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.
Dan's new live video @ 5:01, there's definitely some hair straighteners on the floor
i have a few things to say, but i’ll start from left to right.
a) i loved his face when someone pointed out the candle on the other night table, idk he was just so taken aback. like “… oh yeah! single candle… the bedroom candle…”
b) i love the bed, it’s so pretty. everything just looks neat? besides from the bloody awful curtains; the moon mirror, the frame of the bed, it’s all lovely.
c) what is that black box my dude. is that the new box of secrets? what is that about.
d) why does he have the stupid rockband drum set in the bedroom, i thought the consoles were upstairs? no, Hold the fuck up, the DRUMSET used to be upstairs!! I’M SURE OF IT. have u guys put a tv in the bedroom and carried all the consoles downstairs so you could play lying on the bed? that’s peak lazyness, i’m so disappointed in you both.
e) ah yes, the dryson hairdryer. that shit is full 200 pounds. they have the hair dryer and two dryson fans, this is rich commodity in its finest. i wonder if they have the hoover as well, that one looks amazing and everyone says it’s actually totally worth the thousand dollars.
f) the straighteners and the concept of this being proof. i think that at this point, it’s just funny to me that it’s a topic we have to talk about, the straighteners were on the floor last time he did a liveshow in the room and i thought that was it, right? i feel like people just forget things happen and/or act as if we don’t know they share a bedroom! i mean, do as you please, but i’d like skip ahead into the part where we accept it’s a thing and we let this be the normal, status quo, this is what it is you know? still lovely to be reminded that they do though, i get ya.
g) what is the white thing hanging from that awful curtain, what is it. i need answers.
h) in what fucking moment did both of them hoard so many pairs of shoes. i swear to god, all dan wears is those ones with the zips and phil wears the blue ones and that’s about it. but im counting here over 20 pairs of shoes, and they even want us to believe that they’re owned by just dan? try me again, what the hell is this, they need to start giving to charity, there is NO WAY they find use to over 20 pair of shoes, you do not need that many, specially when you spend most of your life at home wearing socks.
i) it’s funny that even though the mess that was the last time he did a liveshow in his room, with phil’s damage control and all, the mirror is still there, like whatever my dude. cool white mirror dan.
i think that’s all, thanks for reading if u made it this far.
I was just introducing my friend to your art with your ~lovely~ video (the one w/ hahAhaHA) and I figured out what your art reminds me of! It's like stained glass! And is perfect! Anyway, have a nice day :D
ahh those are both really pretty comparisons, thank you so much!!! I hope you both have a wonderful day <3 I really like zooming in on my art after they’re done because of all of the colors tbh hahah
you and mark meet because of mark’s dislike for science
literally,,,,you meet him because you’re assigned to tutor him and on the first day he’s like trying to be sweet and nodding along to what you say but you can see the complete confusion in his eyes
and you sigh because,,,,mark are you getting any of this???
and with the most unsuspecting smile he’s like nope :) dear god im going to fail chemistry aren’t i :)
and you’re like oK lets not jump to conclusions im sure we can make this work and mark just presses his forehead to the desk and groans and you’re like dude,,,,,we just,,,,,we just need to make you like chemistry - it’s not so bad
mark’s grumbling voice: id rather spend the eternity of my life locked in a room with haechan than look at another number
you: ok it’s not the ba-
mark: literally. eternity. in. a. room. with. haechan. throw in taeil with his bad dad jokes thats how much i dont want to do or see or hEAR about chemical equations and what not ever
you realize that it’ll be tough,,,but at the same time mark is too nice and hardworking to just fall through the cracks so you commit yourself to finding some way to get him to like science
and after trial and error, looking up ‘cats do science’ videos on youtube to making slideshows with animated dancing h2o structures
you finally get through and tbh,,,,mark doesn’t fail his final. he gets just enough to pass,,,,but hey it all turned out well in the end
and you and mark pretty much bond because you put in effort to help him and without you he’d probably would have given up,,,,and mark likes being around you
you guys are both the laid back, silly type with matching sense of humor and an appreciation for just minding your own businesses
like once ten had come over just to tell mark about the Drama and you and mark had just blinked up @ him like,,,,what do you mean??? and ten was just like WOW YOU GUYS DONT PAY ATTENTION TO ANYTHING DO YOu
and mark had just shrugged and you’d just nodded because,,,,,,what did it matter?? what other people were doing and mark had agreed and ten had just rolled his eyes and stormed off
but basically,,,even when you’re done being his tutor you’ve become one of his closest friends
which is why when you end up accidentally breaking your ankle and get set up in the hospital for a couple of days
aside from all your usual friends,,,mark shows up and sheepishly admits that he’d taken the time to visit all your teachers and get you the homework and notes
and he looks adorable holding the stack of books in his arms,,,and you’re like laughing into your palm because dammit mark this was supposed to be your chance to get away from schoolwork
and he gets panicky because ohH,,,,he didn’t know???? but you’re just giggling like im joking thanks so much
the relief is obvious as mark grins and sets down the books,,,sitting beside you and scrunching up his nose
and you’re like what??? does the hospital smell weird??
