The third season of Skins does not disappoint. Though it bids farewell to the first generation of characters, it introduces us to the equally-engaging Generation 2. As sad as I was to see some of our favorite characters like Sid, Cassie, and Tony go, season three gives us many new great characters including Freddy (the boy-next-door skater), Cook (the party-hardy bad boy), and the twins Emily and Katie (who may look identical but couldn't be more different from each other).
However, not all Gen 1 characters were left behind - I was thrilled to see Effy Stonem brought back, as well as her dorky and hilarious pal Pandora. Season three really revolves around Effy and her transformation from girl to woman (however rocky that may be). Almost as soon as the season begins she finds herself the center of a destructive love triangle with best friends Freddy and Cook, but as the season draws to a close, we get a glimpse that there may be more going on in Effy's mind than just your average teenage angst. Kaya Scodelario perfects the enigmatic Effy in this season and continues to make her, in my opinion, one of the most intriguing characters of the whole show.
My favorite additions to this season are Freddy and Cook. Freddy (Luke Pasqualino) has instant chemistry with Effy and their attraction gives the season a lot of its momentum as well as drama, causing problems for several other characters in its wake. Cook, played to absolute perfection by Jack O'Connell, is an instant bad-boy favorite. He drinks, smokes, and curses his way through life not caring about anything or anyone, meanwhile vying for Effy's affections, much to Freddy's dismay.
This show has always had the trifecta of plotline, character development, and dialogue. Season 3 easily meets the high standard already set by the first two seasons. The performance from each and every actor is spot-on and though many of these kids have never acted before, for me that has always been part of the beauty of it. Each character is type-casted to perfection, making every word spoken so completely real, believable and relatable, it can't even compare to any other teen drama. The show has also mastered that difficult balance of humor and drama. You will be laughing out loud one minute and then close to tears the next.
Yes, Skins is a mature show, and yes, there is a LOT of drug/alcohol use, smoking, sex, swearing etc., (and I certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone under the age of 14), but it IS a fantastically-made and strikingly honest story about growing up. A must-see series for any young person dealing with life, Skins will always be my favorite show on TV, hands down.