|she was in love
with the guy who
was in love
with her best friend.
he was white-blonde long.
she was white-freckled sweet.
| we lived to be night
no stars shined
brighter than our
bodies outlined by
licks of fire.
—the last gods, Ruth Ellen Kocher
Jotteo, as fans call it, is a fandom-wide underdog, a hidden gem, a possibility so underrated that even the most damning in-your-face evidence of its potential is overlooked in favor of parings more digestible, more tokenizing. Jotteo is the kid from high school who smoked weed under the bleachers during gym class. Jotteo is love. Jotteo is dissent in the face of formulaic television.
They are soulmates, your honor.
You know that even the fuckiest stoners under the bleachers contribute to the ecosystem, hate them or love them. They're who you come to when you need some haze yourself. This is Jotteo. It does not exist merely to disrupt - it provides. Matteo had ten episodes to undergo a sexual awakening. Perhaps Jonas's has been lingering there, in the background among bro cuddles and his own fuckboy evolution. Matteo's journey is fantastic in and of itself, but ends with an imitation of love rather than something authentic worth celebrating. He ends up with David because that's what's supposed to happen, because the season doubled as a narrative for transgender youth and it felt right to combine the two, because the original Skam introduced Even as a new character and a love interest. Matteo and Jonas's friendship is a much deeper one than previous iterations of our Isaks and Jonases, where Isak's crush on Jonas was so vague that it would be impossible not to understand it for the plot device it was. To push Druck's version to the back burner in favour of David is a major 'fuck you' to dedicated audiences everywhere. We're not in the wrong for desiring further exploration into a relationship that was, for all intents and purposes, waved in front of our faces like a carrot on a stick.
At his worst, Matteo builds walls so high it's near-impossible to climb over them, let alone knock them down. Jonas knows this. He sees past the bullshit and knows what Matteo needs and prioritizes it above what he wants because he knows. Jonas as a proactive, caring person in season three is oft overlooked (the fact that this is a fictional TV show and most of the people who watch it aren't obsessively focused on every character and every detail has nothing to do with it, I'm sure 🙄), but it speaks to his relationship with Matteo as much as it speaks to him as a multifaceted character whose behaviours not only differ depending on who he's with, but contradict. Season 3 gives us fuckboy Jonas, manwhore Jonas, the seasoned sex-loving chad who retells his sexual encounters to friends like a debauched young royal, so proud of it all... but in the plentiful moments between that, he's a sweetheart who spots the signs that something is wrong with his closest friend and goes out of his way, if not always to tackle the problem head-on, to take Matteo's mind off of what's bothering him.
This in particular shines light on a homosexual interpretation of Jonas's character. The way he speaks of women he has sex with isn't particularly degrading or objectifying. He indicates that he has performed sexual acts on women that bring them pleasure the same way that they do things to pleasure him, so clearly he isn't just some macho misogynist who sees women as walking fleshlights. In fact, Matteo's discomfort with the way the boy squad talk about sex is less about them treating women like sex objects and more with them talking about having sex with and being attracted to women at all, which Matteo as a gay man couldn't relate to. Of the four, Jonas appears to be the one with the most sexual experience. Could his frequent sex with women and open, even proud, discussion of it be a form of compensation for his attraction to men? Could he be bisexual and repressing it under mountains of pussy? Could he possibly be tamping down his love for his best friend? Desperately fighting it off like the rising tide of self-questioning that it is?
I mean... obviously not in canon, but one can always dream.
And besides, besides: Matteo. Had. A. Crush. On. Jonas. It's literally dictated by the gods of Skam fate that he would and that he gets over it as he falls in love for real. Druck's play on this feels much more blatant than other versions' despite it, disappointingly, not being explored in any more depth. Fans can clamber all they want to say that the bed-hair scene of gay misery (see introductory GIF) achieved this, but........ well, one seconds-long scene ain't an exploration. It answers a question (that being 'what defining moment kickstarted Matteo’s discovery of his sexuality?’) and marches onward. Man, the potential it had! Picture the bright morning of future nonexistent where Matteo wakes up beside Jonas and plays with his hair when they're both awake to experience it and none of it feels like a dirty little secret. Picture it and tell me it doesn't deserve to exist.
When all is said and done, though, I think my personal reason for die-hard Jotteo-ism is that Davenzi bores me. It's not as interesting or exciting as Matteo with his best friend or the crises that could ensue as he figures that out. David is fantastic and deserves the world, but he deserves a story that 1. doesn't use his transgender status as a means to an end & 2. Doesn’t pretend his behaviour is magically okay because of it. One can understand the reasoning behind his actions: He lead Matteo on because the fear of his transgender status not being accepted often outweighed his desire for a relationship with someone he liked. Certainly, David himself was experiencing a crisis, and certainly this is an insightful perspective into the struggles transgender youth face, but in the end David simply was not a good person. Seeing as this was Matteo’s first truly meaningful romantic relationship, he’s off to a terrible start. He deserves better, with someone who doesn’t inexplicably lead him on & treat him like he’s disposable.
Nor is it fair to treat David like a tool for questioning. After David comes out as transgender to Matteo, Matteo is confused about himself. If he's attracted to a trans man, as in a man who is biologically female and 'used to be a girl', does that undermine his homosexuality? Does it not call into question whether or not he's actually gay? And what Hans tells Matteo reassures both him and the viewer that yes, he's still gay, he's attracted to David as a person and not to his body, so it's fine. It's only that Matteo's #1 problem is that he's gay and confused about his sexuality, so throwing in transness to ‘teach acceptance’, particularly in the way it was done here, ostracizes David while simultaneously pushing a ‘hearts not parts’ narrative that simply isn’t fair. Matteo was unaware of David being transgender for much of their time together, so the implication that he might suddenly not be gay anymore because he was attracted to a trans man, especially when he didn’t know David was trans in the first place, is… disrespectful. If David is male in every feasible way except for one, and there was no magic off switch in Matteo’s mind that made him stop having feelings after finding this out, is it fair to question his attraction? I don’t think so.
Funney Skam Russia Fancast ok
Taisiya Kalinina as Elena Magamedova (Eva Kviig Mohn)
This one is simple enough - Eva is... a typical girl. She just looks like a teenage gal. I don't think there's anything else to say about it but I was looking for someone younger-looking than most Skam adaptations because my vision is inspired a lot by Druck's noticeably younger-looking cast.
Iana Leshukova as Nina Subbotina (Noora Amalie Sætre)
I found most of the remakes' Nooras disappointing due to them being less conventionally attractive (no offense jajaaja) than OG Noora. Her looks were, to my assumption, part of her charm and what drew William to her. I'd never realistically cast a model with no acting experience for an acting role, but this is a fancast and not a real cast announcement, so we're sicking with the model. OK.
Iman Baisayeva as Sana Faraj (Sana Bakkoush)
Don't know this actress's background at all. Evidently she isn't fully white and I'd guess she IS middle eastern to some extent (Iman is a middle eastern name) but I don't know anything besides that... but assuming she is, I think she'd work as Sana! Her features look very sweet and innocent, and while I really like that OG Sana's no-nonsense-ness is reflected on her face, I think a deceptively friendly-looking appearance could work as long as Sana's personality remains the same.
Marlena Dezhinskaya as Vladislava Haraeva
The standard for Vilde in remakes seems to be that she has to have a mousy, unconventional appearance and a super cultural name. Think Engel from Skam NL. I just cannot for the life of me find someone who has the right appearance so I stuck for this unknown ass actress for now but it is what it is. Vladislava, because... well, it's a painfully slavic name that doesn't leave room for ambiguity.