Skins - Show Review


Skins - Seasons 1 & 2

Yes. I got addicted to the show Skins. To summarize it's pretty much Freaks and Geeks combined with, I don't know, The OC, kind of. It might just be a soap opera drama at times, but there's a reason that soap operas are still on television and that I still occasionally wonder what Luke, Laura, Stephan, Carly and Sonny are up to. What can I say? I used to watch General Hospital with my mom.

Oh Luke and Laura, what happened??

The worst I can say is that the show has a bit of a learning curve to it. Initially none of the characters are quite likable, but as it's structured with each character as the focal point of each episode, the individual nuances begin to arise and provide light into their psyche. As it goes with most teenagers, the parents have some hand, along with their teachers, peers, and sometimes government authorities. Skins is rather remarkable at showing all hands acting in each individual life at once, while at the same time maintaining an overall storyline. It's not hard to see the role each character plays in their own dramatic life, but it's remarkable to focus on how all the characters interact with one another. Everything seems so connected, and it seems so connected in a way that reflects real life as it is.

Real life, for teens in Britain at least, isn't depicted in quite such an endearing light. The show is rife in it's depictions of drug use, sex, and general teen hijinx, sometimes combining all three at once. Is this embellishment or exaggeration? I might lean toward the latter, but from what I've seen in American schools I know it's a reality. I did after all spend my afternoons watching General Hospital, so I really can't say.

At it's core, Skins is about people who are trying to find their place in life. What I admire is the ability for the show to take certain completely unlikeable characters and hand them back their humanity, while at the same time taking characters we once fondly remembered and stripping them to the shrouded deceit for the very traits we once found admirable. Take for instance the character of Cassie who initially is charmingly aloof before becoming disastrously distant, or Tony (played by About A Boy's Nicholas Hoult) who is a womanizer until becoming a dedicated man lusting for life itself. The show skips it's rocks just far enough to where the next puddle makes the loudest splash.

I can't say what the seasons beyond one and two are like because, well, with the exception of one character, it's a completely different cast. With such character centric dynamics defining an entire show, changing all the characters is essentially the same as creating a completely different series. And let's face it. Saved By The Bell The New Class just sucked. For what it's worth however, Skins has provided me with one of the most captivating viewing experiences I've had in a long time.

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