One thing I like to imagine is what it would be like if the Greek writers of yore found themselves penning TV shows for a modern, internet-savvy audience. During religious holidays and stuff, Greeks would sit through a trilogy of tragedies for a whole entire day, heroes getting maimed and stuffed into bathtubs, jealous girlfriends poisoning future fiances until they fell over dead, mothers stabbing sons, sons sleeping with mothers, gods smiting people willy-nilly just for giggles. I think of Aeschylus checking his @replies on Twitter, waiting for the internet to praise him for the brilliance of Oresteia only to be bombarded with angry, threatening tweets about, “Cassandra was my favorite, you loathsome cockroach!”
Stories work backwards a lot of times these days, TV writers starting with an ending that will make fans happy and backing into it from point C to point B to point A. But it hasn’t always been like that. Homer would have never written “Sing, muse, of the wrath of Achilles!” if he was trying to keep an American network TV audience happy. And Skins doesn’t buy into that formula either. Slaughtering teenagers is just a thing they do.
Having said all that, though: Grace was my favorite!
There’s not much here in the way of AE Bait this week. Well, except for the part where Franky cries on our behalf because of the way they’ve redrawn her character.
FEELINGS, FEELINGS, FEELINGS
About that Greek tragedy thing, something that drives me bananas about most TV viewers is how they can hate a thing that happens to a character or couple and so they write off the whole show/episode as shit. It’s crazy-making. I can hate that Naomi and Emily were ripped to shreds in episode 402 and still acknowledge that it was a f–king glorious piece of writing and acting and editing and directing. And the same thing goes for “Rich.” I can’t even tell you how bummed out I was when I realized Grace had died — which was really early in the episode, actually — but the full episode was beautiful to me.
Rich’s series three episode is my favorite thing Jamie Brittain ever wrote. The creative team made some bold choices that paid off brilliantly for him. For a moment, we shared our senses with Rich. And there were echos of that this time around too. We were alive with Grace inside Rich’s mind. It’d be easy to make it cheap; but Skins made it heart-wrenching.
So I guess my main feelings were awe and sadness. And also fury about Grace’s friends destroying her house.
This week’s “Don’t be such an asshat and people will like you more” award goes to Rider. Seriously, bro. Stop talking.
What did you think of “Rich”?