1) Pressed flowers
2) Coloured Sand
3) Thin buttons
4) Embroidery thread
5) Second hand postcards
6) magazine clippings
7) Patches for mending clothes
8) Denim from old jeans
9) Pages of old books
10) Pressed insects
11) Newspaper articles
12) Calligraphy inks (more vibrant and transparent than water-color)
13) Paper bags
15) Washi tape
16) Spray paint
17) Scrapbook paper
18) House paint (paint stores give away mistinted paint for extremely low prices, can confirm: I work at a paint store and get free paint every day.)
19) Colour chips (get these while you’re at the paint store :p)
20) Tin foil
21) Candle wax
22) Nail polish (if you pour it on the page and let it dry its beautifully shiny and textured. I use it to make eyes that glisten).
23) Oil pastels
24) Locks of your hair
25) Perfume samples
26) Resaraunt coasters
27) Gold leaf pen ( found at art stores)
29) Black coffee
30) Postage stamps
31) Junk mail
33) Dead butterflies and moths
34) Food lables
35) Coffee sleeves
37) Unused pages from previous journals/ notebooks.
38) Duct tape, patterned or otherwise.
41) Makeup (lipstick especially)
42) Lino Stamps (art stores sell ones you can carve yourself.)
43) Door numbers and letters (home depot has a whole wall of them).
44) Lables from a lable maker
45) Ticket stubs
47) Resaraunt menus
48) Other people’s drawings
49) Baggage tags
50) Recipe cards
51) Pencil crayon
52) Regular crayon
53) Acrylic paint
54) Pressed mushrooms
55) Little plastic bags
56) Felt pen
58) Straw and dried grasses
59) Old school notes and assignments
60) Printed photographs
61) Business cards
62) Parcel packaging
63) Yarn or wool
64) Book marks
65) Stickers from Starbucks coffee bags (you can ask for these without buying the coffee)
66) Tea and tea bags
67) Spider webs
68) Snake skin (pet stores)
69) Scraps of fabric
70) Pet fur
71) Hair dye
72) Berry juice
73) Wood stain
75) Masking tape
77) Notes from family members and loved ones
78) Beer and wine lables
81) Birthday cards
82) Oragami paper
83) Shoe laces
84) Dictionary entries
86) Melted Crayons
87) Chalk board paint and sidewalk chalk
88) Metallic foil
89) Coin rubbings
91) Thin tile
92) Spray on velvet
93) Cue cards
94) Name tags
96) Squished bottle caps
97) Paper doilies
99) Dried herbs
100) The inside of correlated cardboard.
Noora’s characterisation is worse than Vilde’s, there I said it. At least Vilde is constantly crude, mean and frankly disgusting this season, whereas Noora is just…whatever the situation needs her to be this season, honestly! With the added “bonus” of constantly overshadowing Sana’s storyline, of course.
I had an immense amount of hope for season 4 of Skam. And
even though from the beginning, I didn’t like some stuff or was suspicious of
some plotlines, I decided to trust the people who had previously made three
amazing seasons of Skam to make sense of everything and to give us a beautiful
and meaningful season for Sana as well.
Now that Sana’s season is basically over, however, I am more
resigned to bitterness and accepting the fact that they simply couldn’t
deliver. I don’t blame Julie. Not really. I did for a while, but now I
just…feel nothing. The rage has worn off and what’s left is this deep sadness
that comes from knowing something good has gone bad.
I’m being dramatic though! At the end of the day, it’s just
a show and it doesn’t really matter. But for a second there, I thought I was
watching something monumental occur; like when I watched season 3. To get a
show from the perspective of a poc muslim girl in a European country seemed
both risqué and innovative. But the problem with such a never-seen-before/never-explored-before
concept is that, you won’t know just how wrong it can go.
For example, they could easily figure out what not to do in
season three, by simply watching all the wrong moves other shows had made
through the years. While Sana’s season needed delicate and thorough research to
first: capture the essence of the culture and background she came from
and then secondly: to use it in the fabric of the show in a natural and
organic way. They also needed to have space to deal with the daily problems of
muslim girls in modern Norway’s society and on top of that all, they had to
make no mistakes and create interesting drama through it all.
