How better to welcome Metajunkies into the new year, better late than never, than with a review of Skins 3.0
Yes I’m old now, but I was in my prime when Skins started and thought like everybody else that a cutting edge Channel 4 show was the best way to while away the hours instead of having ‘mash-ups’ like the oh so relatable characters were and now I just cant bear to let go of it. Here we are at series 5 and cast three and about 2 seconds in I hear myself say: “not even the opening titles are as good” about an hour later I had a favourite character picked out. Rich if you must know.
The first series was cutting edge and unique; it was the first show in recent years that British teens could identify with and it took the nation by storm creating a cultural event now known only as ‘the skins party.’ The best thing about Skins was that kids created everything and you could get involved: suggesting music, new characters, designing outfits, or even auditioning for new roles (Skins sticks solely to its roots casting only 16-18 year olds.) Tony played brilliantly by Nicolas Holt was the evil ‘king bee’, but also suave and sophisticated, as much as college kid from Bristol could be, and it showed them in college which was excellent. The other characters fit nicely into all social stereotypes albeit with some hyperbole. It is still television after all.
Maybe it’s because I grew up or maybe it did really change but now it all seems a bit too false and bourgeoisie. These are 16 year old students that have infinite supplies of money to buy coke and hang out in bars, not pubs, all while wearing the latest designer clothes. The first plot of series one was that Sid owed a local dealer some money for weed. Simplicity was key here.
This first episode introduced us to Franky, Dakota Blue Richards, an androgynous girl who has just moved to Bristol with her dads. Within about ten seconds we have our first popular culture reference with a well disguised poster of Vertigo. How chic. She does wear rope headphones though, another Hitchcock reference perhaps? and that makes her infinitely cool. A great character and so far the least annoying and most human, but it was her episode so that’s how you’re meant to feel. Everyone else at that college seems like an absolute dick. The faculty, still played by the cream of the British comedy crop, are always a treat providing us with some awkward laughs.
MTV editing didn’t appear to be much of a problem here, thank fuck, we’ve had enough of that now and we want our eyes back. Despite what anyone may think this is not a music video. As much as they try to make it one. You just wait for the montages that will come towards the end of the series, it’ll leave you cowering in a corner wishing you were there. Never watch Skins without a strong drink. Music though is a big part of the show and they pride themselves on making you feel shit for not recognising the previously unreleased demo that came out yesterday by a band that doesn’t even exist any more. Alternatively they just play The Vaccines because they’re on the cover of NME at the minute. Oh wait that was last week! HA! Skins is rubbish now. If, like me, though you do actually care what music they use then you can now get Spotify playlists; it’s a sorry world we live in.
Oh yeah they referenced La Roux and had their own version of Facebook which is used to verbally rape people; standards are slipping at Channel 4 these days.
Queue heart wrenching monologue about how ‘She just wants to be herself’ and the show is over for another long week. Next week we get Rich’s story, expect metal, leather, rejection, more moaning, more drugs, and more parties. You yourself should be doing all of the above otherwise you’re clearly not a teenager, because that’s what they do. In that case you should watch the first gen gang and get some life long advice, or even watch the second gen and watch it all slowly fall apart until you end up back here cleaning sick and piss from your 500 quid jeans.