Franky vs. Effy
So many people have been saying “Franky is trying to be the new Effy,” “OMG they are trying to turn Franky into Effy,” “Franky is like a mediocre version of Effy,” and “Franky is totally trying to be Effy and Luke is trying to be Cook…come on Skins writers be original. OMG.” I am here to put this to rest. Franky is not Effy.
The thing about most humans is that we have similar traits and sometimes we experience similar things. For instance I met someone today who studied abroad in Ireland, they were sarcastic, and also had issues in school with being bullied. I did not turn to this girl and say “stop trying to be like me.” It is fine that you think you see similarities between these two characters; however, they also have stark differences.
This is where I see the differences between Ms. Stonem and Ms. Fitzgerald. Franky has reasons behind her mysterious personality and reasons for her acting out. The way that Generation 2 has played Effy is that she has always been that way since birth. She always had a quality to her that loved secretly and pushed people away outwardly. Always living hard and being Effy. Franky has a story and it is a story that breaks my heart. She was put up for adoption late in life, she was bullied aggressively in school, and she has never had the experience of having unconditional love in order for her to explore who she is in a real way. In many ways Effy is nature and Franky is nurture. Effy by nature creates chaos and interpersonal distance. Franky by circumstance has learned to expect interpersonal distance and a controlled sense of chaos.
Another difference between Effy and Franky is in the WAY they treat people. Effy uses people (not because she is mean) however she watches people and uses people. She plays people off one another and gets into their heads. Franky in Series 5 BRINGS people together. She reached out to Nick, Liv, and Mini to help them not to create chaos and drama. She wanted to create a community and made an effort to be part of the group. Effy never made an effort to be part of the group in fact I would argue that no one aside from Panda really knew Effy that well. Franky though did make emotional attachments and friendships where she shared herself and others shared themselves with her.
Another difference I think is highlighted in Franky’s episode in Series 6. Franky has a strong mind not many people could face years of abuse and the knowledge that someone who was supposed to love you giving you up late in life. I have students who have had similar stories who are acting out in dangerous ways. In context Franky comes out looking like a really strong and self-sufficient person. In Franky’s episode she seeks out Luke and at first she enjoys the chaos and the violence that Luke supplies. She lost control. However she remembered the reality of what happened to her she always remembers the reality of what happened to her. Despite all that happened in her life and all that happened in her episode the episode ended with a feeling of “hope.”
Effy when she had a breakdown never got that same feeling of hope she instead becomes more disturbed with the help of John Foster. “I happened, but it never happened.” I think that if John Foster walked into the room and spoke to Franky. She would not buy into that. She is a character that is reality-based. Effy has many out-of-this world qualities that Franky does not.
As for the Franky/Luke and Effy/Cook connection. I have already said I do not think that Effy and Franky are THAT similar. Luke and Cook are also very different characters. If Franky stayed with Luke he would lead her to destruction. In many ways Cook lead Effy out of destruction by reminding her who she is and the reality that John Foster tried to make her forget. Cook has the ability to love despite his crazed nature—he does care. Luke may care; however, it gets drowned out by Luke’s entitlement that the world owes him something. Franky also stopped with Luke after one episode. Effy carried on with Cook for quite sometime even after realizing she had strong feelings toward Freddie.
So just because you see similarities in a character does not mean they are the same or that the writers are trying to write a character replacement. Is Rich a Naomi replacement because they are both sarcastic? Is Alo a JJ replacement because he lacks impulse control? Is Mini a Katie replacement because sometimes they can act selfish and controlling? There will always be similarities, because humans are similar. But each story is unique and I cannot wait to see how Franky is at the end of this series.