“Skins” unveils new characters, takes a gender bending turn

After weeks of promising and hinting and teasing and Tweeting, Skins UK has finally unveiled the character names and bios for the forthcoming fifth series, and, my, what an intriguing gender bender they have displayed in Franky Fitzgerald! I’m just going to take a shot in the dark here and say Franky is exactly who Jamie Brittain was talking about when he told me: “One of the characters in the next generation is very much in the tradition of Skins portrayal of sexuality, but you won’t quite know what or who she is for quite a while.”

Actually, I know exactly who she is: Little panserbjørne-riding Lyra Belacqua from The Golden Compass, for starters.

But seriously, though, let’s just break this down, shall we? Franky’s relationship status? “N/A.” Franky’s religious views? “Joan of Arc was cool.” Is it safe to pair that with the suit and hair and call her queer? (If so, it may also be a good idea not to fall in love with her because her favorite TV show is Dexter and her entire bio tells the story of the time she accidentally set her headmaster on fire.) (You don’t want to have to break up with a girl like that, am I right?)

Here’s another interesting tidbit: The other three female characters in generation three — Liv, Grace and Mini — are best friends. And you know what that means? Somebody is getting ostracized. (And none for Gretchen Weiners!)

Let me shake down the other girls’ bios like a person who has watched a whole lot of television.

Liv is completely self-deprecating and she spends her whole bio dropping dance tips like “strive to be Ridiculous but try not to be Ironic. ironic dancing can very quickly become your actual dancing. this is not a crisis, but… come on hotstuff, you’re better than that.” Gorgeous, confident, fun, not insufferable, and she can dance? That’s gonna be a real problem for …

Grace! Grace likes ballet and Disney princesses and this will be her first year away from Mayberry’s College for Young Ladies. She’s a “self professed Janeite, dedicated thespian, part-time ballerina and full-time dreamer.” So she’s Blair Waldorf with a skillset that has grown past “being a bitch.” She dreams of dancing professionally and she’s got a fully constructed narrative in her head about being a Disney Princess/marrying Mr. Darcy. Something tells me that won’t last past her first year at Roundview!

Mini‘s role models are Diana, Princess of Wales, Marilyn Monroe and Madonna. And her relationship status is: “TAKEN. I have the bestest boyfriend in Brizzley, Nicky Levan; he’s sooo good to meee. S.O.Z. lads, he’s a triple threat; HOT. AS. F–K.” Translation: If Nicky’s not cheating on her with one of her bezzie mates right now he will be before the series is over! (I’ll bet it’s Grace!)

Now, no Skins pre-generation coverage would be complete without some speculation about which character will be brutally murdered by the end of things. My money’s on Alo. There’s something about gingers that makes writers kill them off faster than everyone else. (RIP Fred Weasley).

Of course, I could be dead wrong with all my predictions. One of the reasons I love Skins so dearly is because they always manage to surprise me.

What do you think about the new Skins characters? (And please, guys, let’s try to be more articulate and evolved than the people on Facebook and Twitter whose contribution to the dialogue today included “i dont understand this team!!!:D i think they are looooooserrrrr!!!!!” and “@Skins new skins looks s–t. you’ve dissapointed me.” That’s a bit like punching Mother Nature in the gob because you peeked through a stained glass window with one eye closed and thought there was a chance you possibly could have maybe spotted a cloud in the sky, isn’t it?)