Skins: Season 1, Episode 3

Chris (31 Jan. 2011)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Drama
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 41 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

When Chris wakes up to find that his mom is "gone for a few days" and there's an envelope with a $1000 on the kitchen counter, Chris starts thinking with his little head... Course it might just be the residual effects of the Viagra.

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Title: Chris (31 Jan 2011)

Chris (31 Jan 2011) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Stanley Lucerne (as Daniel Flaherty)
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Christine Ackerley ...
Drunk Girl
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Uptight Man
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Fat
Serena DeParis ...
Muscle Woman
Marcia Diamond ...
Old Lady
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Storyline

When Chris wakes up to find that his mom is "gone for a few days" and there's an envelope with a $1000 on the kitchen counter, Chris starts thinking with his little head... Course it might just be the residual effects of the Viagra.

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Comedy | Drama

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Release Date:

31 January 2011 (USA)  »

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Another disappointing remake of a fantastic UK episode
19 March 2011 | by (NYC/FL) – See all my reviews

I've seen scores of Broadway plays and been involved in community theatre for years. This episode continually reminded me of that experience. On Broadway the actors are generally incredibly competent and can wring the last nuance out of every situation. Also there are moments of absolute genius that make even ordinary moments magical. As much as I love community theatre, when seeing the same scenes done by lesser actors I'm frequently struck by the might-have-beens. I can't help but flash on things that might have been better.

Watching this episode was a lot like that. The events in this episode make it one of my favorites in the UK series but it falls short on so many levels in the Americanized version.

To start, UK Chris is more clueless than the US clone. When UK Chris decides to party like there's no tomorrow, he does so seemingly without any clue as to the consequences. He's unaware of what's actually happened. US Chris is sad too soon. It seems he's doing all this partying realizing that he's been abandoned. That robs the later reveal in his mom's bedroom of most of its power.

Next is the blue pill problem. In the US, little blue pill is nick-name for Viagra. In the UK version Chris gives his fish orange pills and there is dialogue that suggests that they are on speed. In the US version, giving the fish Viagra just seems pointless. We've already got the boner jokes going without that.

Schoolboy Chris's crush on his teacher is also more light-hearted in the UK version because he's already been established as clueless and care-free.

Another of the great UK moments is when Chris is stoned on the drugs that he gets from the garbageman. In the UK version he's dropped one into the tank, watches it slowly sink, and then settles down to share a trip with his fish, watching them in wonder. Playing with the way that things fall when slowed by water. It's also clearly linked to the fish's death. There is fertile ground here for metaphor that is lacking in the US made version. There Chris is reduced to a head-banger and the sense of wonder followed by remorse is lost.

It's probably inevitable that the humor of the UK nude scenes is greatly abridged in their more prudish US remakes. Nuff said.

When UK Chris goes to see his father's family, he's clearly made an effort to look presentable. That adds an element that's missing from the disheveled US version. We also lose out on the father's dialogue which makes it clear that Chris has been abandoned to a mentally ill mom by a dad who's washed his hands of them. This adds pathos to what comes next.

In the cemetery scene the UK version has Chris leaning against a tombstone. The single bunch of flowers is evident. And the reveal that we get here is enhanced by the foreshadowing that is missing from the poorer US version.

Finally there's pill problem number 2. In the UK version, Chris discovers some left behind erection pills in his new room and pops one, proudly pinning the box to the wall. This perfectly sums up UK Chris. Even though we now have a keener understanding of who Chris is we see that he resolves to dismiss it all and live in the moment. In the US version he finds birth control pills and pops one of those. The parallel with the opening is lost. The implied, "I'm sadder but damn'ed if I'll be wiser" attitude that is Chris is lost.

This review may be WAY too much analysis for a one hour TV program, but it shows the kind of thought that usually goes into the writing of a good program. I get the impression that the folks producing the US show just don't care.

BTW... the actor that plays Chris in the UK skins makes an appearance in the new GAME OF THRONES.


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