The show’s name comes from the rolling papers of joints as “skins”. So just with this title, we can guess the state of mind of Bryan Elsley and Jamie Brittain, its creators.
SKINS is about a group of teenagers in Briston, South West England. It has been really criticized because of the topics they deal with, as dysfonctional families, mental illness (such as eating disorders), adolescent sexuality, substance abuse and death. Each episode focuses on one character.
When it came out, even if all the parents didn’t agree, the TV series had a huge success with teenagers. That’s why MTV aired a North American adaptation in 2011 with exactly the same story, the same characters but only different actors. Unfortunatly, the parents who have seen it were shocked because of the sexual scenes.
BEGINNING OF THE FIRST SEASON
First, we meet Tony (Nicholas Hoult) who is introduced for being really attractive, popular and intelligent. He tries to “help” his best friend, Sid (Mike Bailey) who is a virgin; apparently, it’s a problem for a fifteen-year-old teenager to be a virgin nowadays. Then, the series focuses on Cassie (Hannah Muray) who has an eating disorder. She hallucinates messages instructing her to eat and she thinks they come from Sid. Jal’s episode (Larissa Wilson) is about the BBC Young Musician of the Year that she wants to win. Her father is a famous musician and she has always play the clarinet. But a drug dealer breaks it because Sid didn’t give his money back.
Chris (Joe Dempsie) is abandoned by his mother. She gave him £1,000 in cash before she left and Chris blows the money in only one party. He is in love with his psychology teacher. Then, Tony organises a scheme to set Sid up with Michelle. Cassie, heartbroken, attempts to commit suicide by drug overdose.
Only with the first episodes, we can observe that all the teenagers are lost.
I think it’s a good TV series because it’s more realistic than lots of movies and reality shows. Everyone who watches the series can identify himself with one character at a moment or another (even if our lives are less tragic !)