3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Oh Dear., 18 July 2010
***WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!***
I had high hopes for this series that unfortunately went unfulfilled. One of the main flaws of Series 4 is that it's just too bleak. Skins is a drama but in it's early days the dark bits were balanced out with some very light-hearted scenes. This is not the case for Series 4. Right from the off we are bombarded relentlessly with suicide, adultery, more adultery, mental illness, attempted suicide, and (inexplicably) memory erasure. Having said that, episode 6 is outstanding. Although it's clearly a 'filler' episode, it's unashamedly charming and heartwarming. Episodes 1 - 4 are entertaining enough in their own right but seem to be a little lacking in some areas. Episode 5 is just horrendous and is an outrageously blatant case of 'jumping the shark'. As I mentioned before, episode 6 is excellent. Episode 7 is far too angsty and takes a ridiculous look at mental illness (a scene featuring mental patients on space hoppers comes to mind) and throws logic out of the window. This is where the aforementioned memory erasure comes in. Episode 8 is the crowning turd in the water pipe. It contains some of the laziest writing I've ever seen in my life. Bringing in random plot elements that make no sense and are factually incorrect (Bryan Elsley could have at least bothered to do some basic research), turning the episode into some kind of fantasy horror film (You'll understand when you see the last few minutes of the episode) and leaving absolutely everything up in the air on an exceptionally irritating cliffhanger. The cast give reasonable performances but then again if you give a writer bad material, it's not going to turn out well. The phrase "you can't polish a turd" is particularly apt here. The guest stars are mainly good but not really up to the standard of the previous series (unfortunately Harry Enfield has vanished despite playing the father of the main character). Those of paticular note are Chris Addison, Paul Kaye, Georgia Henshaw, and Margaret John. While I'm on the subject of guest stars, there's another thing that really got my goat: stunt casting. For reasons beyond the sphere of human knowledge, Will Young is a guest star in episode 5.
The series as a whole is worth a watch but I'm warning you, don't get your hopes up.