in the club but barely bats an eyelid at Effy, who beat her with a rock last year. Katie doesn’t even make reference to it and instead asks “why are you being nice to me?”

Katie spends the whole time trying to keep her family together, while trying to find someone to talk to about what she’s dealing with. She’s the one that goes to Naomi and asks for her family to stay over, after their home is repossessed. Despite slapping her sister, she comforts her after the truth comes out about Naomi.

I had issues with a couple of things; one being the Effy scene as I mentioned before and the other being Katie’s scene with Thomas, when they get locked in a bathroom together. She does talk to him about what’s been on her mind, but I don’t feel that what lead up to it was necessary.

Katie finally tells her mother her news but also lets her feelings out about her mother and how she’s been treating the rest of the family. In the last scene, her fragmented family come together in their empty house.

There is a real growth shown in the character. This episode shows us that there’s more to Katie than just being a bitch. She’s trying her best to keep everything together but I don’t think we get to see and feel how upset she really is. I feel like the show just skimmed the surface and could have gone a little deeper. Like I mentioned in my review of Emily’s episode, it was good to see them centred separately.

Next up: Freddie

(Photo from E4)

Review: Skins – Cook

Cook is in trouble and this time it’s serious. Following on from his “one-sided” fight from last week, he is arrested. As part of his bail conditions he is fitted with an electronic tag, set a curfew and ordered to live with his mother. Not only do we get to meet her and but also his little brother.

Throughout the the episode, Cook seems conflicted; keeping up his tough guy routine, possible guilt over his involvement in Sophia’s death, his feelings for Effy and jealously of Freddie. We get to see a softer side of him in his scenes with his brother and Naomi. She tells him everything that came out from last week’s episode.

There’s a moment where Cook realises that his actions have consequences as he sees the influence he has over his brother. He opens up a little with Naomi but the real telling scene is with his lawyer, where he lets it all out.

It was good to see another side to Cook and it kind of made him more likeable. Part of the problem I had with his character last season was that I found him too one-dimensional. We also get a little peak into his relationship with his mother.

I don’t want to use the word redemption but he grows up a bit towards the end of the episode, taking responsibility for his actions and surprisingly for Naomi’s. It’s a real character growth and I hope it’s not the last we see of him this season.

Next week’s episode is all about Katie.