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|Index||81 reviews in total|
First thing's first, any praise i put forward applies to the first
cast, and the first cast only.
Skins is phenomenal- Channel 4 have really nailed it. The acting is superb from teen and adult, the storyline is absolutely amazing and it is not short of strong emotion towards the characters. At points in series 2 i was sat on my sofa with a tear in my eye (Chris and Jal?) and I'm a 16 year old boy. :) I think that the thing i really love about Skins is the fact that although there is a powerful main story line that can be very dark in places, they still fit in some very pure and original humour, that can have you in hysterics, depending on what floats your boat. Across the two series, there really wasn't much to pick up badly on. I wasn't impressed by the second last episode of season 2; i think it was a good decision but pulled off in entirely the wrong way. Apart from that however i really cant fault this drama.
Now that is out of the way, I think it is a crime to put series 3 and 4 under the same umbrella. It is not Skins. The mood changes from modern teenage culture to "lets repeatedly do drugs and beat people up". It completely ruined any message that was being originally portrayed. The acting was pants (especially on Effy's behalf), the storyline was disjointed and didn't follow any theme, many parts ripped off seasons 1 and 2, the cast was unoriginal, the humour was absolutely f****** dreadful and completely unfunny, and i felt completely insulted to have my image as a teenager portrayed like that.
Did i mention how bad the acting was? I also hate the fact that the sex, lesbians, drugs, parties, suicide, sex, emotions and sex that did make the first Skins amazing in the correct dosage have been crammed and overused in a vain attempt to achieve some sort of goal which to me is completely unclear.
Oh and the acting is awful.
Overall, Skins 1 and 2 is my favourite TV series. Ever. When it comes to 3 and 4, every episode made me want to punch someone and the sheer amount of failure that came with it is just overwhelming. Do Skins a favour and don't even attempt to watch this complete monstrosity.
What's it all about?
A group of British teenagers living edgy lifestyles while being ignored by authority. Not as bad as it sounds.
+ has more than a few good young actors - actually, some of them are brilliant;
+ cinematography is great;
+ writing is much better than what you'd expect;
+ doesn't talk down at its audience;
+ a lot of thought is put into the soundtrack;
+ a lot of complex characters.
Overall structure of the show:
Each series (or "season") has eight to ten episodes. Each episode focuses in one character (occasionally two) or in the whole ensemble. The show changes its main cast every two series. The first series of each generation is introductory and aims to bring depth to each main character while still advancing parallel plot lines. The second series of each generation is always (always) darker and aims to deconstruct and change characters and established relationships by making them go through complicated (and sometimes extreme) situations.
Review of each series and each generation:
- series one -
It's a very well-constructed series, consistently great from beginning to end. The major setbacks are very few and far between. I could say with some confidence that if you disliked this series, the show just isn't for you, and you can probably stop watching. The episodes show the lives of each character and what sets them apart from their group of friends. Incompetent authority and neglectful parenting are recurring themes.
- series two -
This one is more complicated. As I said before, the second series of each generation is always darker, and this series follows that rule, albeit to a lesser extent than the other even series that follow. In my opinion, it's just as well-constructed as the previous one, and possibly even more emotionally poignant, but not everyone approves of the shift to more dramatic plots. New themes include death, acquired disabilities, stalking etc.
- overall view of generation one -
The first generation has two big qualities that the other two lack: great ensemble dynamic and consistently great writing, both from beginning to end. It's the fan favorite generation for a reason.
I know this makes the other two generations not look so good, but read on.
- series three -
As a lot of people know, the only links this generation has to the previous one are Effy and Pandora, who were minor characters throughout series one and two. The new characters take a bit longer to find their footing when compared to the old ones. This series is good overall, if you ignore the stupidity of a certain episode, and there are some genuinely brilliant moments. Questionable parenting and neglectful authority are still recurring themes, along with complicated and potentially dysfunctional relationships.
