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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Review: Skins

"It's a basic psychological truth that the more someone appears not to want you, the more you'll go out of your way to win their attention. That's why nice girls fall for bastards, and nice boys end up following said nice girls around like lovelorn puppies, doomed to be a best friend, not a lover, until they cotton on and start acting like bastards themselves. It's the way of the world. You want what you can't have."

-Charlie Brooker, in his Screenburn review of Skins series 2

We all want a sense of reality. Here's a reality: I punched a skinny Chinese prick at school three hours ago. Now, i've been wanting to review Skins for a while, and since i'm so pissed off rite now, i'd like to make a review out of it.

Skins is a British teen drama that is not your average teen drama. Gone were the aspirational rich teens in Gossip Girl and The OC, and say goodbye to those safety first shows like One Tree Hill and Saved By the Bell, and here comes some drugs, sex, social issues and profanity. This is Skins, and you'll either love it or hate it.

Skins is set in Bristol. Not your average British setting like London or Manchester. In Skins, the characters are what you won't see in most American teen dramas. You've got the asshole badboy Tony(played by Nicholas "About a Boy" Hoult), his girlfriend Michelle, his silent sister Effy, his nerdy best friend Sid, the aneroxic Cassie who has a crush on Sid, Michelle's best friend and future clarinet player Jal, a playboy named Chris who's sleeping with his psychology teacher, non-stereotypical Muslim kid Anwar and his (ironically)gay friend Maxxie. Supporting characters include posh private school dumbo Abigail who's into Tony and making Michelle jealous, and Posh Kenneth who's basically just adds humour without any character representation whatsoever.

Now the plot of this series is simple: Tony loves Michelle. Michelle's best friend Cassie loves Sid but Sid loves Michelle. Michelle's pissed over Tony because Tony's wooing rich-bitch Abigail. Michelle's other best friend Jal wants to be a clarinet player, but her family's full of pricks. Sid's parents has troubles with eachother, and on another note Anwar is having problems because his best friend is gay. And Michelle's mum has been married two times and has recently married to Danny Dyer.
Got it?

Now, each episode deals with each one of the characters. They're all teenagers who likes to party, have sex, fuck each other's minds and well, like all of us, have problems with parents. The best character in the show is possibly Cassie, and that's because she's dreamy, easily likeable and her attitude is just...wow...She's basically what we Malaysians call "sasau".

Now, Skins season 2 is currently airing in the UK, but season 1 is available on YouTube. I have a warning for all of you who are planning to watch Skins for the first time: You'll either love or hate season 1. Just like how you'll love or hate Dr.No and the first season of MST3K. The problem with season 1 is that you'll care for either: the characters, or the partying life they had. But if you managed to survive season 1, check out season 2(the first three new episodes are now on YouTube). Season 2 is by far way better than season 1. If season 1 is a mix of Juno*, Kidulthood and Human Traffic, in season 2 they've added some beautiful touch of Larry Clark and Gus van Sant into the mix. In season 2, it's way darker, and the social issues in season 2 makes you care more about the characters than the partying. And in season 2, Tony is no longer an asshole but is now eating humble pie by the fistload. So having spent series one setting him up as a hideous bell-end, the programme now invites you to pity him. Why? Well watch the first season first because i hate spoiling shit for you.

Now, i gave Skins a 4 out of 5, and since season 2 rocks, i officially give it a 5 out of 5! And since i love all of you, i decided to post the first ever episode of Skins here! As for other episodes of season 1 & 2, go and search on YouTube all by yousrself.

*NOTE: Juno was released after Skins was aired, but i'm pretty sure that Diablo Cody was inspired by Skins in making Juno in some ways.

Skins, Season 1 Episode 1

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5(final part)

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