Tuesday 9 March 2010

Skins - No one’s just anything to me. I’m a bit all or nothing.

Skins: 4x06 JJ.

Once again, I had a really hard time writing this review. Every week since “Emily”, it takes me forever to collect my thoughts on an episode, and until I do, it just gnaws at me and I have to return to it again and again. This week it’s actually more complicated, because I really liked the episode, I liked how I smiled through the first twenty minutes, remembering that “Skins” used to be able to do that – but then, three minutes of the episode seemed to absorb all the light like a black hole, leaving nothing but cold, dark space behind. It would be unfair to JJ to focus on these three minutes, which is why they get their own segment at the end of the review.


JJ and Thomas are working at Hancock’s Confection Specialist. JJ falls in love with a co-worker called Lara Lloyd. He summons the courage to ask her out and gets dating advice by Cook who is now living in his closet after Freddie threw him out. The whole “be cool, touch her and watch her pupils” thing doesn’t work out too well, and JJ also finds out that Lara has a six-months old baby called Albert, which is probably one of the reasons why she is very no-nonsense and gets to the point rather quickly. Although the date goes terribly wrong, Lara ends up telling him that she likes him for who he is (“stop trying so hard”) and they start a relationship (with lots of sex). Everything seems to be going fine, but JJ is struggling with whether to tell Lara about his mental issues. His mother and his psychiatrist are concerned about whether he should be in a relationship, and when Lara meets Emily and Naomi and later his parents, everything goes wrong. After he listens to Cook’s bad advice a second time and beats up the father of Lara’s kid, Liam, she breaks up with him. After a heart-to-heart with his otherwise uninvolved (hidden behind a newspaper) father and a surprisingly heartfelt talk to Liam, JJ decides that he is going to become a new man, and win Lara back with a grand gesture. 

JJ is the one character in this generation of “Skins” who doesn’t fuck up. When it seems like he does, it’s because he is physically unable to lie and keep secrets. He cares about his friends. He spent the entire third season trying to save his friendships, despite the fact that he was also in love with Effy. In a season where everything seems to go terribly wrong (presumably before it can become better, eventually, in the last few minutes of the final episode), there wasn’t a lot of room for a character like JJ, who is so careful not to break anything, because sometimes when he loses control he can’t help but wreck his room or get locked on. “JJ” provides that room, and it’s almost completely self-contained. The structure of the first part of the episode provides the perfect frame to reconnect with JJ, after episodes of not really seeing him. In his episode last season, we saw how his mental condition influenced his daily routine: the pills, the doctor’s appointments, all the structures that prevent him from falling apart (which he sometimes only follows because he needs to be okay for mother). The routine has changed now, as his latitude increases. He has a job now, he has a new friend who is more helpful than Cook or Freddie ever were in Thomas (after all, it’s Thomas who forces JJ to ask Lara out, which is possibly the only positive contribution anybody else makes to JJ’s happiness this episode), and he is in love with “the most beautiful girl in this or any known universe”. As we see the three days before he actually musters the courage to ask her out pass, we also realize how fragile JJ is: when things are okay, he is happy, content, and singing along to the ridiculously dirty lyrics of a rap song with his mum. When he’s unhappy, he’s sulky, disinterested, frustrated and can’t bring himself to do anything (except “keeping his ukulele in his hand”).
Another difference between “JJ” and the previous episodes: JJ’s entries into his captain’s log work as a narrative. We don’t have to guess what he is feeling, or thinking, he is actually telling us. He is the narrator to the “Skins”-version of a classic romantic comedy, as the show once again exercises genre conventions to tell a story (“Emily” was a detective story, remember).
It’s a classic boy-meets-girl story. JJ is too shy to ask Lara out (who “even makes mucus look good”), but when he does, things get even more complicated. He finds out about her baby, meets the father before the date even commences, then proceeds to make a complete fool of himself as he follows Cook’s infallible advice on women (“women. Simple creatures”). Then of all people Emily walks into the bar, with the exact opposite of Naomi in tow (no, wait, it’s a girl, but apart from that…):