Looking at it like that, I feel bad for Julie and the pressure
she must have been under. I think considering how bad things could have gone….
they went moderately bad. And yet, ironically we can claim it’s the best of its
kind because no one else has done anything remotely close to it before, either.
However, I’m not resigned to just accept this as an excuse
and forget just how badly things went. Because this looks like a terrible
accident to me, and no matter what I do, I find myself thinking things like “if
only this part had been different”, “if only they hadn’t done that.”, if, if, if.
So I’m gonna rewatch all nine episodes of Sana’s season and attempt to write a
piece explaining just what I thought went wrong.
1.The pacing: Perhaps one of the most obvious things
that went wrong with this season and that everyone noticed, was the pacing.
This piece will be full of bitter nostalgia so let the first one be a callback
to the amazing trailer. I will never forget the day we got season four’s
trailer after four months of waiting. Everything about it seemed just perfect.
Every detail seemed like a symbol, a throwback, a small wink to the viewer:
“look! We put that there for you to find!”. And the ultimate message seemed to
be that “it’s about to go down” and it will go down in a very complex way, too!
A chain reaction! Millions of meta pieces were written. A thousand different
takes on the chain of reaction and what each dilemma could be was written. So when the
season started, we were all waiting for something to happen. We
waited….and waited… and waited… and waited…. We waited for weeks! But what
happened was that a tension, thick as butter, just kept on building for five
weeks. And then BOOM! All hell broke loose! And yet…and yet nothing had happened
yet. We actually had to wait two more weeks for something to really happen and
suddenly by the eighth week, everything was resolved again! In short, the plot
was one giant anticlimax! The conflict that kept on building to seem like an
unavoidable fall out, a tsunami of dramatic interactions, ended up being
resolved off screen. The real problem seemed to be the pacing. If the show had
built the conflict in three episodes, presented us with the supposed dilemma
in episode 3, tried to fix that in episode 4 and had the deeper, real conflict
happen in episode 5, then had the after math in episode 6, and started to fix it
in episode 7, have the characters figure it out in episode 8 and the resolve it in
episode nine, then it would have made sense! Writing it down like that, it
almost feels like that’s what happened! But clearly something prevented the cycle
from feeling like a natural arc. Which brings us to the second problem:
2.Crowded narrative: So what was Sana’s season about?
The imbalance of her Muslim/Norwegian identity? Being a muslim in an atheist
country? Falling for a non-muslim boy? Falling out of touch with friends?
Jealousy? Anger issues? Making up with family? Getting a Russ buss? What was
this season about?
Ignoring the subplots (because there was so many of those I
shiver just thinking about them!), there was three main plots for Sana in this
1.Finding a balance between her Norwegian
identity and the people in that part of her life with the muslim/Moroccan side
of her identity and the people in that part of her life.
2.the problem of being a muslim girl
falling for a non-muslim boy and trying to keep true to her faith while still
trying to not the love go to waste.
3.Finally making the last move in her
friendship with girl squad and really being honest with them about her feelings
However soon these problems morphed into different things
1.Getting a bus and proving to everyone that
she can be a part of this Norwegian tradition like any other Norwegian girl.
2. Trying to let go of the boy who was both
unsuitable for her and who her best friend had feelings for.
3.Dealing with the collision of her Moroccan
and Norwegian on terms that were not her own.
Each of these plots kept on getting more complicated and
more tangled to a point that they were not exactly resolvable. They were
instead just forced into a state of equilibrium. Which was anti climactic to say
*sigh* now let’s face the subplots! There were so many
subplots! And at one point, it felt like these plots will wrap up in that
infamous trailer “chain reaction”. But with the season already over, it’s
become abundantly clear that that was never the case!
The subplots as seen from the very first clip on are:
1. Vilde and Magnus’s
relationship (initially taken as a way to introduce lesbian Vilde but ending up
being about trust and cheating. Resolved in episode eight’s sixth clip)
2.Noorhelm (the most
unnecessary unearthing of a clearly failed relationship that somehow got
revived again…*whispers*why?! Resolved in Episode nine’s third clip)
3.Balloon squad (Sana’s
brother’s group of friends and the most adorable addition to Skam this season.