- series four -
Another complicated series. It's even darker than series two and, therefore, even more controversial. Some of the themes are death, mental disorders, cheating etc. But the real problem with this series, in my opinion, is that there is a huge contrast in quality between episodes. There are eight of them: four are amazing and four are either so-so or just plain bad. The messy structure and the rushed ending can be explained by an unexpected budget cut they had to fit ten episodes into eight. Watch it with a grain of salt, appreciate it when it's wonderful and try not to rage when it's awful.
- overall view of generation two -
It is mostly good, occasionally wonderful, and then the budget cut and a few other things happened. Try not to compare it to generation one too much. These are very different characters.
- series five -
I've seen a lot of hate towards this one. Most of it stems from attachment to the previous generations, I think, and also because the characters here are very different from the others, as in their lives are not as "edgy", and a lot of people think the absurdity is the charm of Skins. If you get past that and embrace new, interesting takes on old textbook themes, you might like it. It is, in my opinion, the best series out of the six. It is wonderfully structured and written, and I have very few complaints about the choices the creative team made - they managed to bring depth to each character while still developing an interesting ensemble dynamic. Identity is the big theme here.
- series six -
Ironically enough, this might be the worst series. And not as in, "slightly worse than the worst series so far", but as in "much worse than the worst series so far". I have a lot of issues with the general direction they took with this one; to me, it seemed like they were being dark (darker than series two or four) for the sake of being dark, and some story lines were just plain unnecessary, while others felt like rehashes. Believe me, if you dislike the first episodes, you might as well just stop watching altogether, because it gets worse. Guilty over the death of a loved one is the theme here.
- overall view of generation three -
Everything was better than all that came before, and then series six happened. Watch series five and pretend that "Everyone" (5x08) was the generation three finale.
Moral of the story:
Watch series one to five and embrace new characters as they come.
Let's hope series seven will bring Skins some of its dignity back.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I caught up with Skins on a repeat showing, not even realising at first
it was the same show. I'd found the first episode easy to dismiss
during the initial fuss and media fanfare
But the first episode had been misleading. It had Tony as the cocky, cruel, self-regarding star of the show (he's played by About A Boy star Nicholas Hoult, who could opt for a similar career as Jonathan Rhys Meyers if this is anything to go by.) No thanks, I thought. Likewise the hype had Skins as a raunchy, nihilistic exposure of teenage sex, drugs and whatever music kids are into these days. Like many a 30something, I tuned into half hoping to be shocked, half hoping to be able to dismiss it.
Certainly I'd seen it all before if episode one was anything to go by. Party gatecrashed by hooligans? Quadrophenia. Parent's car ends up in the drink? Risky Business. Nerdy kid hoping to lose his cherry? American Pie. Gets set up with a blonde Sure Thing laid on for him, ahem, by his mate? You may remember the John Cusack film of the same name. Sure, a house gets trashed, but with the comic stereotypes it may as well have been The Cat in the Hat with Beth Ditto on the soundtrack.
However, it was gradually revealed that Tony was MEANT to be a scumbag, and in subsequent episodes his friends each gradually came round to that. (If Series 2 lost its way occasionally, it's maybe because it didn't have that story arc to fall back on; making do instead with Tony's gradual physical rehabilitation.)
And most of the debauched mayhem only took place in the promos, hardly ever in the drama proper. Occasionally we see the aftermath of a party, but that's it. At heart, Skins is a pretty conservative show.
That opening episode misleads in other ways. It's inconceivable that Tony and Michelle would fix up their lovely, quirky, anorexic friend Cassie in such a heartless fashion simply to allow Sid to lose his virginity, or indeed, that Cassie, who had a sneaky side despite her kookiness, would simply go along with it. Would Chris, a wild party guy but essentially good-hearted, really wander into a stranger's house and just nick the mobile phones left there? Or were these incidents planted simply to outrage the Daily Mail contingent?
