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Skins: Series 6 Episode 8: A look back at British Teen Drama/Comedy.
Now if you have read the first review you know what this show is about if now, here it is! Quick overview to catch you up; Skins is a British series set in Bristol South West England, it revolves around a group of teens that are going through sixth form, (or Key Stage 5) is the final (optional) two years of secondary schooling when students are sixteen to eighteen years of age and normally prepare for their A-level examinations. The term is used for describing the final two years spent in a secondary school contrary to a sixth form college (UK use) where students start at age sixteen after leaving secondary school.
Episode 8: Liv
Plot: Liv has been partying with her new best friend Alex ever since he arrived in Bristol. But then he disappears for a dirty weekend just when Liv needs him most. She reaches out to her friends, but finds she is excluded from their lives.With nobody to turn to in her hour of need, Liv is forced to face up to the choices she's made and isn't quite as strong as she believed.
Thoughts: The episode starts with the teachers explaining that everything is coming to an end. We see Doug, Sweetcheeks and Josie. I love Josie Long, she is a hilarious comedian, great writer and has worked on Skins for years! I bet she has worked on the funnier episodes. This feels like a foreshadowing that the end is nigh, this is the third from the last episode and when Doug asks them to promise that they take it easy, it cuts to them partying.
Mini being pregnant goes to the party to keep up appearances but doesn't drink or smoke for her baby. Liv is living in the fast lane, she is drinking more, partying harder and it's starting to effect her life. She is dealing with the guilt of Grace's death and she is starting to see things. We find out that she is living with Alex, he has met up with a new guy and goes away on holiday with him. Before she finds this out, Liv is in her room. She finds a note from Grace and then watched a video with Grace in it. I have to say, it's quite an interesting thing to see how each character deals with death.
Mini avoids it at all costs, Franky is full of guilt, Alo tries to distract himself. Rich focuses on coursework. Matty ran away and Nick well it never shows how he deals. He does miss Grace but he hasn't had a breakdown because of it. He does side with his brother and most likely always will. As we see Liv, dealing with being alone and still drinking she notices a lump on her. She tried to avoid that responsibilities of dealing with the problem.
She goes through quite a few painful spasms throughout the episode. Liv's sister comes round and drops off their little sister and goes off to party. Maude has decided to stop washing to see if anyone notices and stays this way for over three weeks. But Liv drags her into the shower and Maude being thirteen says a tactless thing. She wonders why Liv is wearing the dress and it;s Alex's grandmother's dress. She says that she got it from a dead lady and Maude says like Grace.
We cut to Liv examining herself and she notices the lump. She starts to worry but pushes it away but in her fear she starts to look up info about the lump. She fidns out that it may be uterus cancer and she calls Alex but he is long gone. He ran away with some other guys instead of being with the guy that had taken him on holiday. In her grief she talks to Grace, only to be heard by her sister. She tries to play it off but her sister talks with her, explaining how she is nosy. She wants Liv to cry for her if she dies and she is also in trouble for school. We can see that Maude is slowly taking after Liv and before the scene ends she asks her sister to not die.
Liv goes to talk with her best friend Mini, but Mini is hormonal because of her pregnancy. Franky is in a terrible position of having to cover up for Mini. Liv explains that she just wants to hang out and Mini wonders about Alex, and retorts bitterly that because Alex is gone she is now returning to Mini. Mini being hormonal storms off and Liv asks Franky about Nick. Franky sort of replies with a bitchy response, she could have handled it better. But emotions are running high.
Liv is at Roundview, she has another small pain attack and Doug walks over and asks about her. He wonders if he is respected and with teh death of Grace he wants to change. He wants to live and do different things. Doug is such a great character, he goes from random assistant principle that appears to a really well written character. He explains that he was thinking about Grace and how he helped a girl get through exams by disco dancing (It's Cassie, he referenced Cassie, oh I'm fan boying right now. Oh god Oh god!)
He wants to help and she explains about the lump, he says she will be fine b ut she asks if that is a guarantee. He sadly says that he wishes adults could make more promises and leaves. Liv goes to South Bristol Surgery but when a lady comes out to talk to her. Liv gets flustered and leaves. It cuts to Liv at her locker and she talks with Mini, she tries to clear the air. Liv wonders why it isn;t weird that Nick and Franky are together and she says she is whoring around.
Now Liv could have been a bit more tactful with what she had said and I can see why Franky gets angry at her. Anyone would be pissed if their character was defamed. Liv calls out Franky, after being called jealous. Again sort of a stupid thing to say, Liv really liked Matty last season but he choose Franky. Nick really liked Liv last season but he has now chosen Franky. She shouldn't have called Liv jealous in such a way and when Liv starts to blame her for Grace's death. Shit gets real.