I’m not sure what their conflict was supposed to be but last time we saw them
they were pretty happy and content so I guess resolved in the last hei briskeby
video) (actually they were there to destroy stigma surrounding poc/muslim boys and trying to create empathy towards them)
4.Getting a bus (resolved in
the fifth clip of episode 8)
5.Hvem er Mikael?!(Still a
mystery tbh but generally accepted to be the last guy Even tried to
kiss…unsuccessfully I might add. Resolved in the last clip of episode 4?!then
again in last clip of episode 5 and again in the last clip of episode 7…)
6.Sana and her mother (not
really a conflict point but still she started from hiding things from her to
telling her stuff. Resolved in the fourth clip of episode 9)
7.Even’s past (I honestly
don’t know why this had to be mentioned but whatever. Resolved in the sixth
clip of episode 8)
8.Yousana (resolved with an
open ending in the fifth clip of episode nine aka Sana’s last clip)
9.Elias (Sana’s brother has
issues! He’s drinking, he’s fighting with his mom, he’s rebelling and maybe
even questioning his faith. This wasn’t resolved! This was just mentioned and
to this day I’m haunted. What is happening with Elias?)
10.PM girls (The true let down of this season.
There was no need to make 50% of the 99 girls evil, but nothing we can do about
that. Resolved in the fifth clip of episode 8)
11.Vilde (Vilde was acting
super weird all season long! From Islamophobic behavior to spreading stuff
about Sana behind her back and such. Vilde deserved better because we never saw
her acknowledge her wrong behavior but somehow this was already resolved by the
end of the fifth clip of episode 8)
12.The syng fight (supposedly
a climax for the other plots and subplots but it’s an even bigger mystery than
all the plots combined. I don’t know anything about it! Nothing made sense but
apparently already resolved by the sixth clip of episode 8)
13.Jamilla and Sana’s friendship (resolved in the
fifth clip of episode 7)
14.Hacking and cyber-bulling
(resolved by the fifth clip of episode 8)
15.Sana finishing her prayer
(resolved in the last clip of episode 9)
I…I just think there was too much happening!
All this aside, this season had one giant problem. Like a
zit on the nose. Big, red, angry and full of gross pus. And that is the third
3.Noora: To think I started watching the show for
Noora! Oh Noora, Noora, Noora! I am so sick of Noora! The woman, the mirror,
the foil, the ever-present heroin of Skam! It was so easy for Eva and Isak to
fade into the backgrounds of the seasons that were not theirs but for some
unfathomable reason, this is just not going to work out for Noora!
While Noora’s mirror presence in season 3 was dignified and
reasonable, the ever-changing mirror/foil/symbol/metaphor/object of hate or
jealousy-take your pick- presence that
she had this season was stifling! Present in almost all clips or at least the
long clips, with a very tangible presence and a very lingering subplot, Noora
mirror-foilingly(!) stole the show from Sana. Here’s how she did that.
In the very first clip of season 4, it’s mentioned that
Noora is still not over William while he has apparently moved on to dating a
new person. This sets the main plot into action, by girl squad trying to find
someone for her to move on with. Which leads to a cute tête-à-tête between her
and Yousef. But this is quickly side-tracked by Sana wittingly telling Noora to
avoid muslim boys.
So basically, Noora and her boy trouble were the spark that
started the season. This later affected other plots such as the Vilde+Magnus
one, the Even backstory, Yousana and balloon squad.
