It's A New Season!, Teen Soaps Edition, part 4- Skins

Technically not a new show, but they've just started airing the first season (or series) of this Britsh show on BBC America. I have to say, I really like this show. It probably shouldn't be under the heading "teen soaps" because it is so much more than that (but I have a theme with my titles here today, and dammit, I'm sticking with it).

Skins is a show about British teenagers going to school, partying, hanging out, and generally living their lives. It has a structure that is unique in that the focus shifts every episode to a different character. Depending on whose episode it is, other characters appear, some more prominently than others. This structure really works because a) it is interesting to see all the different points of view (and the tone really does shift from episode to episode), b) it allows all of these talented young actors to be showcased, and c) it is more realistic. I always get annoyed when teenagers on TV seem to only have a few, really close friends. That's just not how life works (especially in high school, when you have some friends from sports, some friends from class, some that you've know forever and hang out with outside of school, etc., etc....)

Also, the actors are all the same age (or close to the same age) as their characters. This just makes things that much more realistic. It really seems like these characters could be people I know, people who go to my school (minus their amazing British accents, of course).

And this isn't just a wild, sex-crazy show. Last week's episode was actually very sad, focusing on Chris (an excellent Joseph Dempsie), who wakes up to find his mom gone and an envelope full of money on the counter. He initially blows all the money on a party but then has to face the fact that his mom is not come home. It's not wrapped up in a nice, happy ending, either. It's like life- hard stuff happens, you find solutions, but maybe not the ideal ones. Some are only temporary. Some will fall apart next week.

Drugs and sex are treated as everyday life on this show, not something that is out of the ordinary. No "Very Special Episodes" here. Parents may cringe a bit at that and at the language and nudity (bleeped and blurred, respectively, on BBC America), but Skins is actually a very good, very realistic show. I highly recommend it.


Lily said...

AGREE. skins is awesome.

Liz said...


Great to see you're a fan of Skins and are spreading the love! I'm working with BBC Video to help get the word out about Skins: Volume 1 on DVD, and have more info about the show you might find interesting.

Curious? Shoot me an email.

Liz Teschler
American Pop

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