Skins, Like, Totally Rulez!!1!

September 25, 2008 at 5:55 pm 5 comments

This post is way overdue, and the only reason I finally got a fire behind my ass to write it is because I saw a mention of Skins in New York Magazine, and I feared that if I didn’t publicly declare my love affair with Britain’s best teen show before it became really mainstream and everyone recognized it for how awesome it was, I would look like some kind of pathetic hanger-on/Jonas Brother-loving teenybopper who is just another jerk trying to act like they knew about something before it was cool, when in fact, they only learned about it after reading New York Magazine. This is not the case. Me and the Googly Cru have been into Skins since it’s first, original premiere in February 2007 which we watched forrealsies while we were in Dublin. (Eat it, thirteen-year olds.) Not only was Skins a fucking great original show among a sea of Scrubs re-runs and crappy English soaps, but it was a reason for us all to come together and act like high schoolers in a foreign nation, so far from home.

I’m not going to bother going into gross detail about the show’s premise and characters, because you can watch full episodes online (Sidereel.com) and season one is airing pretty regularly on BBC America (thanks Time Warner, for a channel I can actually use.) But basically, Skins is about a group of teenagers living in Bristol, England and getting into all sorts of crazy hi-jinks and shenanigans. The central cast consists of nine high schoolers, and each episode focuses on one specific character’s life and problems, with the rest of the group in a B story-line on the periphery. The group is diverse, including a gay character (adorably gay!) and his best friend who is a strict Muslim (uh-oh, do you smell conflict?!) as well as some jive-talking Jamaican wannabe black kids and their sister who is a rigid good girl and an accomplished clarinet player (clarinetist?). The show’s main triumph over the garbage America creates about “teenagers” is that the characters are for the most part, likable, and in the very least, multi-dimensional. Their problems in the show, while exaggerated of course, for the sake of creating drama (hello!), are some of the more realistic you’ll find in the teen genre, and are at least relatable.  It also helps that the teens in the show aren’t played by aging 30-year olds, a common problem with American shows focusing on young people (Dawson’s Creek, The O.C., whatthefuckever, honestly I didn’t watch them) they are, in fact, actually teenagers! For the most part the acting is heartfelt, genuine, and real, and in the end, you just wish you were friends with the characters and could party with them (what a frat-boy thing to say.) The cast is attractive of course, but in a very attainable way – they’ve all got flaws and real bodies/features, which is probably a huge factor in making them so easy to identify with, unlike the cast of other shows, like the new 90210, all of whom are apparently suffering from eating disorders in real life (role models, hooray!)

Oh, and I have yet to mention that the show is ripe with foul language and sex, just like real teenage life! Britain’s programming is apparently unhindered by the puritanical restrictions placed upon most American television (that’s not on HBO anyway) leaving them free to represent teenagers the way they really are: vulgar! No Gilmore Girls-style dialogue here, these Brits play it free and loose with their language, half of it incoherent to an American audience because of their accents and slang. The writing is slick and real, and the show tackles real life problems (eating disorders, relationships, drugs, teen pregnancy) in real life ways with smart humor and seriousness at the same time, resulting in a show that is 99.9% cliche-free. 

But anyway, now that the show is accessible to an American audience as we had always hoped, it will no doubt blow up as the next big thing (because Gossip Girl probably sucks.) Unfortunately, just as little girls here are shitting their pants over the douchey hotness of Nicholas Hoult, season three of Skins will be coming nearer and nearer to premiere in the U.K. Why is this a bad thing? Because season three introduces an entirely new cast of characters, under the premise of the former characters going off to college and no longer being of the targeted/interesting age group. While this makes me very sad after becoming attached to the original cast, I am intrigued to see what season three brings to the table. Hopefully the writers, who have so far proven to be quite adept, can keep it up and reel me in a third time around. In the meantime, OMG Skins I like love you soooo much! LULZ!! Tony have my babies!

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Entry filed under: Alison, I Saw It On TV. Tags: , , .

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. parkrangerolivia  |  September 26, 2008 at 12:13 am

    Whoa, Anwar actually looks like a bonafide man in that pic. Also, I’m totally inviting myself over once the second cycle gets under way for your BBC hookup.

    Reply
  • 2. horatiohno  |  September 26, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    I was really let down by Season 2’s finale. I know there had to be some smiles after the absolute emotional fuckfest that was the penultimate episode, but dang, it jarred. They’d been taking it further and further into weird, kind-of-arty territory and then slapped it back to hijinks with no inbetween.

    Reply
  • 3. Betty  |  September 29, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    I’m totally with you, Ryan, although the entire 2nd season was kind of a let down for me. The first season was about these goofy and ultimately lovable kids experimenting with unrealistically vast amounts of sex, drugs, and sexy Russians with terrifying husbands. It was hilarious, occasionally dark, and completely entertaining. It seemed like they tapped out every extreme in the first season and so, in season 2, just ended up making the characters backstab each other and sink further and further into a place where I no longer cared about what happened to any of them.

    I still love the arty cinematography and awesome soundtrack, though, so I think rebooting with a new cast in season three will be awesome. I can’t wait.

    Reply
  • 4. Apologies for the Late Skeet « Googly Eyes  |  December 21, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    […] was Anwar, a member of the genius ensemble cast of our favorite guilty pleasure teen drama import “Skins,” and because he’s the lead in what I’m told is a really fantastic film, Danny […]

    Reply
  • […] in Run Fatboy Run, Billie Piper’s only co-star in Secret Diary of a Call Girl, and yes, even Skins! I would also like to add that he played the director in Amy Heckerling’s “I Could […]

    Reply

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