Soon after this, we get a long clip in which Noora explained-with
a painstakingly slow pace- why she really left William in London. An explanation
that nobody needed and that just created the opportunity to restart an old
storyline despite it being over for months. Long story short, from trying to
help Noora move on to Noora kissing Yousef, from Sana being jealous of Noora to
hacking and a lot of tears, basically this whole season was a chain of Sana’s
reactions to Noora’s actions. The only plot that was there from the very first
clip to the second to last one. The only story that evolved and developed,
right beneath our noses while we were busy wondering about more important
things like: “whether Sana will ever talk to her friends or not?” (she won’t) or
“what the syng fight was about?” (nothing important!) or “what really happened
in Bakka?” (What’s Bakka?!) or “Is Vilde lesbian?” (no!) or “will Yousana make
it?” (eh…). And while we were busying ourselves with these silly small plots
around the season, Noora and her epic romantic adventures were developing
steadfastly towards a big climax that was delivered in the last clip of episode
8. A clip that was formerly reserved for a very important and dramatic plot
twist in the main’s life.
So while all those never-explored-before plots were all just
dismissed, the same old story of Noora got to be the main plot of the season.
And that’s fine! But when they said we were getting a Sana season, it just led
us to believe Sana would be a bigger part of her own main plotline.
I always thought Sana was the ultimate main for Skam,
because in the past three seasons, she was the single character that held a
real sway over the plot. She delivered important speeches and pushed the plot
in a whole new direction with each of these talks. I thought she was ultimately
the character we were meant to get to know. But I was wrong. Because Skam was
always about Noora.
4.Bad research: While we all know that the
authenticity and uniqueness that is provided in Skam’s plots is curtsey of the
interviews they did with actual teenagers and the inspirations they took from
their real life experiences; it is undeniable that the main reason season three
became such a success was because they sought out the counsel of a professional.
While we don’t know if they didn’t really do this for this season, it at least
feels like they went in blind to write it. We know they spoke with muslim
teenagers, but perhaps it would have been better to try to familiarize
themselves with Sana’s situation on a sociological and psychological level as
well. Maybe have a religion expert on the show? Or a sociologist who had
studied the social disorders that second
generation immigrants have to deal with? Someone who could guide them into
writing a story that was perhaps a bit more respectful to these children’s
experiences rather than a dramatic roller coaster of unexplainable events that
led to nothing but drama.
storytelling: The most respectful
way to put this is to say that (as mentioned before) since there were too many
subplots happening in the season, none of these stories got to be told in a
linear way. The stories got told in snippets, set too far apart that plots got
lost or complicated simply because they had to wait in line for weeks, to take
up where they left off last time we heard about them!
Take Yousana for
instance, one week we see them talk, then for a whole week we hear nothing then
we see Yousef kiss Noora. Then again we get a clip about Sana moving on but two
weeks later, she talks about him again and decides to give it a chance.
For another, Sana’s
faith. While initially it seemed as though we might see her practice her faith
in some way, to actually normalize Islam, that plot was forgotten half way
through the season and only got mentioned again in the very last clip.
Consistency was not the
strong suit of this season for sure. Perhaps because this was the last season.
Maybe they just ran out of a good way to see things through or to connect the
things they wanted to connect.
But no matter how you
will try to tell yourself that there was a good reason for the things that
happened this season, you can’t deny how unfair this season was to Sana.
Before the season
started, there were so many people talking about how a Sana-centered season was
“needed” at times like these. But political climate and social anomalies aside,
this season not only didn’t help any of those noble causes it was supposed to
serve, but also pushed its narrator aside in favor of a more sought
after story that only had dramatic value.
Comments from Skam’s official website under some of the clips in season 3.
i found this kinda funny. since we’re in the beginning of a new season
and we speculate on what’s gonna happen next, i went back to read the
comments on some of the early clips on season 3 and thought i’d translate
some. (if you don’t bother to read the long comments i’ve bolded the
best part.) btw my absolute fav is X’s comment on the Ikke vær frekk clip
CLIP 3 EPISODE 1: Går ned på chicks:
hvor er først? (where is first?) wrote: Sana and Eva seems
hostile? Wonder what Isak used his rent on. Why doesn’t Jonas try to get
an entry pass to try and look, (for the weed at eva’s) since Isak is met
with an icefront. The season opens with so many questions that i’m going
insane. Anyone else got the impression that Eskild was keen on Isak, but Isak wasn’t on Eskild?
Mari wrote: handsome guy Isak spotted!!!
