There is something wildly wonderful about the brutal, gluttonous honesty of the UK’s Skins. It makes you lust for something that is conceivably inconceivable to any person other than Tony Stonem, the fair-hair, fair-eyed wonder. It illustrates how dull your life is in comparison to one where there is a well-structured plot with lots of drama and a grand goal that give you purpose in life. It’s bit like believing in God. The show is an escape from the picket fences and horse manured trails of Woodside into a suffocating realm of Ecstasy filled fish tanks and zebra print tube tops with red strappy bras.The name of show, “skins,” refers to the wrapping used to roll weed (drugs being a common subject in the show). But the term also is a metaphor for the characters being models of typical society today, “skins” that anyone could fill.
I first watched the show after seeing an interview with Dev Patel, protagonist of Slumdog Millionaire, where he mentioned how much he loved the cast of Skins. I watched the interview when the movie was up for Oscar Nominations and watched the first episode of Skins soon after. But when I say “watched the first episode,” I mean grudgingly got through the first ten minutes of the show with the fast forward button and while reading XKCD. I didn’t understand the humor hence wasn’t entertaining and the version I watched was poor quality hence not even visually stimulating. Now, 3 years later, while scrolling through Netflix at 11 pm (11 pm = 3 am) while my LED lit screen glares in my face, I found the show and decided to give it a go. I really liked it. Well, I at least found it entertaining, more entertaining that is than scrolling through Reddit.
I liked the show because it was fun and twisted. I could relate to certain qualities possessed by the characters and the way they handled possessing these characteristics. For example:
Tony – Pushes everyone who loves him away via manipulation and cruelty
Jal – Girl who fits in with the guys but lacks certain qualities that make her a bro or a Michelle
Michelle – Beautiful and smart and interesting and knows she’s being mistreated but can’t help still loving those she shouldn’t and not loving enough those who deserve her love the most
Maxxie – Gay and can’t understand why his best friend who has a buffet-style pick and choose following of Islam won’t be friends with him anymore and further more Maxxie doesn’t understand why he forgives his friend and keeps hoping he’ll change
Chris – Falls in love with his elder teacher and is so kind and sweet, she falls back for him
Sid – Terrible at everything and has nothing going for him. Totally in love with the girl his best friend’s dating and doesn’t realize Cassie is in love with him
Cassie – Is incessantly bothered about her eating habits and made fun of for them
Anwar – Can’t figure out how to balance his Asian side with his British side
Effy – Has no voice
Raunchy. Boring. Telling. Obvious. Horrible. Fantastic. Give it a try. After all, the reason why you watch movies isn’t to learn more about the characters: it’s to learn more about yourself.