Emily: “Hi JJ. Who’s this?”
JJ: “Hi Emily, well this is…. what are you?”
Lara: “I’m your friend, JJ.”
JJ: “Right, this is my friend, Lara.”
Emily: “Right. This is my friend, Mandy. We were just leaving.”
Mandy: “We just got here.”
Emily: “See you JJ. It was nice meeting you Lara.”
Mandy: “She’s lovely, isn’t she.”
JJ: “Funny.”
Lara: “What?”
I guess given his history with over-sharing, JJ gets some points here for not telling Lara exactly who Emily is, but things still continue to go wrong.
On a different note, I think Kathryn Prescott is playing this character really well, disturbingly well in fact (the way she hesitated for a second when JJ called out to her, and then turned around, with a facial expression somewhere between being caught, and recognizing how ridiculous it was to get caught cheating by JJ, in a bar – and the voice!), and I almost enjoyed this scene – but I’m not quite sure whether it’s still Emily. Mandy is clearly there to say things like “She’s lovely”, but in this scene, Emily doesn’t look like she actually “likes” her. She uses her for ego-boosting.
Later JJ fails to escape through the window of the women’s restroom. It seems like a completely hopeless situation, until Lara sums up everything that is amazing about JJ, in a show filled with flawed, complicated characters (especially recently): he is nice (and I think she was already falling for him when she was listening to how he dealt with Albert pre-pee incident, on the baby phone).
JJ: “I really like you.”
Lara: “Funny way of showing it.”
JJ: “Yeah. This isn’t gonna work, is it. I mean, you’re a ten, and I’m a three. I’m a bit funny. You should be with somebody less reliant on their mum, someone with pecks, and guns. Someone like Liam.”
Lara: “Liam doesn’t flirt with old ladies.”
JJ: “Okay?.”
Lara: “You flirt with old ladies. The way you call them senorina and tell them their lipstick looks nice. You should stop trying so hard. You’re nice.”
JJ gets his wish from season three: he becomes normal, has a girlfriend, and “sex every day”. And then the exact opposite to what happened with Freddie falls on JJ’s head: Once other people get involved, things go wrong. Their advice is bad. They don’t take him seriously. His lovely mum is too concerned to realize that JJ has finally managed to have something good in his life, and that this isn’t a threat to him. The horrible psychiatrist tells him to take more pills to suppress his urges. He panics because he doesn’t know how to tell Lara about his condition for fear of losing her, and he decides not to tell his mum about the baby (or Cook, living in his room). It’s about trust: Trusting that his mum could help him, his mum trusting him that he can handle being in a relationship with Lara, trusting Lara that she can still love him, even if she knows about his condition. This is why the scene at Naomi’s makes sense: JJ gives Emily a speech about trust and only realizes later that it also applies to him.
The scene itself remains one of the most painful one I’ve seen in “Skins” so far, and I am including the rooftop here. Naomi opens the door to them, holding a beer can in her hand, declaring “welcome to the house of fun”, looking like she hasn’t slept in months. In the living room, she is absent-minded (also drunk, and high, a stark contrast to her sobriety over the past episodes), until Emily uses the first chance she gets to taunt her (“I really am a tit” / “tell me about it”).
JJ: “Anyway, after we ran into Emily the other night…”
Naomi: “What have you already met?”
Emily: “Yeah. It was a coincidence.”
JJ: “Yeah, you were with this nice…”
Emily: “JJ, will you go over my politics coursework?”
JJ: “I don’t do politics.”
Emily. “Just come look, okay?

JJ: What’s going on?
Emily: “Nothing. Nothing. NOTHING, okay?”
JJ: “Are you… if you’re cheating, then…”
Emily: “I just. Like Mandy. Nothing’s happened.”
JJ: “Because that would be bad, Ems.”
Emily: “You think I wanna get into another relationship? Relationship suck, they really fucking suck.”
JJ: “Mine doesn’t.”
Emily: “Look at her. She’s using you.”
JJ: “What? How?”
Emily: “She’s. I don’t know, maybe it’s the kid, maybe she’s trying to get back at someone, otherwise why would she..”
JJ: “Why would she be with a mental basket like me?”
Emily: “I’m trying to protect you. Get out before she kicks the shit out of you, because she will.”
JJ: “Lara’s not Naomi. And I’m not you. I have trust. I have 75 per cent trust. You are running on empty. It takes a mental basket to tell you that. Just remember who you can rely on, okay?”
Emily’s instinct to protect JJ would be adorable (since we haven’t really seen them be friends since JJ’s episode last season), if this wasn’t such a completely wrecking moment. She is projecting all her disillusionment and distrust, and she clearly hasn’t talked about this to anyone (neither has Naomi. I hope she has a scene of actual CONVERSATION with Effy next episode, because that silence is killing me).
When JJ walks away with Lara and the baby from the house (her “your friends are weird” is the understatement of the year), it almost seems like he is trying to protect his new family from all the weirdness and complications of the world he usually has to inhabit. The meeting with his parents goes even more terribly wrong, because JJ hasn’t prepared his mum that Lara has a child (and Freudian slips seem to be hereditary – with Celia accidentally calling Lara a “slut”). All the untold things finally come to light in a little show down in front of the toilet – the scene ends with Lara storming off (“you’re mental”) and Celia finding out about Cook (“James, aren’t you supposed to be in jail?” / “Yes” / “Well, can I suggest that you bugger off before I even remember that I’ve seen you.”). Before Cook leaves to live at Naomi’s house of fun, he gives another piece of bad advice (“You’re a man, aren’t you Screaming Jay. You’re a man of flesh, and blood, and fight, spunk, and hair. And fists. Jay, you find this Liam twat and you have it out with him man to man.”), which, when executed, really ends JJ’s relationship with Lara, over the speakerphones of Hancock’s. And thus, the middle part of the romantic comedy ends.

