Saturday, November 23, 2013

Television Review: Skins

Skins (named for the paper used to roll joints) is a 2007 television series centered around high schoolers in Bristol, England.  The program focuses on everything from drug use to student-teacher relationships. It has sparked both controversy and critical acclaim from its audiences.

What most people would have against the show would be the occasional nudity, teen drug and alcohol use and strong language. However, many high school students in both the United Kingdom and United States have faced in their lives.

The series contains real life situations such as mental illness, LGBT youth and relationships. For example, Cassie (Hannah Murray)  suffers from anorexia but is more than capable of fooling her peers  to think she is fine. Sid (Mike Bailey) has a split parent dyad; his father having the belief that he can’t do anything right. Anwar (Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire) faces conflict between his Muslim faith and friendship with Maxxie (Mitch Hewer), who is openly  gay. 

This particular show is unique for its method of storytelling. Each character has a central episode per season, telling the story through their point of view. Biannually, the cast is replaced as the characters graduate. Skins is relatable to many teens, whether it be the heavy material it contains or having out-of-the-ordinary friendships. In 2011, an American spin off of the same name was created. It was mostly unsuccessful, as the UK was more likely to be open minded opposed to the US.

Skins stars Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies), Kaya Scodelario (The Maze Runner)  and Joe Dempsie (Game of Thrones), Skins originally cast untrained actors, although Hoult had been in several films prior. Since Skins, Dev Patel received a BAFTA (British equivalent of an Oscar) nomination for his role in Slumdog Millionaire. Hannah Murray attended Cambridge University while Mitch Hewer is now a successful model.