So why did Skins turn out to be just so affecting? Well, for thing, none of the characters are generic. Recently I watched the blockbuster movie Transformers. It had two women leads, one blonde, the other brunette. That pretty much about describes them in total. Unlike, say, Hollyoaks or The O.C. neither the actresses who play Cassie or Michelle seem picked just to be on the cover of FHM or Loaded. It was somehow easier to warm to them without the casting machinations made obvious.
Secondly, Skins eroticises compassion and vulnerability rather than arrogance and cool. Tony, may be the catalyst for much of the action, but it's the nerdier kids, speccy Sid and dippy Cassie, who turn out to be most lovable, while his fall from grace is overt. Unlike EastEnders, where every young kid seems only written to perform the next cocky, defiant riposte at some adult or each other.
Oh, and thirdly, actress Hannah Murray is very good as Cassie, with all her flaky quirks and self-doubt offset by occasional smartness and assertiveness. It's a performance that always catches you off guard, but there aren't any bad performances here. The confrontation between Sid and Tony in the 'Effy' episode is a great and natural bit of acting; none of that Harry Potter acting school rubbish here. Possibly some of the black characters were a tad generic in the writing, however.
Skins nails its teen themes: problems with parents (who are only on the sidelines and seem more immature than the kids, rather like in the late 70s classic Gregory's Girl), sudden alienation, strained friendships, idiot teachers. However, the series does conveniently let plot strands drop, made easier by focusing on a different character in each programme. Plus, there are those surreal flashes to stop things getting too heavy or literal.
I've tried really hard to like Skins, I really have, but time after
time I find myself cringing at the elements of Skins which are (in an
exaggerated fashion)reflective of everything the average British
teenager secretly despises. No, really.
Sex: yes, teenagers want to do it. We get it. The idea that most teenagers are A)entirely comfortable with it and B)expert lovers from the get-go is as destructive as teenagers being led to believe that real sex is porno-like though. The average teenager is terrified (read: 'shrivel-dicked' or 'closed') at the idea that Skins represents what they should be achieving in their love life.
Drugs: yes, teenagers want to experiment with them. We get it. If you were an impressionable teenager, chilling out watching Skins, wouldn't you feel altogether uptight on your drug experiences for only occasionally puffing a spliff while the characters of Skins knock back pills like tic-tacs? Intellect: have the writers of Skins really talked to many teenagers? Considering Skins sells the idea of realism, it would be easy to misinterpret Britain's teenagers as the most articulate and pseudo-freudian in the Western world from watching an episode. For the most part teenagers simply don't talk like that, can't talk like that and those that try fail to understand entirely what they're saying. I apologise to the poor few who do. While this isn't as destructive as telling our teenagers they should be Ron Jeremey-esquire or mixing pills in with their Sugar Puffs; do we really need a generation of pretentious, self-righteous cynics? Delve deep enough into the average older teenager in Britain (especially the teenagers who watch Skins) and they'll tell you just how threatened and left out they feel at being expected to be a 'Skins Kid'.
Skins can be entertaining when it doesn't get lost up in a jumble of cluttered 'hip' dialogue, self-important themes and utterly farcical narrative. It's a shame the idea of 'realism' is highlighted, because Skins is passable as a raunchy, late night soap opera about young people. Our younger generation just need to understand it as that.
...and for your information, I do fall under the target audience (just about) and I realise not many people will find what I'm saying 'useful', but I had to say my piece.