Where JJ’s mum Celia is probably one of the best parents on “Skins”, although a little bit too overprotective of her son, Edward Jones is the absent one, who never finds the right words and doesn’t know how to help. The one thing “Skins” has really excelled at this season is giving the viewers very short conciliatory scenes between the characters and their parents – and in “JJ”, Celia isn’t the one who needs a scene like that, because she already is present and caring and loving, it’s Edward. I loved his explanation of why he was so distant, and that he, of all the people in JJ’s life, is the one to tell him that he can do anything when he puts his mind to it, that he is not a victim to his condition, that he can be happy.
Edward: “We had a lot of arguments, your mum and me, way back when she started taking you to these doctors. I just let her get on with it. She had this love in her, this care, that was so strong, and I knew it might be too strong. If we both felt like that, it would be a burden to the kid.”
JJ: “She didn’t do anything wrong.”
Edward: “No no she didn’t. I suppose I just couldn’t see the point. Always bits of paper with this and that, stupid diagnosis. I used to pick you up from playschool and all the other boys would be running around, shouting, fighting, normal, you’d be sitting making telescopes out of toilet rolls. And well, just… I wanted you to know how I felt about that.”
JJ: “How do you feel about it dad?”
Edward: “I thought you’d always be alright. I thought you could come through anything. I think you can come through anything, Jay.”
The final conversation with Liam is also well done, because a minor character is once again allowed to be more than just a cliché, and surprise us.
Liam: “I love her,  I can’t fucking help it, I love her, you know.”
JJ: “Yeah, Me too, it’s a problem.”
Liam: “Well it’s not too much of a problem mate, yeah, she thinks you’re a cunt.”
JJ: “Yeah. I’m a cunt. Because I didn’t trust her to like me.”
Liam: “You said it mate. And she’s clever, like… she’s too clever for you or me.”
JJ: “I’m sorry.”
Liam: “We’ve got a kid together, and that ain’t gonna go away, and I will not give him up for nobody.”
JJ: “What are you trying to say, Liam?”
Liam: “She doesn’t love me back. It’s not our fault. But I love my kid, and she’s giving it respect. So whatever you do, it better be fucking good.”
In the end of the episode, JJ is the one character so far who gets a real happy-ending, one that he worked so hard for. He makes a banner with the help of his mum (“Sorry for being a knob jockey”). He gets a ukulele orchestra to accompany him in playing and singing “True” under Lara’s window. And in the end, they have their very own, happy, self-contained universe. 

In many ways, “JJ” is even more insular than “Emily” or “Freddie”, and this is what makes it work as an episode. I am sure that if I asked everybody I went to school with what their experience was, the answers would be completely different for each of them. That is one of the points of being in the same class: there are some shared experiences, but the real growth, the decisions, the relationships, take place outside. The dynamics between the individuals in this generation of “Skins” have been different from the first from the first episode: This isn’t an established group of friends, it’s mostly very strong individuals, who occasionally have something in common, but sometimes really don’t.
Whenever it connects to the other storylines this season, “JJ” seems off. Cook plays the comic relief, the escapee who lives in JJ’s closet, uses JJ’s mum’s ladyshave and gives questionable advice on women (although his sex tips seem to work, if nothing else does). This isn’t the same Cook who learned about forgiveness and redemption in “Cook”. Emily and Naomi are, if anything, even more terrible for each other than in “Katie” when we last saw them, and there is absolutely no sense of progression there, despite the fact that JJ presumably takes place at least six months after the events of “Emily” (but more about that later). The other characters would make much more sense if the episode took place earlier, maybe even before “Katie”, even though the Cook part would have been different then. But I am going to ignore this flaw now for the sake of everything else that happened this episode, because I did the same for “Freddie” with Katie and Cook (it’s just more difficult because I care about Emily and Naomi… more than I do about any other characters on the show. I’m biased.)

