Monday, April 9, 2012
SKINS S1E9: Take Good Care
(*Technically it's the "series finale" because in Britain they don't say "season," but "series finale" means something more final on this side of the pond. And "blokes" are called "men" and "wankers" are called "Republicans" and "go up boxes" are called "elevators." I think those are all the major cultural differences.)
Anwar's father is immediately compelling. Rather than get a generic Muslim stereotype, we get a guy who is obviously serious about his religion ("Does it give respect to god? Does it help the poor?" He asks Anwar, about his birthday party) but present in the real world as well. And he pushes Anwar to make up with Maxxie, no matter what the issue between them. When Anwar and Maxxie finally both blurt out the fact that the issue is that Maxxie likes to have sex with dudes, the Father's response is surprising and kind of wonderful:
"Its a fucking stupid messed up world. I've got my god. He speaks to me every day. Some things I can't work out. So I leave them be, OK? Even if I think they're wrong. Because I know one day He'll make me understand. I've got that trust. It's called belief."
My friend Jory said, "'That guy just made homophobia sound like the most noble shit ever." But that's not quite what it is--I don't take that "I think they're wrong" thing as a re-affirmation of God being anti-gay. I take it as Anwar's dad admitting that God's stance is unclear. And, you know, it is. I can't remember where I read or heard this recently, but someone pointed out that the Bible tells you not to lay with a man "as you would a woman." For all we know, the Bible is just noting that sex doesn't work the same way between two guys. It's just a handy tip! "Hey, don't try to put it in his vagina. He doesn't have one!" Those who claim to be able to interpret god's word easily, paint him in broad strokes, are really the most sacrilegious of us all. Anyway it's a great little speech, delivered perfectly, and I loved it.
Seemingly defeated in his search for Cassie, Sid wanders into the bathroom as the opening notes of Cat Stevens's "Wild World" begin to play. And then shit gets Magnolia on all of us.
Now, I had a problem with the lip-syncing scene in Magnolia, it somehow felt unearned, like the wave of weirdness hadn't appropriated crested. The timing was off. Here (and maybe it helps that the characters are actually singing, or are depicted as doing so--it is not Cat Stevens or Aimee Mann's voice that we hear) it is perfect. I couldn't stop smiling.
In my first Skins recap I noted that Sid seemed to be the real central figure here. That's been true for a lot of this series, and so it felt right for him to walk us out. I was actually happy to see him and Cassie reunited at the end. He deserves her.