Franky decks Liv and remarks that Mini tell her about the pregnancy but Mini doesn't fully. She explains that she has been having sex with Alo and Liv wants to know if this is why Mini has been different. But Mini doesn't come out and explain that she is having Alo's baby. Liv freaks out and leaves Mini and eventually meets up with Rich.
He is focusing all his time on exams, trying to keep his mind busy and Liv hates how all her friends are dealing with the death for Grace. She feels like she is the only one that cares and poor Rich is dealing with it in the only way he can. Liv freaks out and wants to know why he is okay, he mumbles and she continues to berate him. She has another pain spasm before leaving rich behind. Liv returns to South Bristol Surgery to find it closed. The older woman explains that she is too late and Liv explains why she has been waiting around for a half hour.
She doesn't get the help she needs so she leaves and eventually finds a party. But before she at the bench, I assume the one Cassie and Sid met up at. Mini calls her and Liv doesn't want anymore secrets. Mini explains she hasn't read a book and needs Liv's help. Mini explains she didn't ask Franky because it wouldn't be funny and says she loves her. Liv gets a call from Maude explaining that Liv's friend let her in and she is relived that Alex is back. Liv goes to the party and bumps into Grace. I assume it is due to all the stress of everything. Grace explains that Mini is lying and she should go home.
When she does go home, she find Maude still awake and tells her to go to bed. She then looks for Alex, only to find that Matty has returned. The song that plays when Alex returns is such a great song, I've never heard it but damn it is awesome. Alex strips down because it;s his place and Maude catches him as she lays with her sister. I have to say Alex is hilarious and one of the best new additions to Skins. He explains that his nudity is fine because he is gay but Maude is not impressed.
Alex goes to his room to find a naked Matty and we get to see a hairy ass. By the gods Sebastian (That's Creepy McStarey Guys real name, I mean Matty) mansacape that ass. Liv and Matty go to talk with Mini and Franky. Now this scene by some is seen as pointless but if you really look at it you can see why it happens. Liv is being pushed away from the group and Matty isn't even apart of the group anymore. Everyone is blaming him for Grace's death. He tries to find out what Franky and Nick are doing and she says she is fucking him. It feels so weird that she is so callus and she continues to hate him. I personally don;t understand her hate. He did nothing wrong and neither did she.
Franky leaves and Mini wonders why they are still around, Liv sort of tried to defend Matty in a way. With the hostility from Mini, Liv freaks out and when she blames Matty fro Grace's death Liv snaps. She attacks Mini, explaining that they had both left her their alone with an injured Grace. Mini pleads for her to stop for the baby, and Liv can;t belive it. She is stuck in the past in a way, where Mini would tell her everything but now with Grace gone. The whole dynamic of their friendship has been destroyed.
When Liv leaves she vomits on the road, her lump pains kick back up and she finally realizes she needs help. She can't avoid it anymore and goes to the Surgary place bright and early but the nurse says that the doctors won't be around for awhile. Liv begs for it to be seen and we find out that it's nothing. But if you look at this whole thing in a different light. The lump represents Liv's stress toward the death of Grace. If you notice each time she feels the pain it is in stressful situations and she explains to the older woman that her friend has died and that she doesn't want to die.
This is one of the saddest scenes in the series, Liv finally accepts that her friend is gone and she can do nothing to stop it. She cries for the first time (presumably.) It cuts to her, rich, Maude and Doug in a car. They drive to Grace;s grave to say their goodbyes. Liv turns on her video of Grace from earlier. It's Grace talking about her new bed and at first Maude and Liv start to jump around. Soon Rich and Doug join them. You can see that they are slowly accepting what has happened and trying to move on. In such a simple end we get one of my favorite ends. It's a bit cheesy, but I loved it.
Final Recap: I want to say that Liv went from a character that I didn't care about to one of my favorite characters. I fucking love how they wrote her this year. Maybe Laya Lewis acting got better or the writing but god damn I just love me some Liv. This episode is for me, up their with Rich;s episode. Showing how she is dealing with the death and the symbolism of the lump being her bottled up feelings. And once she embraces the help of another it is gone. Some may act like it was a red herring of sorts when it was the wonderful symbolism! A few moments bothered me but didn't ruin the episode. The tension between the girls is quite high and both Liv and Franky could have been less bitchy towards each other. But I can see why these things happened.
The music is as always amazing, the writing was great. it mixed comedy and tragedy so well. Laya Lewis was amazing in this episode, it has to be her strongest performance on the show. Freya was also bringing some great acting. Dakota did fine but they didn't write her as well. I just don;t like when Franky is so bitchy, I mean to say something like Liv is jealous about her being with Nick is fucked. Liv didn't love Nick, and when she ended things with Matty it was because of her own volition. Sam did great as Alex, it makes me wish he was in series 5.
Laya has some crazy hair this episode, it changes as much as her outfits! This really was a great episode, some may say it wasn't but they have their own opinions and because this is my website their opinions are wrong and stupid. Oh god, I need to strop writing, I'm becoming power hungry!