Comparing the third generation to the first and second is a little premature because only series 5 has aired yet, so there’s still more story to tell. So far I don’t think it lives up to the two previous generations, but in all fairness they both got better in their second half so I’m keeping my mind open. The reason why series 5 didn’t work so well for me was that there were a lot of characters that I didn’t care about until the last episode of the season. In fact, it’s a lot easier to pick favourites this time around, because there were clearer stand outs.
Like I mentioned, the last episode did a great job in making me care about more of the characters, and the ones that really started growing on me in that episode were Nick, Mini and Rich. I thought that both Nick and Mini were unsympathetic characters despite their respective struggles, but because of their comedic moments I was completely on board with them by the end. I never had an issue with Rich; I just didn’t find him particularly interesting until the end when he got a lot to work with.
Aside from the last episode, the premiere was great. I was intrigued from the second Dakota Blue Richards showed up on the screen as Franky, and she has been my favourite character all through the series. It’s nice to see someone so different on television, and her episode was the best one to start off the series with in my opinion. It was also the introduction of Matty, though his name wasn’t made known at that point in the show. As far as I remember, none of the other episodes were amazing stand-alone instalments, but each of them brought some level of emotion or comedy, and I did enjoy watching it despite it being not as good as the previous series.
Other than Franky, my favourite characters were Alo, the weird farm boy with great comedic timing, and Matty, who was and still is a hard character to define. I liked his interaction with his brother, Nick, and the connection he has with Franky. The ending to his story arc in the series finale was one of the highlights.
All in all, it’s too early to grade this generation. What I can say is that if they keep going as they did in the finale; it has the potential to be great. I love where they are going with Nick and Mini (mostly because I didn’t like where they were before), and it changed up the dynamic in the group a lot.
I’m looking forward to series 6 in 2012.