Skins (TV Series 2007–2013) Poster


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Spoiler-free review of the first six series
amandaceleste4 January 2013
What's it all about?

A group of British teenagers living edgy lifestyles while being ignored by authority. Not as bad as it sounds.

Overall qualities:

+ has more than a few good young actors - actually, some of them are brilliant;

+ cinematography is great;

+ writing is much better than what you'd expect;

+ doesn't talk down at its audience;

+ a lot of thought is put into the soundtrack;

+ a lot of complex characters.

Overall structure of the show:

Each series (or "season") has eight to ten episodes. Each episode focuses in one character (occasionally two) or in the whole ensemble. The show changes its main cast every two series. The first series of each generation is introductory and aims to bring depth to each main character while still advancing parallel plot lines. The second series of each generation is always (always) darker and aims to deconstruct and change characters and established relationships by making them go through complicated (and sometimes extreme) situations.

Review of each series and each generation:

  • series one -

It's a very well-constructed series, consistently great from beginning to end. The major setbacks are very few and far between. I could say with some confidence that if you disliked this series, the show just isn't for you, and you can probably stop watching. The episodes show the lives of each character and what sets them apart from their group of friends. Incompetent authority and neglectful parenting are recurring themes.

  • series two -

This one is more complicated. As I said before, the second series of each generation is always darker, and this series follows that rule, albeit to a lesser extent than the other even series that follow. In my opinion, it's just as well-constructed as the previous one, and possibly even more emotionally poignant, but not everyone approves of the shift to more dramatic plots. New themes include death, acquired disabilities, stalking etc.

  • overall view of generation one -

The first generation has two big qualities that the other two lack: great ensemble dynamic and consistently great writing, both from beginning to end. It's the fan favorite generation for a reason.

I know this makes the other two generations not look so good, but read on.

  • series three -

As a lot of people know, the only links this generation has to the previous one are Effy and Pandora, who were minor characters throughout series one and two. The new characters take a bit longer to find their footing when compared to the old ones. This series is good overall, if you ignore the stupidity of a certain episode, and there are some genuinely brilliant moments. Questionable parenting and neglectful authority are still recurring themes, along with complicated and potentially dysfunctional relationships.

  • series four -

Another complicated series. It's even darker than series two and, therefore, even more controversial. Some of the themes are death, mental disorders, cheating etc. But the real problem with this series, in my opinion, is that there is a huge contrast in quality between episodes. There are eight of them: four are amazing and four are either so-so or just plain bad. The messy structure and the rushed ending can be explained by an unexpected budget cut – they had to fit ten episodes into eight. Watch it with a grain of salt, appreciate it when it's wonderful and try not to rage when it's awful.

  • overall view of generation two -

It is mostly good, occasionally wonderful, and then the budget cut – and a few other things – happened. Try not to compare it to generation one too much. These are very different characters.

  • series five -

I've seen a lot of hate towards this one. Most of it stems from attachment to the previous generations, I think, and also because the characters here are very different from the others, as in their lives are not as "edgy", and a lot of people think the absurdity is the charm of Skins. If you get past that and embrace new, interesting takes on old textbook themes, you might like it. It is, in my opinion, the best series out of the six. It is wonderfully structured and written, and I have very few complaints about the choices the creative team made - they managed to bring depth to each character while still developing an interesting ensemble dynamic. Identity is the big theme here.

  • series six -

Ironically enough, this might be the worst series. And not as in, "slightly worse than the worst series so far", but as in "much worse than the worst series so far". I have a lot of issues with the general direction they took with this one; to me, it seemed like they were being dark (darker than series two or four) for the sake of being dark, and some story lines were just plain unnecessary, while others felt like rehashes. Believe me, if you dislike the first episodes, you might as well just stop watching altogether, because it gets worse. Guilty over the death of a loved one is the theme here.

  • overall view of generation three -

Everything was better than all that came before, and then series six happened. Watch series five and pretend that "Everyone" (5x08) was the generation three finale.

Moral of the story:

Watch series one to five and embrace new characters as they come.