Rambling about Emily and Naomi because I just can’t help it.

After “Emily” and “Cook” and “Katie” I thought that things would be different. Every single time I clung to tiny little moments and assumed that they were intended to move their relationship forward, and each time, things turned out differently. Or rather, they stayed exactly the same. Maybe the writers decided to change course in the second half of the season (it would explain the ominous missing scene from “Katie” – if they had included this scene, their shared scene in “JJ” would have been impossible), but honestly – I don’t really understand why. Their scenes might have worked if “JJ” had taken place before “Katie”. Then Emily could have left with Katie (part of the problem I have here is that we don’t know where Katie is living, and why Emily can’t be with her family instead of with Naomi). Eight episodes are not enough to span an entire year, but last season I thought the writers did a pretty good job at keeping up with the storylines of all the characters, even if it was just in very small scenes. After “Naomi”, we got a scene in which Effy asked Naomi were Emily was, indicating that they’ve been together quite a lot since the cat flap scene (in “JJ”). It only took a tiny scene in “Effy” to show that they were intimate (“You ladies like to wriggle, don’t you?” – JJ) – so the scenes later in “Katie and Emily” seemed well built-up. But with the small and very painful scene in “JJ” (painful especially because it was such a hard landing after minutes of sheer glee and happiness, and I suppose intentionally so, as they started of the more serious and sad part of the episode), any kind of progress was negated. They are still stuck in that house, Emily is still hurting Naomi, they are not talking to each other, and if anything, things have gotten worse since “Katie” because Naomi is clearly even more out of her mind then she was then (although, I have to admit, I did laugh at how she dealt with Lara. “So… Laura” and “How old is it?” was very Naomi early season three, but she was supposed to be over that now). I mentioned that I really liked the decision to show how sober she is both in “Cook” and “Katie” – that she doesn’t seek respite in drugs and alcohol, like Emily does – but in “JJ”, she was high and very absent (I am not sure whether this was done intentionally to show that things are worse, or because she was just accidentally sober in the previous episodes, not because of a conscious decision by the respective writers). And no, Emily’s instinct to get JJ away from Naomi before he can spill about Mandy is not progress, even if she did it to spare her the pain. Emily wasn’t serious about the random girl at the party (she wanted Naomi to see that), but she seems to be actively trying to cheat on Naomi now, and just can’t bring herself to really do it – and she is starting to keep secrets (“I like Mandy, nothing happened”).
The point is: I like the self-contained, focused episodes. I think they’ve worked very well so far. I am also okay with the very dark tone of the series (before “JJ”, the happiest episode was about a girl who had every single dream about her future brutally taken away from her…) But with “JJ” (and I really liked the episode), I felt a little bit betrayed for the first time, because there is no sense of time progressing for all the other characters. It has been months since “Emily”, but the characters are granted no new insights – and we see so little of them. Emily’s and Naomi’s arc is supposed to be spanning this season (Thomas’, Katie’s and JJ’s were pretty much finished within their own episode), but now they are suffering the same fate Freddie and Effy had in the beginning of the season, when one tiny scene was supposed to establish their relationship (it didn’t). I hate to bring up “Buffy” again, but I never realized before how well-handled Tara’s and Willow’s slow recovery from their break-up was: there were only very few scenes between them, but they clearly progressed from needing to be apart, but still very much caring, to communicating again, to getting back together (let’s just forget how it ended for the moment). I understand that Emily is at a very different place than Tara, which is understandable as she is younger, and clearly less mature, but some kind of progress is just necessary if they are supposed to be together by the end of this season, especially since “JJ” leaves them almost irreconcilable. I am not sure whether they actually should be together if they can cause each other so much pain, and if they bring out the worst in each other like that. I’ve never before felt like they are actually really bad for each other, and there is only so much that can be mended in the two episodes that are left this season.

Random notes:

Yay, someone got a happy ending! With an ukulele orchestra, a tender and loving sex scene (we haven’t had a not-kind-of-fucked-up one since…the lake?), Michael Jackson and the Star Trek theme!

