Got any Skins?

Skins continues to put its characters through the wringer in impressive fashion: if the mid-season episodes lacked the unremitting harshness of the opening part of the run, the recent ones are compensating for that by paying off the long build-ups and drawing the character arcs towards their conclusions.

For series three, apparently the entire cast will be ditched and a new one brought in. This seems to confirm the show’s unique boldness among British TV dramas… although I do hope they retain Effy and do some more with her – she’s easily the outstanding member of the supporting cast, and well deserves to take centre stage for more than one episode a year.

On another note, I was well impressed with Shameless giving its audience a real “Blimey!” moment three-quarters of the way through Tuesday’s episode. Presumably this unexpected plotline will be one of the focal points – along with the birth of Monica’s baby, one must presume – for the season’s climactic episodes. After the fourth series was so lacklustre, I would never have predicted a sixteen-episode run this year being so accomplished.

It’s also particularly good to see Rebecca Ryan being given a meaty storyline to carry – she’s an unusual example of a teen actor able to portray someone her own age, as opposed to a few years younger, with both panache and utter believability.

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