Thanks for baring with my rant!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Every two years, the cast is replaced. But I have loved all three generations. The first group is a favorite because they're what drew me into the show. It was just so different from anything else I had seen. A lot of people said that it was too much and the US remake didn't get the response it could have. Not all parents in America realize how beautiful Skins is. The UK version was better by far. There's so much character development in so few episodes. Each episode left me wanting more. But when the two seasons ended and the cast was replaced, I was somehow able to let go and fall in love all over again with a new group of people. Unlike many others who think the show has gotten worse over the years, I feel like it's just as good as the first season. There's really so much beauty in this show but some people can't see past the sex and drugs. Skins is so real. It makes me feel like I'm not the only teenager in the world with problems that other shows and people try to sugar coat. I feel like I'm not alone when I watch Skins; it feels like I'm a part of something. Of course the show is over dramatic but it's a realistic dramatic. Tragic things happen to people, teens have problems, people do stupid things, but underneath all that there's a subtle message of love and hope. I have so much I could say about this show. Would I be dramatic if I said watching it may have changed my life? Probably, but I believe it to be true. I choose to see the beauty in Skins.
After re watching Series 1-4 for the third time, Skins still blows my mind how brilliant this show is. Skins has enough drama for all of those in need of that section and enough hilarious comedy to keep those involved who would otherwise stray away from a show with only drama. All of the characters are absolutely riveting and I can guarantee after watching either series that you will have at least 1, possibly more favorite characters that you are so attached to that you will feel every emotion they do and scream at your television (Series 4 finale anybody?). While there are a very small amount of hiccups that make you question the plot at times(A character getting into Harvard on an athletic scholarship after being expelled from school? Not likely), Skins is still an absolutely gripping ride that will leave you wasting a whole day going through a season of the show leaving your other plans for the day as only a fore thought. I urge anyone reading this who has not watched Skins to go on Netflix (instant stream!) or any of the 389561805 websites that stream Skins to watch the first season through. If the pilot turns you off, just give it the next few episodes until you find your character because once you are in, Skins takes you on a wonderful journey of character based "dramedy" that any fan of television should love.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I wrote a long review, and obviously used a word I could not use, well,
I did not find out what it was, so my review is now shortened a bit:
EPIC: Season 1 and 2 GOOD: Season 3 and 4 CRAP: Season 5 -
S-Epic and S-Good have in common: Good looking people, good screenplay, stupid endings.
S-Crap is something on its own. You can't relate to any of the characters, and it is all false, and with no feeling at all. The story is just one big cliché, although the other seasons had some clichés too, S-crap takes the word cliché to another dimension. It stinks.
Summary; Stop watching after season 4.
Thank you, and have a pleasant day!
This is the best show I have seen in years... Great production values, excellent story lines, very good acting, engaging characters, and thorough plot development. I wish Skins aired in the US so I wouldn't have to watch it on my computer! BUT I can't believe they're switching casts for next season. Only 1 character from this season will be staying on. Since the show is produced for Channel E4, I guess they must want to save money. Clever idea - they already have an established fan base, and so many people in the UK already love the show... Now, they can start with an unknown cast and pay them next to nothing, compared to what they would have to pay the "established" cast. After investing time in the show and becoming attached to the characters, I am upset that Series 3 ("season 3" as those of us in the US would say) is going to be totally different. Yet, I'm sure that it will still be an excellent show.
This is a television series that just makes kids think that what they're seeing is how they should be. Aside from the shoddy writing and primary school acting apparently they have a party every week, sex causes and solves problems and the stereotypes of a teenager are being fulfilled while everybody laps it up. If it is supposed to reflect normal life or show the gritty side of it, it really does not. I am living in the skins generation and I know nobody that would even vaguely represent any of the characters in any series of this show.I don't want to go into every single minuscule detail (of which there are many) of why i dislike this show i just wanted a sane view among the myriads of "skins saved my life" and all the rest of that bullshit.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I recently started watching this on netflix and after the first and
second season (series) I felt it started to dull down. It's still worth
watching but 1&2 were just perfect.
The season 1&2 cast was wonderful fun and really won a place in your heart.
The other cast from 3&4 just doesn't seem to win a place in your heart, you just don't feel such a strong connection with them (at least I didn't)
Overall I think thes show is really enjoyable and is defiantly a great watch and highly recommend to people 15-mid 20's
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