TV Review: Skins

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Skins season 6 cast, copyright E4, 2012

Skins season 6 cast, copyright E4, 2012

So Skins. The immensely popular, hard-as-nails, reality-ish drama. People love it, people think it’s good, and it’s obvious why- there are cool teenagers having crazy, wacky adventures, doing everything wrong and looking great while they’re at it. It’s wish fulfilment for anyone who’s ever worried that they aren’t fun enough.
But even for dumb self-insert drama, this series has been bad. Every problem that Skins normally has feels more obvious, and there’s no charm to distract you.
For people who haven’t seen it, Skins is a teen drama which keeps its cast young by swapping them every two seasons. This is the second go for the third generation- we have awkward Franky, mean Mini, rocker Rich, farmer Alo, optimistic Grace, tough Liv, popular Nick, mysterious Matty and gambler Alex.
The main storyline this year, as far as it goes, is coping with grief; something that shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows about the Skins tradition of one character death per-every generation. Anyway, the plot is more or less non-important, boiling down to a study of kids facing adulthood and, normally, not coping. And that would be fine, if they were people rather than annoying talking clothes horses. Really, each character has a personality about one adjective deep. It’s a shame, because as past seasons have proved, the actors here are often very capable. In particular Dev Patel, who was in the first two series before leaving and starring in Slumdog Millionaire. Dakota Blue Richards (Franky) proved herself to be very capable in an adaptation of Dustbin Baby. If they were given a script with a little more meat they’d have a chance to prove themselves. Instead they’re pretty faces in fancy clothes.
What Skins does, and has always done, very successfully, is accurately portray teenage self-importance. This is an accident. Their angst is played like straight drama; we’re supposed to take it seriously.
But Skins is ridiculous, and so long as you can resist the desire to slap the screen, it’s entertaining. If you’re okay with hating people you’re supposed to like, then give it a go.

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  • http://twitter.com/Dave_Bosworth Dave Bosworth

    Yeah, agreed. I loved first series. Nice one. :) (although all that weed…shocking for reals)