Alo and Rich are by far my favorite friendship of any generation. This post dives into their friendship and puts a little love into it. Why? Because they are the Last of the Brohicans.
Friendships in Skins are tricky affairs. Sometimes they are bonds that form later on in the Generation like Chris and Cassie or Katie and Thomas. Sometimes they develop pretty quickly and get tested like JJ and Emily or Naomi and Cook. Other friendships are ancient and complicated like Tony and Sid or Cook and Freddie. No matter what kind of friendship though Skins is chalk full of them. Alo and Rich’s friendship is a friendship that has shared power and is based on a deep understanding of one another.
Tony and Sid are a great friendship. However it is pretty clear from the first moment they talked to one another on the phone that the relationship they had was one of leader and follower. Of course over time we soon learn that Tony needs Sid more than Sid needs Tony despite the hero worship. The friendship though was based on Tony’s power over Sid and Sid’s inability to stand up for himself through most of his childhood. Jal and Michelle’s friendship is also a great friendship; however, most of the conversations they had were mainly about Michelle’s problems with Tony. Until Jal gets pregnant and Chris passes away then she really showed how much she loves Jal. Freddie, Cook, and JJ were close friends for a long time relying on one another. However their friendship also had a strange power dynamic. Both Cook and Freddie dominated over JJ in the friendship. Not to mention Freddie and JJ seem to be given the job of taking care of and keeping Cook from losing control. Then the friendships get put to the test and break at the seams when a beautiful girl enters the picture. Mini, Grace, and Liv are also really good friends; however, Mini’s personality is a hard one to deal with and most of their friendship involved Grace/Liv walking on eggshells to keep Mini happy.
Rich and Alo though does not have those strange power dynamics. There is no clear leader instead it is more like two people who lean on one another. I always imagined that Rich and Alo became friends due to others not getting them. They would role play and have insane conversations about music, zombies, ninjas, and other things while the rest of the world looked on with judgment. I think they also both protect one another. Rich has done many things in order to protect Alo from getting hurt. One of the instances like I said before was in the novel when Rich takes off his shirt and dances in order to distract Alo from getting his heart broken. Alo is the one that tells Rich that he is being an idiot and he should give Grace a shot. I think they have a long history of relying on one another and having a friendship where there is an equal give and take.
Another reason that I love Rich and Alo is that they come across as so playfully gay with one another that it is absolutely adorable. Freddie and Cook had a strange homoerotic pull to their friendship. Tony and Sid were awkward in showing affection to one another and it only happened when Tony was losing control or after the accident. With Rich and Alo it is a total guy’s guy bromance. Where they hug, bicker, hold hands, fix suits, dance, sing, act goofy, and genuinely miss one another. They are free to express those things. I also think that Alo’s naiveté works really well with Rich’s intelligence and cynicism. They work off one anther so well in a really entertaining way. Always contradicting one another and yet always being playful.
Series 6 may have brought some tension mainly in that Alo does not know how to comfort Rich right now. However despite that Alo has been sending messages to Rich saying that he misses him and sending him random thoughts he has. He is worried and ultimately he wants his friend back. I also think that Rich needs Alo as well. Also some people have said that Rich was really mean to Alo when he said that Mini would fuck anyone. I think Rich said that partly because he was mad and partly out of concern. I think that Rich knows Alo really well and I think he knows that Alo is going to read into the relationship more than Mini will. I think Rich may believe the story that Mini fed him and may be concerned that Alo will get in over his head with Mini only to get hurt. That’s how I read his comment though it was said in a bull dog manner.
These two friends are the most equalized of all the friendships. They are also the most playful and most affectionate of all the long term friends Skins has written. They are a joy to watch. Not to mention the added bonus that the off screen chemistry between Will Merrick and Alex Arnold carries onto the screen to make Rich and Alo even more mabrogical.
Here are some Rich and Alo moments to get you in the mood:
**The amazing gifs were made by the one and only everything-skins**