From the makers of Shameless comes new British drama, Skins. From the makers of Shameless comes new British drama, Skins. From the makers of Shameless comes new British drama, Skins. Not quite sure if anyone got that. Did you know that from the makers of Shameless comes new British drama, Skins?
We realised this in the months leading up to Skins' launch on E4 back in January. Literally every time you put E4 on, this information was slapped at your face. So after its advertising hype, was Skins actually worth watching? After the first episode, we thought Skins was ridiculous and were tempted to write a scathing post warning you away. But in a rare moment of sympathy we thought that maybe judging something after one episode was a bit harsh. So we endured the entire series and, now its finished, have come up with the following conclusion – Skins is nothing more then trendy-looking shit staged in an unrealistically perfect world where the most unlikely of events happen to the most improbable bunch of kids.
Remember how Skins is from the creators of Shameless? Well it goes without saying; the two couldn’t be any further apart when it comes to its style and content. Shameless is set in Manchester and Skins in Bristol. While it could have been nice for the writers to get away from the impression that the north is a dive and the south is full of posh southern wankers, nothing seems to have been done to try and stamp out this stereotype. Bristol seems to be this magic and glorious land where everything is perfect and vibrant.
Over the nine weeks that Skins has been on our screens, we somehow get the feeling that the management of H&M and Topshop will be laughing all the way to the bank. All the characters seem to wear nothing but the clothes found in these shops. Expect sales of cheap-looking heart pendants for girls and contrasting stripy tops for blokes to rocket through the roof as all the trendy kids try to copy the non-imaginative style of the Skins characters. Speaking of the characters, there couldn’t really be a more bizarre mixture. It’s like a producer has rifled through country to find as many differing personalities as possible.
The mismatch of losers includes your typical gay character, Maxxie; Tony, the stud of the school who everyone wants to be, with passions include dipping into the world of manlove, being a general twat to everyone and cheating on his girlfriend Michelle. Michelle comes across as the diva of the group, often complaining when things go wrong and generally being a stupid cow when she realises looks don’t count for everything. Jal is a privileged and musically talented girl who often gets ignored because she’s dull & boring, and then there's Chris, the teacher shagger. So far so teen drama. But how could Skins go crazy and create some radical character development? Easy! Chuck in a drug-taking Muslim character called Anwar, instantly solving the problem of not having any ethnic minorities in the cast and meaning nobody can be accused of racism.
With all the wankers and dickheads, Skins had to have a character like Sid who actually has an ounce of intelligence and conscience when it comes to things like stealing cars, although this holds him back as no-one will help him pop his cherry. Finally, add to the pot the biggest cocktease in the show – Cassie who entertains us with her eating disorders and suicidal tendencies – and you have the makings of a complete randomly put-together show.
Each Skins episode often features all of these goons at various points, but usually just one character is centralised and given their own storyline. Our personal favourite was when Tony tried to save his sister Effy after she took smack at a party and was left on the floor to die. Everyone knows rescue attempts go tits up, and this one was no exception. In the process of a rescue he was beaten up, taunted and then nearly forced to shag his own sister. Who says incest can’t be funny? Remember that book we reviewed once, Angels and Insects?
Other rubbish plots included Cassie overdosing on drugs because Sid wouldn’t go out with her, and… actually they're all rubbish and would never happen in real life. When was the last time you knew someone whose mum buggered off and left them a grand to do whatever they wanted? Answers on a postcard please. The parties they all have on Skins seem to be better than any we’ve ever seen to. Obviously, the days have gone when having mates turning up to drink your parent’s alcohol supply has gone. According to Skins it seems to be acceptable to trash random people's houses, ponce around to rubbish nu-rave music, act like a twat after a single can of lager, cram as many drugs down your neck as possible and shag whatever’s moving. Maybe it’s a Bristol thing.
Whatever the reason, people out there actually like Skins. Why we don’t know. As yet, the Daily Mail hasn’t launched a mass campaign trying to convince parents that Skins will rip all of our youth to shreds. Another series has sadly been commissioned and hecklerspray is more than happy to write an episode for the producers that bears even the slightest resemblance to what goes on in a normal group of kids' lives. You know, for a change.