Skins’ Condition: A Speculative Look at the Upcoming Fifth Series

 

From left to right - Alex Arnold, Dakota Blue Richards, Sean something, and blah blah blah a bunch of people no-one's heard of

 

Next year, a new series of the loud and confused teen drama Skins will stumble onto our screens, giggling and smelling unwashed. If you’re not aware of it, Skins is a bizarre show about a bunch of teenagers in Bristol and their riotous misadventures. Someone wanted to make a show about the difficulties of growing up in the modern age, with a strong emotional core, and someone else wanted to make a surreal and wild romp with slapstick humour and celebrity cameos, and they both got together and decided to reconcile their approaches by doing them both simultaneously, but turned up to 11. It should be unwatchable, but it tries so hard and it’s so enthusiastic that you can help but be swept along, like when a child shows you her 3-page story about angry goats and declares it to be her magnum opus.

Skins is so keen to remain hip and with-it that every two series it chucks out the entire cast and replaces them with younger models, mostly unknowns drawn from an open casting call. Series 5 will see the entrance of the third bunch, and speculation has been rife as to what they would be like. Now, thanks to someone’s possibly unwise decision, we know: they’ve been cast, and their pictures are up on the website, with a little voting button so people can let E4 know what they think of them. The purpose of this vote is mysterious, since they are not likely to be replaced just because some strangers don’t like their faces, but nevertheless it’s there – and unfortunately the public is not a big fan of the new cast of Skins. Only 16% of the more than 23,000 votes have been positive for the cast as whole. Displeased teens must be stifling their gag reflexes up and down the country.

Is this bunch really that unappealing? And how much can we learn from them about content of the new series? Here at The Jerk Circle we’ve given the matter some thought, and come up with our own evaluation of the new Skins cast. We disdain such crude measures as simple percentage points, so we offer a more detailed examination of their appearance, including a guess at their character’s name and what their role in the show will be. A crucial aspect of Skins characters is their home-life, which is invariably troubled and almost always involves a seasoned comic actor playing a weirdly straight role as a parent – so we’ve taken a stab at predicting that as well. Continue reading

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Why Dead Rappers Are Really Great: Week 2 – Notorious BIG

Before we get into it, I’ll lay down some hip-hop history.

Notorious BIG, pictured here in 17th Century France.

Biggie, AKA Biggie Smalls, AKA BIG, AKA Frank White, AKA The Notorious, AKA Cillit Bang was a rapper who was so bad-ass he was signed to a record label called ‘Bad Boy’. As a fat, unattractive, freakishly tall child, Biggie had little else to do but rap in the mean streets of Brooklyn.

Continue reading

Gap: Putting the ‘Balls’ into ‘This Slogan is Balls’

This will just be a quickie, and another Jerk Circle post about fashion. People are probably starting to think we’ve got a little chip on our shoulder about the whole thing. I certainly don’t, because I know for a fact that I dress extremely well, and always look so sharp people often exclaim in pain when they brush past my incredible shirts. I’ve got an enormous wardrobe and every single item in it would make Chloë Sevigny piss herself with astonishment and envy. I am an absolute authority on clothes and my word carries the weight of law. Is that clear?

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. After that highly silly FCUK campaign, I’ve found myself becoming extra-sensitive to fashion slogans on the high street, many of which give me an uncomfortable little inward cringe when I walk past them. Have you seen this one? It’s currently adorning various Gap shops.

"America's Best Fitting Premium Jeans Are Now All In The Details" - not even the longer underslogan makes any sense.

This is another slogan which looks snappy, but is, on closer examination, shit. I could tell it didn’t really work because my reaction on first reading it was a confused ‘Huh?’ This is not the reaction a slogan ought to produce. Continue reading

Secondary Education: Seven Years of Constant, Pounding Fear

This was originally a speech I wrote in my final year of secondary school for the House Public Speaking competition, which is the sort of thing we did there. It is written from the perspective of an older student dispensing advice to a younger one just joining the school, and entering the world of Secondary Education. I rediscovered it in a drawer somewhere recently, and thinking it was Jerkworthy, I typed it up and decided to present it to the world. In the course of doing so, I did some editing and added quite a bit of extra material and the odd swearword, and also removing one or two in-jokes specific to the school. Consider this the deluxe version, or the Director’s Cut or something.

He cried in a whisper at some image, at some vision – he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath – “The horror! The horror!”

He is, of course, talking about his GCSE results. Today’s education system is a dog-eat-stupider-dog world, in which you are in constant, bloody conflict with everyone else your age in the country. They want those grades, the stupid dogs, they want those university places, and if you’re going to make it out on top, you’re going to have to ruthlessly stamp on your competitors’ fingers like papier-mâché volcanoes. You must undertake a trial with them and triumph, for this is Secondary Education. Prepare your loins with a thorough girding, and make ready. I’m afraid the angry gorillas that are the exam boards will be spending the next seven years flinging a great deal of their Ofqual-regulated shit in your face.

I’m in the Upper Sixth now, and I stand before you splattered with almost everything these gorillas have been able to lay their hands on – only one final, foul chunk remains, after which I will be having a nice long bath, or gap year. But I haven’t made it this far just by chance. I’ve had to be as wily as a coyote, as studious as a beaver, and as resilient as a great big rock. By now I know a thing or two, and if you’re utterly terrified of the giant pair of spiked, grinding wheels about to crush your soul (I’m talking about the experience of school here, and by the way you definitely should be), I have one or two hints to offer, helping to lubricate the wheels with some reassuring WD-40. Continue reading

Abandon Hope All Ye Who Shop Here: Jack Wills

NOT what libraries are for.

In my last article I spoke about the horrendous, offensive, disgusting festival of suntanned beefsteak that is the clothes shop Abercrombie and Fitch. But it struck me as quite an All-American offering (though they’ve had a store in London for a while, bastards), and I wondered, what do we Brits have to offer in terms of twatly garb? The answer came immediately: Jack Wills. Continue reading

Arsenal 6 – 0 SC Braga

6-0?

Ok, it’s been a while since my last Arsenal rant/gloat. Yes, they basically only come in those two distinct categories. This one will, as you may have guessed from the title, take the form of the latter. And oh my, what a lot of gloating I’m going to be doing. I really can’t wait.

Did you fucking see this match!? Have you ever seen such ridonkulously sexy football in your life? All the pre-match talk was injuries this, dirty northern cunts that. But did it matter that we had Robin, Theo, Abou, and the Verminator all out of action? Oh, and Bendtner (ha!). Did it fuck! We just really showed today this whole fucking ‘Arsenal lack strength in depth’ nonsense was an absolute pile of wank. Can Chamakh (my bitch up) fill in for Robin? Adequately. As can Vela, as he proved by scoring two in the 27 minutes he was on the pitch.Is there cover for Theo? Yes there is, it comes in the form of, well, anyone really. Today it was Samir Nasri, and then Emanuel ‘We’ve only come to see’ Eboue, who’s well on his way to replacing Freddie Ljungberg as the fan’s favourite de nos jours. Diaby? Got that one sorted, his name’s Jackie Wilshere, he’s only 18 and he’s got a bloody England call-up. And the one I was most worried about, Tommy Vermaelen? Yeah, it turns out Squillaci was a fucking good buy. Solid as the fucking hard-on the Gunners gave me on Wednesday night. Continue reading