Let's hope series seven will bring Skins some of its dignity back.
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Well worth watching for ALL ages
davek2810 March 2007
I disagree with all those who say this is a teen-only drama. When I first saw the trailers and accompanying hype, I steered clear of it as it looked like yet another teen programme. But then I watched the second episode, about Cassie the anorexic, and was hooked. It managed to be both funny and touching - so much so that I cried at the end.

It's a lot like Teachers in its sense of humour, and it has its location, Bristol, in common with Teachers. It's a shame it isn't on at an earlier time, as the script is wonderful and the characters so well drawn. Plus the performances by the young cast are extremely professional.

I think good drama appeals to all ages, and I'm light years outside the target demographic for this. So I'd like to encourage the more mature viewer to give it a go - especially if you were a fan of Teachers - and you won't regret it.

9 out of 10 as it's the most entertaining and, unfortunately, realistic youth drama to appear on the telly since As If.
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whatrudoing_55211 January 2008
When this show first came out, i saw the trailer on the TV and thought it looked absolutely rubbish. However when the series one DVD came out my mum (yes my mum likes skins! and she's 42!)said that i might want to give it a chance. So i did and it's fantastic, nothing like i thought it was going to be. I don't see why some people have got all flustered about it exaggerating teenager's lives. Im 18 and personally my life is nothing like that of the skins bunch, but the show didn't set out to depict real life. It's an entertaining and funny show with a surprising amount of depth sometimes. If you have a sense of humour this show will appeal to you, if you don't or you have a very selective sense of humour then give it a pass or expect to be disappointed. Skins is what you make it, take it or leave it, it's up to you.
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A Refreshing Piece Of British Drama
tom_euro19 March 2008
It's good to look to look over to Channel 4's sister channel E4 and find good quality British drama on our TV's. Skins is a fantastic and invigorating in-look in to the lives of modern day students.

The first two series had a fantastic cast, most of whom who had never acted before but some familiar faces including About A Boy's Nicholas Hoult and Slumdog Millioanire's Dev Patel who played Tony and Anwar respectively. The cast all worked really well together and it came across perfectly, especially in the second series. The characters they portray; the musical nerd, the lay about, the girl with the eating disorder, the religious one, the metro-sexual, etc. Characters that young people can identify with easily, in every day life, in their surroundings.

The third series was a risky strategy, in which they overhauled all their main characters from the first two series and got a new ensemble cast, or what has become to be referred to, as the ''second generation''. However the show has still been able to keep its sharp edge and shock factor, with some fantastic new characters and actors for the third and current fourth series. Some of the more entertaining and fascinating ones include naive Pandora Moon portrayed by Lisa Blackwell, bad boy 'Cook' portrayed by Jack O'Connel and individualistic twins Emily and Katie Finch.

The lifestyle the group has is glammed up slightly, especially in the early episodes and initial advertisements. Some may argue this is not 'real life', but its television, what is? Some of the party and group scenes are shot extremely well and capture the essence of the modern day lifestyles of the late 2000's perfectly. The show does boast some intriguing and dramatic story lines and selects its actors very well. Its admirable for the production team to encourage young actors (along with the amazing adult guest stars), writers, fashion designers, set designers, etc to join the show. The musical score is something that has to be mentioned, it's some of the best in today's television programmes. Even the opening credits, the music from Fat Seggal is fresh and inspirational.

As the ''second generation'' comes to an end this year (or so we assume) it will be interesting if the show will be revived again.

All in all Skins is something that we don't have a lot of on our screens. Channel 4 should be applauded and continue to invest in programmes such as Skins to appeal to today's generation of young adults.
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A breath of fresh air...
paul-m-uk1 September 2008
When trying to think of successful 'teen' drama series, all that really springs to my mind are the likes of 'The OC' or 'Dawson's Creek'. Isn't it about time that us Brits made some kind of contribution to this genre? Step forward 'Skins', a gritty UK drama about a gang of teenage Bristolians.

The show is instantly refreshing for two reasons. Unlike the aforementioned American shows, the show's sixteen and seventeen year old characters actually look that age and lack that 'surprisingly-mature-looking' quality of the stars of the US teen shows. Secondly, the show is less 'aspirational' than its US counterparts. All the characters are flawed, and we meet real people with real problems as opposed to spoilt brats trying to live millionaire lifestyles. We watch as the teenagers try to get on at college, pursue relationships and try to make their future that little bit less uncertain.

