The relationship that our band of Skins characters has with their parents is well complicated. Sometimes they are reasons for stress, sometimes they are there with words of comfort, and sometimes the lesson that needs to be learned is that parents are imperfect. After going through each generation I will do a fourth installment looking at the themes and connections of how Skins views parents on the whole.
This post is about Generation 3 and their parents.
Alex Henley (Dad)
I am not going to go in too much detail with Alex due to not knowing enough about him and his family. He obviously had more of a connection with his Grandmother and Grandfather than his own parents. The only parent we met was Alex’s dad who seems to travel quite a bit and shows very little interest in Alex. He is only there to hand over money and talk about the things that are pressing. Which is why Alex is such a self-reliant individual and goes with the flow of things, because in many ways he has to be.
Grace Violet Blood – (Dad – Professor David Blood & Mom – Sonia Blood)
I have written a little bit about Grace and her parents before. Professor Blood loves his daughter. However in many ways he silenced Grace’s ability to be who she really is especially around him. He is controlling, strict, and unreasonable in his beliefs of what is best for his daughter. Grace’s relationship with her Dad was strained under the insane pressure and judgment that Blood put into Grace. He is definitely not Dad of the year and he receives no biscuits for his fathering. Then you have Sonia Blood who reminds me of a robotic drone resigned to her life as a trophy wife meant to smile, agree, and cling to her stories. She read those stories to Grace and in many ways I think that Grace’s Mom has lost all sense of reality. I was disturbed by Grace’s Mom. It felt like she suffers from some major Stockholm Syndrome symptoms. Despite this though even the strongest of Stockholm attachments has its hiccups and Sonia did stand up for Grace at the end of 5x8. The truth is Blood’s family suffer from photo-genic awkward family photo perfection, but underneath is a house of lies that poor Grace had to navigate through. Thank god for her adopted family and Rich.
Richard Hardbeck - (Dad - Kevin Hardbeck & Mom – Anita Hardbeck)
In Series 5, when we met Kevin it seemed as if he was an understanding, supportive, and loving Dad trying to get through to his stubborn son. I often wondered what Rich’s Mom was like, because Kevin seemed like he was a normal healthy Dad. When Anita came onto the screen everything made sense to me. Rich is the way he is for several reasons including being ignored by other kids, but I also think it is due to the way Anita chooses to act as a mother. It is obvious that Anita loves her son; however, she frets and coddles Rich who looks nauseated whenever his mother utters anything. I feel like she is a cheap and fake person who constantly worries and tries to get Rich to be something he is not. In many ways she actually reminds me of Petunia Dursley (Harry Potter’s aunt). She is this fake person who is nosey and frets over her son Dudley. Calling him dumb pet names and never giving Dudley room to breathe. The only difference is that I think Rich sees his Mom as both extremely annoying and unreasonable. I think Rich respects his Dad more than his Mom but wishes that Kevin would grow a pair and tell Anita to back the fuck off.
Alo – (Mom & Dad)
Alo loves his parents. In fact I have been told by a snarky metal man that he is in fact gay for his parents. I have no doubts that his parents are good to Alo; however, his parents are imperfect. Alo’s Dad is a really passive nice guy who works hard despite his health. His Mom is domineering and in Alo’s episode last year decided teach Alo a lesson in the pains of growing up. Alo’s episode was essentially about his relationship with his parents and Alo during with that relationship. His parents want him to work on the farm and take on more responsibility on the farm in order to ease his father’s work load. His father ultimately loves his son and does not want to force Alo to do anything, but he is scared of his wife. To tell you the truth I would be scared of Alo’s mother as well. His parents though are not toxic and I think Alo’s words about growing up and that his Mom needs to try got to his Mom. It was coming out of a place of love though it came across as belittling and mean. Another reason I think that Alo may have an attraction to girls who are like his mother…Mini anyone?
Mini – (Dad - Gregory & Mom - Shelly)
Her father Gregory damaged the relationship that Mini has with men then her mother Shelly essentially disturbed that relationship even more. Shelly tells Mini that guys are only after one thing which is sex and she lives a life of going from one man to the next having loud sex with Mini in the house. She has raised Mini all on her own and sometimes Shelly comes across as a mother who is in competition with Mini or tries to live through Mini in terms of men and youth. This has made Mini lose respect for her Mom even though she does love her. I also think that Shelly loves Mini as well. This all ties to imperfection…Mini’s mom is not perfect but she has a protective instinct that definitely showed in Series 6. Gregory of course is a man who flees from responsibility and is a source of resentment and complication for Mini. She wants a father figure and craves it…but Gregory cannot handle it. All of this goes into the complicated relationship that Mini has with sex and also her fears of getting too attached to males in general. To understand Mini you must understand this side of her.
Liv – (Mom )
The main parental figure in Liv’s life is her Mom who goes through weird phases trying to fill the void that she feels in her life. What we know of Liv is that she is a middle child who takes care of her younger sister Maude and who has an older sister named Bella who is in prison. We also know that Liv’s father left and that Bella attacked her Mom due to the resentment surrounding her Dad leaving. Liv comes from a broken family where the Mom for the most part focuses on herself and where both violence & denial is rampant. Liv’s family is a huge source of stress for her. However her little sister Maude is extremely important to Liv.
Matty and Nick (Dad – Leon Levan)
I would love to learn more about the Levan brothers family life especially their Mom. It is obvious that their Mom left Leon and the boys. Maybe to escape the insanity that is Leon or maybe for other reasons. Leon of course is a testosterone filled motivational speaker and life coach. He is a typical alpha male who tries to pain a distorted picture of what it means to be a man to his two sons. Matty never accepts Leon’s bullshit while Nick being younger and loyal does listen to his Dad until his episode last series. It is obvious though that Nick has more of his mother in him than his Dad in order to be the sweet guy he is.
Franky Fitzgerald (Dads – Jeff and Geoff)
Franky’s Dads are honestly the best parents of this generation. They adopted Franky at an age where the chance of being adopted drastically decreases with every birthday you celebrate and took her in with open arms. They are understanding and loving. They also lay down the law when they feel they need to. They are the picture of what all adopting and foster parents should be. The best thing about Jeff and Geoff is that they see something in Franky that is hopeful and good. Which is so different compared to what Franky sees in herself and what she believes others see in her (no good shit magnet.) I adore these Dads and they get all the biscuits in the world.