but mark leans forward and carefully flicks the center of your forehead and you’re like !
and he’s pulling back,,,,,,cheeks tinted pink but the same nose scrunch and he’s like “why’d you go and be dumb,,,,breaking your ankle,,,,,what did you do - trip over air?”
and you’re like HEY i tripped over something legitimate ok don’t be mean I was the one who tutored you mark lee
he sticks his tongue out and you do the same,,,,both of you end up chuckling anyway
and you jokingly tell mark not to worry you’ll be fine soon
but to your surprise he promises to visit you tomorrow too and you’re like don’t worry about it but,,,,,mark is more adamant than you’ve ever seen
and like he promised he’s back the next day,,,,this time shyly he pulls something from his backpack and it’s a stuffed puppy???
he places it in your lap and he’s like “it’s a gift,,,,,so you feel better” and you pick it up and smile and you’re like it’s so cute!!! it looks like you mark!!
and he’s like gfdhkflsjjf did ,,,, they just call me cute but also he’s like you need to name it
and you’re like let’s name it together!!!!
and again mentally,,,mark is probably dying but he’s like ok,,,,how about,,,,,
you think for a minute and you’re like you know how you’re from canada lets name him maple leaf
and mark is like ThATS ,,,, CHEESY but you’re like I LIKE IT i like maple leaf
you dont see it but mark bites back his lip,,,,watching you look happily at the toy because ok,,,,,what the hell why are you so cute
it’s so much that mark excuses himself for the day
and the next afternoon he’s back and the doctor mentions you’ll be discharged soon with a cast and mark is like that’s exciting, can i be the first to sign and you’re like sure!!!
and when you do get your cast mark takes out a pen and after a second he scribbles something
when you lean over you read it and you almost freeze because there it is,,,,,in green sharpie pen: ‘don’t break anything anymore,,,,,i like you too much so protect yourself!”
and you look up at mark whose turned cherry red and he’s like i- i don-dont-
and you’re like,,,,,do you mean you like him very much in a friend way??
mark shakes his head,,,hiding his eyes behind his hair and playing with his fingers and you feel your heart do a little leap
and you’re like mark,,,come here
listening to you he shuffles closer and you mumble for him to close his eyes and you can see his lips quiver but you also can see the smile he’s holding back
but instead of kissing him you bring maple leafs lips up to marks and he’s like !!!!! opening his eyes and touching his lips and you laugh
making mark scrunch up his nose again and he’s like not funny,,,,and you’re like ok ok but come here i do want to kiss you for real
,,,,,,when you do kiss him you can feel the smile against your skin,,,,the way mark hesitates but slowly brings his hand up to cup your cheek and it’s cute,,,,,
but then the doctor comes in and mark jumps back and is a blubbering mess while the doctor is just like oo do u two need another minute hehe
my dash is looking pretty empty rn and I wanna get to know you all better so! like/reblog/shoot me a message if you post any of the following and we can be friends!!
- seasonal anime - animal crossing - boku no hero academia - ballroom e youkoso - durarara!! - final fantasy - free! - fullmetal alchemist - ghibli movies - gintama - haikyuu!! - hunter x hunter - koe no katachi - league of legends (worlds lmao) - mystic messenger (AHHH) - persona 5 - pixel art - pokemon
- sailor moon
- shojo manga - video games! - literally all other anime tbh - high quality memes
if my mutuals could pass this along as well, that would be amazing
thank you so much!!