Lara. Was. Awesome. She was written and played perfectly. There were no teenage mother clichés. She was no-nonsense (her tone when she told Naomi not to smoke in front of the baby!). She handled the vitamin-c-attack gracefully (I know, it wasn’t that hard to do it better than Emily last season, but still, her “sweet” was pretty awesome). Her explanation of the baby: “As in. Yes I had sex, and shazam, baby.” When something is apparently too fracked to work, she WALKS AWAY. See how that actually works and sometimes helps to fix things in the end?

OMG, they made dirty visual jokes with and ukulele and found the perfect song to accompany it.

So they gave up on all the character progression in “Cook” and to distract they just have Jack O’Connell running around naked all the time? Not that I didn’t appreciate how fun Cook is when he is homeless and hunted down by the police (I did laugh when JJ returned to his room after his sexathon to find a starved Cook in his closet. It was also…gross). I guess he’ll feature more prominently in “Effy” and they’ll make up for it? Yes?

Naomily-haters can now add “Naomi HATES BABIES” to their list. What can I say, despite the awfulness, her completely disaffected “how old is it” while lighting a joint did make me chuckle (it is probably also relevant to remember that Naomi kind of has a reason not to like JJ very much… not that she’d think about that, in her current state of mind)

But, Skins-writers, if I wanted to see a couple that stays together although it’s painful and horrible and bad for everybody involved and includes inhuman amounts of taunting and torture, I’d get “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” from the library, not watch the couple that has been ridiculously cute since 2009 (they kissed in a bouncy castle! The goggles! The MEXICAN PARTY! They wrote “You are my lobster / I love you more than cheese” on a chalkboard! “Stay Alive, I Will Find You!”. I could go on.). There was even a little spark in the garden party scene in “Katie” – something like resilience, in Emily’s eyes, as she toppled her girlfriend into the kiddie pool – but even that is gone now. It’s just “I’m such a tit” / “tell me about it” now. Emily and Naomi have become the Dementors of “Skins” – they suck out the joy and happiness of this episode, and honestly, not even the ukulele-happy-ending really made it up. I like JJ, but not THAT much.

I even liked Freddie this episode. Somehow, the choreography of him dragging Cook to JJ’s was executed perfectly, and he said so little that there was no “but isn’t he supposed to be really really sad about Effy’s suicide” feeling. Unlike the whole “hasn’t Emily progressed at all since “Katie” months ago”?

Same goes for Thomas. I still feel about it, but I’ve liked him in all these small scenes. He is a really good friend. He is good at not being depressing. Maybe they should have utilized that for his own episode?

I can’t say this enough: Pandora’s Unseen (once again, the Panda misses out on an episode. What are these people thinking?) is amazing. She hasn’t really had any scenes just by herself with none of the other characters before, but dealing with the history professor / who might be her father (yes. Pandora’s dad might be Coop from “Imagine Me & You”. Perfection, right?) was perfect. She’s come a long way. Please, please, I want some Effy-Pandora-friendship scenes. I’ve loved their scenes ever since Pandora first turned up in Effy’s episode in season two of “Skins” (remember? When she showed her the trick with the rope and the tree?).

About next week: Effy’s episodes are always amazing at advancing all the storylines of the characters. She is a catalyst for changes (and sometimes, catastrophes). In season two, she fixed everyone as a little art project. Last season, she hit Katie over the head with a rock. And finally, there are group scenes again!! I missed them, really badly. This will feel weird, because all the characters have come so far on their own, and we’ve barely seen them all together since David Blood’s speech in the first episode (and how foreshadowing was his "So now, it’s all about change. We can all do it together!"?). 

Cook is moving to Naomi's, Panda is already living there, so I guess this bit from the opening credits was meant literally then? (I never before realized how important the opening credits are). 


Anonymous said...

Crossposted to my LiveJournal, although it was originally written in response to this.

Naomi is so utterly, horribly lost right now. It looks like all the Fitches are still living in her house (there's no other logical explanation for Emily to be there right now, given the way she's been acting), Pandora's apparently there (thanks for the pointer to the Unseen - I usually ignore those until the DVDs come out!), Cook's about to arrive and, all in all, she's regressing straight back to S3; a complete stranger in her own home surrounded by people she barely knows any more. It's heartbreaking to watch it; the only thing she can think of to do is to give Emily time to work through things herself and try to fix it, all the while totally unaware that Emily doesn't even consider them to be in a relationship at all now.

Anonymous said...

