Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Skins: It's a Wild World

The season finale of Skins kind of isn't really a finale at all here in the US, considering that BBCAmerica is broadcasting the seasons back-to-back. Nonetheless, it's got all the elements of a classic finale, complete with a 'will he or won't he die' cliffhanger and a change in tone different from the series.

All season long we're slowly led to the belief that Tony is a cad (or, as his sister aptly puts it in a rare instance of vocalization, a 'wanker,') but these past couple episodes seem bent on regaining sympathy for the character. Which is alright, I guess, in that Nicholas Hoult is such a great actor, it's almost necessary to bring him back into the fold somehow. Of course, getting hit by a bus would appear cliche to American audiences by now, but following it by slipping into a musical with the singing Cat Stevens' "Wild World," takes it a step further. It's been done before, obviously (see Magnolia, and the Season 4 finale of Nip/Tuck,) but it still feels somewhat fresh, using the actual voices of Sid, Chris, Angie and even the comatose Tony to sing along. (Here's video of the sing-a-long.)

There were a couple of other nice music moments, but for the most part, in order to catch them all, you need to watch the original UK (E4) version, which you can find on YouTube (Pt. 1, Pt. 2, Pt. 3, Pt. 4 and Pt. 5). The opening scene remains mostly intact, using the great soul track "I've Been Lonely For So Long," but the version that aired here seems to be a cover instead of the original Stax classic by Frederick Knight. The US version also manages to keep The Broken Family Band's "It's All Over" and even Starship's "We Built This City," which backs the philisophical and heartfelt patch-up between Anwar and Maxie, courtesy of Anwar's father. Most of the musical fun was stripped out of the episode, however, as Awar's embarrasing Uncle had some crazy music tastes that found their way to the dance floor (see playlist below).

One thing more to checkout before season 2 starts next week, is the Skins Secret Party mini-episode that is sandwiched between seasons. Unlike the 'Secret Skins' minisodes throughout the season, it actually aired on the network, and ends with an actual party featuring Skins fans who won tickets through various competitions. It features The Foals (pre-Sub Pop) playing "Hummer" at the secret party, with Maxxie putting up little clues around the city, like Where's Fluffy from Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. That it ends with Paul Simon's "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" is just an added bonus.

Playlist: Skins - Episode 109/Secret Party

1. "I've Been Lonely For So Long" - Frederick Knight
2. "You Can't Hurry Love" - The Concretes
3. "Sky Holds The Sun" - The Bees
4. "Or Just Rearrange" - Micah P. Hinson
5. "Happy Birthday" - Altered Images
6. "Bat Out Of Hell" - Meat Loaf
7. "It's All Over" - The Broken Family Band
8. "Everything Changes" - Take That
9. "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" - Aerosmith
10. "Give A Little Bit" - Supertramp
11. "We Built This City" - Starship
12. "The Final Countdown" - Europe
13. "Pow" - Lethal Bizzle
14. "True Love Ways" - Buddy Holly
15. "Wild World" - Cat Stevens (sung by cast)
16. "Hummer" - Foals
17. "Me & Julio Down by the Schoolyard" - Paul Simon

Previously: Shifting Scales (Episode 1.08)

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