Rich and Grace: Mom and Dad
Rich and Grace are the Mom and Dad of the entire gang. Now before you throw things at me or storm off in a fit of rage at me writing another Hardlet post. Give me a few minutes to explain myself.
Rich before the group had one main friendship and that friendship is with the red headed farm boy named Alo. Now their relationship is indeed equal. Alo gives Rich perspective and gets him to cut loose every now and again. Now this may sound strange, but many of my friends who have kids have said similar things about their children. “I start to get angry about paying bills and all the shit I have to do then I look at my kids…and they give me this sense of perspective.” “Sometimes life has a way of getting in the way of having fun and you start to lose yourself. Then your kid comes around and wants to play tea party with you. Then you realize you need to cherish those simple times.” Alo for Rich represents that fun, care-free, enthusiastic, and naïve nature in life that Rich simply does not have. On top of it Rich takes care of Alo by forcing him to think about his actions, guiding him to make the right choices, and to literally bail him out of jail. He is essentially an older brother or fatherly figure in Alo’s life. Even in the novel Rich is portrayed as someone who has to explain things to Alo or as a figure who is attempting to keep Alo innocent by protecting him from disappointment.
Grace similarly acts as the mother of her group of friends Mini and Liv. Although she is a mother who likes to silently guide her children without their notice. She offers all of her friends including Franky a sense of unconditional love as unconditional as a mother’s love. Grace works hard to work out the problems in her friends’ life and even makes decisions that sacrifice her own happiness in order to make her friends happy. She is the go to person for all of her friends for emotional support and for life advice. Because Grace does not judge and she always has a plan to correct the situation. She has an amazingly high emotional IQ and she uses that IQ to guide her friends. Even in death her personality and wisdom guides her friends through grief toward hope. She is the mother of the group and she loved her friends more than anything no matter what they did.
Rich and Grace of course fell in love and formed a relationship. This relationship functioned differently than most of the other couples on Skins. They were equal partners in every sense of the word. Though Grace definitely had the power in the relationship (as in most marriages) and together their relationship bonded the entire group together. After Grace died just like in most relationships in which children are involved the Dad has to start picking up the role of the Mom to help support the kids. The earlier episodes Rich is absent trying to deal with his grief and when he returns he begins to both work hard for his future and also take on his already stated role along with incorporating some of Grace’s role. Only Mini and some of the others are not use to going to Rich for help, so Grace intervenes by having Rich come in possession of her phone. Which allowed Rich to help Mini.
Now this may seem like a stretch…but if you really think about it…it really isn’t. Rich and Grace are the non-married married couple of Skins and together they were taking care of their friends. When Grace died and the relationship got fractured everything went wrong. Then with the help of Grace’s teachings and Daddy Hardbeck things began to fall into place again. They were able to find hope again.