The series gives the very, very distinct impression of a late rewrite. Katie's episode, where she slaps Emily after her lunacy, should have been the rock bottom that Naomi was waiting for her to reach, and then the two of them could begin the slow rebuilding process (starting with something as simple as a hug). And then suddenly it all went even further downhill; Emily got with Giant Not-Naomi, Naomi completely crashed (lighting a spliff around a baby) and it took a smackdown from JJ's truth bus to wake Emily up and make her realise she's in an even worse place than she was before.

Anonymous said...

The pre-season rumour mill indicated that while the first four episodes were pretty much set as Thomas-Emily-Cook-Katie, the last four were probably going to be Freddie-Effy-Naomi-Everyone (with no JJ), and the infamous deleted scene would likely have been consistent with such a model (to me, it looks rather like a relatively friendly "goodbye and good luck" hug as Emily goes back to the shell of her house to help her family through their problems, while also giving each other the space apart they need to fix things properly). However, it seems certain to now be Freddie-JJ-Effy-{Everyone, but mostly Naomi in the same way the S1 finale was kinda Everyone and kinda Anwar} and suddenly it doesn't fit - with hindsight, the pizza sequence feels somewhat unnecessary and could well have been added to take up the time; note also how slowly the episode fades out after that. It also magnifies the fear that Naomily won't be fixed until the last scene of the last episode (which was probably originally scheduled to be the penultimate ep).

Anonymous said...

The most likely cause for the sudden rearrangement was probably somebody deciding late on that the season was looking too dark. Following from Freddie straight into Effy (which looks for all the world like a cross between awkward joy and utter misery) would have been a bit too much of a downer after the four sad endings that started things off, so slipping a light JJ episode into the middle balances things out. Unfortunately this means they have to send Naomily backwards as well and undo any progress they might have made, so they can't end up fixed too soon.

(I could also buy Effy as the Everyone ep now, judging by the S1E9 and S2E10 references in the preview clips and a few other casting rumours. The only other possibility is that they've conned us all and we're actually getting nine episodes - and after they beat me with True on ukuleles, nothing this show does would surprise me any more...)

junkster199 said...

wait wait wait, why is Pandora there? when did she move in?

And yes I definitely agree on Emily and Naomi, my god when she started crying I couldnt stop myself from rolling my eyes (something that has never happened with this couple) and wondering why are we still at this point. I still find the look Naomi gives after the "tell me about it" debacle so depressingly heartbreaking.

flame gun for the cute ones said...

Oh, I completely agree with your assessment that Naomi is regressing to her season three "stranger in her own home" situation - I am waiting for her to scream "This is my fucking house" at some point during the finale. This is particularly heartbreaking after the tender little moment in "Emily" when she called it "ours", and was so willing to SHARE her life with someone.
By the way, I have no idea when Pandora moved in. She mentioned living at Naomi's in her Unseen, it was a throwaway comment (she said she couldn't study there because of all the shouting, foreshadowing "JJ"). This will hopefully be explained in Effy's episode.

Oh, I wouldn't want to miss the pizza sequence, I'd feel completely differently about Katie's episode without that ending. They could have cut the scene in which the repo men come to the house and made it a bit shorter. When I saw the pictures of the "lost scene", I thought it might have been something along the lines of "I think I need to leave but that doesn't mean I don't care about you". There is no point in imagining how the second part of the season might have been different, but after "JJ" it's a bit...sad thinking about the potential. I just can't see how they'll fix their relationship (assuming they will, from certain slip-ups in interviews) without leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

"Giant Non-Naomi". I feel sorry for the actresses playing whoever comes between Naomi and Emily. That's really a very thankless position to be in (I might be in the minority here but I thought that Sophia was a really well-developed character with her Trailer and the diary, much more complex than Sketch although she had her own episode in the last gen).

And Naomi. She just breaks my heart. I like Emily, a lot, but Lily Loveless usually puts so much complexety into every emotion she has to portray (the facial expressions, there's so much going on there). And now she's just...blank. I'm not sure how aware she is of what Emily is doing (in "Katie", they were shouting about Emily being out all night, right?), but she probably doesn't even want to know. I'm really waiting for her to explain some things to Effy on Thursday (eventually they'll have her actually COMMUNICATE with someone else? She hasn't, really, since "Cook").

Nine episodes! That would be all kinds of wonderful.

ohwowlovely said...

Naomily totally breaking my heart, so so painful to watch.

I never realised until now, the credit due to JJ in telling Emily that he and Lara are not her and Naomi. Completely agree Emily was projecting and it was cruel. I like how you pointed out how when he acted on advice it all went wrong, but it was when he was just being himself that Lara liked him (when he flirted with old ladies!) it's a good lesson.