Episode 28: USOB

Ryan Sheely and Matthew Wrather consider Michelle and her quest to find “the one.”

Ryan Sheely and Matthew Wrather discuss Skins series 2 episode 4 (“Michelle”), focusing on liminality, English poetry, whether a house is a home, revelation of the body, the nature of the self (again), and the search for “the one.”

There will be no spoiler warnings and there will be many naughty words. If either of those things bothers you, don’t click!

→ Download TFT Episode 28 (MP3)

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The English Romantics:
• M. H. Abrams, The Mirror and the Lamp: Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition
• M. H. Abrams, Natural Supernaturalism: Tradition and Revolution in Romantic Literature
• John Keats, “Ode on a Grecian Urn” and “Ode On Melancholy”

“Konstantine” by Something Corporate

Henry V, Act II Scene 3

Elinor Ostrom, Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action

J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Kenneth Waltz, Theory of International Politics

5 Comments on “Episode 28: USOB”

  1. Chatworth Osborne Jr. #

    Podcast better.

    I have nothing to add except that I believe Volvo automobiles are seen as being very large for some reason in the UK.


  2. Megan from Lombard #

    I actually saw Michelle’s new step-father as what Tony could be like however many years down the road; and Michelle being like her own mother trying to find that one guy.

    And does anyone besides me wonder how Sketch got to the beach? As far as I know she doesn’t own a car and I’m sure that there’s no train that she could take…


  3. Celadon #

    So… two weeks since the last podcast. Any information on when you might do another?


    • Matthew Wrather OTI Staff #

      I am encoding episode 29 as I type this.

      It order to finish Skins before Gossip Girl returns, we have to cover two episodes of skins per TFT show. So when the new one goes live tomorrow, it’ll cover both the “Chris” and “Tony” Episodes.


  4. Meghan #

    Hi guys, I’m a new listener, which is sad considering I’m friends with many of the people at OverthinkingIt.com and a huge fan of Gossip Girl, Glee and Skins. Listening to the Skins episodes, I was struck by how on the money you were about the dynamics of the characters’ relationships could be related to geopolitical theory…and it got me thinking about another series in which teens and their relationships not only represent political struggle but actually control the political landscape of a world itself.

    I recently discovered–to my amusement–that there is a niche of people online who are not only avid fans of Gossip Girl, but of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series. I came to this discovery after winter-is-coming.net posted a link to someone’s personal blog where they depicted the characters of GRRM’s series in contemporary fashions. This blogger slipped in an astute comment about Sansa Stark–comparing the Sansa of book 1 to Jenny Humphrey in season 1 of Gossip Girl. She then tried to joke about how there’s no crossover between the fandoms, and her comments section was filled with people like me who testified to the opposite. I don’t know how familiar you guys are with the series, but I realized that ASOIAF could be construed as a teen soap as much as it is fantasy writer’s take on historical/political drama. At this point in the story’s narrative, many of the protagonists are young teens who are faced with the same issues you mentioned being part of the “teen soap checklist”: sex, pregnancy, death of a peer, death of a parent, the struggle for autonomy, and power struggles. The big difference obviously is there are strong adult characters in ASOIAF, but it looks like the outcome of the story will come down to the actions and ambitions of the teenaged ones. It’s just like vying for popularity in high school, except instead of being football captain, we’re talking becoming commander of an army and instead of being named Queen Bee, we’re talking taking rulership of the entire world.

    I guess I mention this because I’m fans of both series, and I’m curious to see how the teenaged plotlines are going to be depicted in the upcoming HBO television adaptation. I’m especially interested to see if HBO picks up on the fact that they could even try to market to fans of teen soaps if they created a commercial that focused on the teen characters exclusively. Do you think there would be a possibility–depending on how much storytime the teens get in the TV series–that you might address similarities between Game of Thrones and teen soaps like Gossip Girl when the series debuts next spring? I know you already touched upon the similarities between comic book origin stories and teen soaps. I feel like this could almost be an even stronger example of teen drama and fantasy epic sharing thematic concerns.


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