As Season 4 started, I considered making a post with this title but eventually decided against it. Now that the entire series has ended (and with the overall message it gave), I feel like this post is absolutely necessary.
First, Skam is a magnificent show in general. Where a lot of teen-centred shows in the UK and US are overdramatised with dramatic issue after dramatic issue and endless season after season without knowing when to bow out, Skam was a breath of fresh air when I started watching it a year ago as Season 2 came to a close. I’m not saying I don’t love the drama of Gossip Girl or Skins, but they’re so overtly fictitious (Chuck selling Blair for a hotel; Freddie dying) that it’s a lot more difficult to find a realistic situation to identify with as a person. There are parts of these shows that are realistic (esp. Skins) and some shows that are more realistic (Fresh Meat), but they often fail to convey the depth of characters and situations because they have such an ensemble cast. Skam had (sobs) an ensemble cast but focused each season on a single character (Skins-esque, but whole seasons not episodes) and allowed the audience to truly see the world through their eyes over the course of a few months. I’m not saying the show was flawless, but it was closest I’ve ever seen, and what flaws there were seemed purposeful – nothing can be perfect, and characters can’t always be either. The series dealt with dating issues, finding oneself, sex, body image, sexuality, religion, family problems, mental health, sexual assault, bullying… the list goes on… but all of these things were discussed and seen in a way that actual people can relate to their own experiences or those of people they know. The overall message of the series seemed to be that everyone is dealing with their own issues and things in their lives at the same time as you and you can never truly know what other people are feeling and thinking, so be considerate and kind and understand that. Skam is everything.
The series starts with Eva, the main character for Season 1, starting high school with her boyfriend (Jonas) and his friend (Isak) but lacking any female friends. Over the course of the season, she makes four wonderful friends, evaluates her relationship and finds a place where she feels more happy about life and herself. Season 2 follows Noora, Eva’s friend and a girl with strong values, as she slowly develops a crush on a boy she should absolutely hate. Isak is the main character of Season 3. He is struggling with his sexuality and finds a friendship with an older boy that he hopes may shift into something more. The fourth season centres on Sana, Eva and Noora’s friend and a devout muslim, who is stuck between wanting to fit in as a normal teenager and remaining true to her family and her faith. These are both tested by her crush on a non-Muslim boy and preparations for final year of school celebrations.
Each season can technically be watched independently, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend it, as there is so much context and development over the seasons that culminates in the last. However, I would personally recommend an unorthodox watching order (S2, S1, S3, S4) to fully appreciate each season properly and with the best of context for it and the next.
Skam has been a wonderful journey for me over the last year (and, for others, two years) and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to absolutely everyone, no matter what your normal favourite genres are. It’s important not only as a show, but the issues it deals with and the fact that every human should try to understand other humans, whether they share beliefs and values and experiences or not. There are lovely journeys for many different couples, the development of friendships, of found families, of melting cold hearts and of supporting each other.
Skam is important.
Skam is everything.
Skam is life.
Go watch Skam.