Ole Brum wrote: I think Isak is actually not gay
gjesp wrote: hope it doesn’t get this boring the whole season
Selima wrote: OMG ATTENTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BET THAT ISAK’S BOYFRIEND IS GONNA BE NAMED JULIAN DAHL!!!!!!!!!!
Noen (somebody) wrote: Isak looked at a boy. HE’S IN LOVE OMG.
randomhoe wrote: bruh,
Isak is booooooring, this whole season is gonna be boring, think about
it. William quit and now “ISAK” that little cute guy has the main role?
CLIP 4 EPISODE 1: Kose-gruppa:
Evak 4 life wrote: I bet that Isak and Even are gonna get together, I ship them, Evak (heartemoji). But I swear if Even is using Isak to get to Vilde then I swear I’ll be really mad. They are so cute together.
Mari wrote: what was the deal with the paper towels Even took?
Kjedelig bruuuh? (boring bruuuh?) wrote: I honestly think season 3 has been boring, I miss Noora and William.
CLIP 5 EPISODE 2: Grindr:
Hei wrote: Now I think some of these comments are being too
negative. This season is probably gonna be just as good or even better
than season 1 and 2.
Zwup wrote: Isak is bi and unsure, he’s curious about boys.
Anna wrote: am I the only one who deep inside hopes Isak and Emma are gonna end up together?
Cath wrote: I
think it’s building up to that Isak is gonna believe/think/hope Even
is gay, with support from Eskild’s comment on blowjob. And then Isak
dare to either fall in love or hit on Even. Then he’ll be rejected and
hurt and it’ll be stress and drama, cause Even isn’t gay. The moral to
Andem must be to show that no hints can show who a person truly are, and
through Isak we’ll learn this. I think Even and Emma are gonna fall for each other, and Isak will get a real downfall before he falls for another boy.
slitsomt wrote: (some
stuff about how boring it was that people loved Noora and William the
instant they talked, and doesn’t like that people did the same with Isak
and Even and) I rather hope that Isak “thinks” he likes Even and
that Eskild supports Isak both against his christian parents and so on,
and in the end they’ll fall in love because Eskild was always there for
Isak. If Even and Isak ends up together it’ll be to obvious.
Snopet wrote: I
think Eskild and Isak will end up a couple. In the end Noora probably
comes home from London and it’s over between her and William.
vet ikke (don’t know) wrote: is Isak gay? or does he like girls?
Nila wrote: the
show sets up to that Isak is gonna come out of the closet, but I guess
Julie Andem is gonna fool us all in the end. He’s not gay after all.
CLIP 6 EPISODE 2: Even:
lille my wrote: I think they are charging up to season 4 already, sana <3<3
H wrote: already better than season 2, feels good to finally have the real Skam back on after the Sahara of dry excitement last season.
UREALISTISK (unrealistic) wrote: who the FUCK is dumb enough to take it (the weed) with them to school? not sana at least. Skam seriously?
Even er ikke intr (Even is not
interested) wrote: I think Even seems slick…. I’m sure he’s just gonna get Isak in trouble… and IT’S NOT gonna be Isak and Even.. Even
seems obviously interested in girls,,, the way he looks at them and
dig. It looks like he’s more interested in Vilde, nobody has noticed or
commented on this? (and that thing about that somebody is gonna die..
Skam is going to a new level.. GOOD episode!)
Isak, Emma, Even :) wrote: anyone else who thinks Isak should go down on chicks? maybe Emma?
CLIP 7 EPISODE 2: Ikke vær frekk:
X wrote: This is starting to look more and more like
Twilight. The stare between Isak and Even. Even’s hairstyle. The music
that is being used. And even tho Even’s stare lasted to long I have to
say that the director is getting some “inspiration” from the
Twilight-movies. It’s like they met at the writers table and said “what
if Twilight was about two boys instead of a boy and a girl?”. because
Even is almost pale enough to play a metrosexual vampire.
lol wrote: I thought season 3 was gonna be shit actually. but it’s alot better than before tbh XD
M wrote: if
Skam keeps this up Baz Luhrmann is gonna be able to sue NRK for
copyright infringement. Fair enough with some Romeo and Juliet
references but yeez, calm down.