I forget where I heard about the television show entitled Skins but I sat down to watch the first episode of Season One and after ten minutes I was hooked. The only teen drama on television that I have seen in America that approaches the content in Skins is MTV’s Undressed. I can not believe this is on the air. The mostly teen cast swears with the propensity of the characters found in HBO’s Deadwood and The Sopranos yet the show airs on network television. They have really got it good across the pond. What is admirable about the show is that no sexual, social issue is off limits. You know how on American television, the topic of oral sex is never broached or referenced. Look to Friday Night Lights, 90210, Gossip Girl, The OC, et certa for vast examples of this. It is always making out then right to sex on these shows. Not so on Skins, all bases are covered. Religion, homosexuality, parenting, bulimia, taboo relationships, crushes, drug use, you name it, it is present in Skins. Like on Deadwood, where the phrase “cocksucker” was used so much characters began sentences with it, Skins throws “twat” around like it was a baseball during a world series.
For all of its abundant comical elements, Skins has just the right amount of heart to sustain it in its more dramatic moments, much like Friday Night Lights but with a lighter touch. Season One of Skins is a breathe of fresh, uncompromised, semi-realistic air to the teen drama television genre. What makes Skins that much more relevant is that show creators Jamie Brittain and Bryan Elsley use actual teens and not young adults in their twenties. This is what always bothered me about 90210 and Friday Night Lights. When an adult refers to one of the “teen” characters on one of those as a kid or a child, it never rings true, especially when it is a twenty-six year old playing a seventeen year old. The weight of the situation that “teen” character is in is lost. Becuase actual teens are used for the teen characters in Skins, the situations and the characters ring truer and are far more authentic.
If you are into teen dramas that do not bow down to American censors and sensibilities, I suggest watching, renting or picking up the First Season of Skins (DVD Review). The best part is that after you finish watching it, there are two more seasons to watch plus the show has already been picked up for a Fourth Season. “Game on” – Waynes World.