Friday, October 12, 2007

A Look Back at Skins.

On Tuesday night, I stayed up until midnight to catch the season finale of Skins, a channel 4 drama following a group of smug teenagers in Bristol. After watching my first episode, in which the central character Tony cockily arranges for his best “friend” Sid to lose his virginity, I was irritated by the show, yet I chose to continue watching it just for the schadenfreude, to get riled by the brats on the show, and also for the ride.

The show revolves around a group of disjointed youths, each with their own problems. Tony, as I mentioned, was a total git, but under his pretentious façade of Jean-Paul Sartre and Friedrich Nietzsche, is a nobody who bullies others to try and feel important. His best friend, Sid, is in love with his girlfriend (this slut called Michelle, I’ll get back to her later), who suffers from quite low self-esteem and generally worships the ground Tony walks on. However, as the episodes progress, Sid begins to learn that life isn’t all about Tony, and as he begins to find love in the most touching of places (with Cassie, another character I’ll speak more about), find inner strength and shake off the “bond” with Tony, we start to realise that this show isn’t all about partying and drugs.

The characters on Skins, though irritating, are vibrant and memorable. My favourite is easily Cassie, a hyper, drugged up, anorexic psycho who falls for Sid. As someone said, there isn’t a mean bone in her; she’s completely genuine and sincere. Her love for Sid starts out being unrequited; he’s still obsessed with Tony’s tramp Michelle, but towards the end (and almost too late), he discovers that it’s she who he really wants. Unfortunately, Cassie has already made a suicide attempt because he blew off their date.

Parents plays a huge role in Skins. In the episode following Jal, a talented clarinettist who feels completely alienated from her record producer father, we see that he does indeed care about her, and her music. In the episode with Anwar, a Muslim boy who, despite praying five times a day, does his fair share of fornicating and drug-taking, we discover that he is ashamed of his best friend Maxxie, a gay lad, and is embarrassed to introduce him to his mates. Sid’s dad loathes him and tells him he wishes he were more like Tony, and so on.

Skins plays with a lot of serious topics and throws them in your face shockingly. Chris Miles, the resident druggie of the show (though they’re all pretty doped up), develops an infatuation with his Psychology teacher Angie, and pursues an affair with her. However, when Mr Fiancée comes calling, he soon learns that sleeping with your teacher isn’t all it’s played up to be. Similarly, Michelle Richardson, Tony’s girlfriend, who cites one of her key aims is to “look shaggable”, learns to alienate herself from the boy that she loves, simply because it hurts him too much.

Funny and sad, intelligent yet stupid, Skins is a roller coaster ride of a TV show that I never wish would end. Although I could only bring myself to properly like Sid and Cassie, I felt like I was “mates” with all of the characters but Tony by the end, and the season has been an excellent one. There had been moments that were unbelievably funny, followed by some sombre tones, and it is very rare for there to be a show about teenagers that teenagers don’t actually feel patronized by. Bravo, Skins, and roll on season 2!

1 comment:

Monkey said...

good post. i'm looking forward to season two too.

i bet you were pleased when Tony died.