The flaws in the characters are what make the show so interesting, as each member of the group tries to make their own way in the world. Each will succeed only to a certain extent. Although all different, the group are united in their pursuit of a decadent, hedonistic lifestyle. This is where the show becomes controversial. Clearly targeted at teenagers, the show runs the risk of promoting this kind of lifestyle. Having said this, the audience is made sympathetic to the characters' antics by placing them in the context of the anguish which they all experience to some extent. What's more, the liberal approach to life exhibited is rarely without consequence.

Skins is compelling viewing. The soundtrack is excellent and the acting, for the most part, shows a lot of promise. Although the show is morally questionable at times, it confirms to me the fact that Channel 4 is the UK's most exciting broadcaster, which should be commended in at least some senses for having the audacity to do things that the BBC never would. Being innovative almost always requires the raising of a few eyebrows.

Young people in Britain are getting a bad press at the moment, and Skins is successful in showcasing the more human side of today's teens and also in reminding older folks that even they were young once. I just hope that the show doesn't go too far in promoting the kind of lifestyle which may be the reason why young people are finding themselves ostracized in the first place.
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Superb, quality all the way through.
digdilem26 March 2007
I can't stress enough how wonderful all these characters are, all very distinct, deep and you learn to care deeply about each one in a short space of time.

Damn shame series one has ended so soon - but the final episode, especially the final sequence has given me both shivers and tears even on the second viewing - and I'm a grown man in my 30's.

This is NOT just a teeny-drama, it's top quality essential viewing for anyone with an open mind.

Really want to learn more about these characters, I want to share their lives - so let's be having Series 2 straight away please!


Series 2 was good, although not as good as 1, still way better than most things out there. I think those who dislike it so strongly probably gave up too early.

Series 3 however - what a disappointment! The writing has gone childish, simplistic and without any of the strong plots of the first two series. Cook - the most dislikable character, is over-used in every episode so far and completely overpowers every other character. It's gone from a great show about the lives of several people, to a badly written situdrama about one character being an idiot, with other people on the sidelines.

Series 1: 10/10 Series 2: 9/10 Series 3: 2/10

Huge disappointment.
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BEST show. Watch it all!
blondeearthling2 October 2016
Skins is one of the best shows I have ever watched. It is raw, honest and emotional beyond words. It consists of three different generations/slightly different casts with two seasons per generation. And finally it concludes with a seventh season that picks up some of the previous characters to give them a proper send off into adult life.

Generation 1 (Season 1 and 2) is the main one people love. It is the original that made people fall in love with Skins in the first place. It is amazingly well made and will always be a classic. This generation tends to be most peoples favorite. I think Cassie and Chris in particular are some really interesting characters you will fall in love with. The ending left a lot unanswered though, and that made me a bit disappointed.

Generation 2 (Season 3 and 4) is also a lot of people's favorite, and that has a lot to do with Freddie/Effy and the character of Cook. It is a lot darker than the first generation, and it contains a lot more drugs. A bit raunchier I would say. But I still loved it. The ending of this one was a double-edged sword. Because even though the last scene was iconic and JUST GOLD, there was still SO MUCH stuff left unanswered, and that made me even more frustrated than the mysterious ending of the first generation.

Generation 3 (Season 5 and 6) was different from the previous generations. A lot of people didn't like this generation, but honestly I loved that one too. It is more positive in some sorts. It had some really heartbreaking stories, yet some really lovely moments. And this ending nailed it. A good ending that made me feel content, and happy I actually watched all generations. And yeah, this ending made me cry like a baby.

I would give 10/10 for both generation 1 and 2, a 8/10 for generation 3, and a 8/10 for season 7 with previous characters.

Seriously, watch all generations. It will give you such a sense of the entire show, and once you reach that final scene in season 6 you will be so glad you watched it all the way through. The generations were all perfect and unique in their own way, and I couldn't say "watch this/that generation and forget the rest", because they complete each other, and I love them all so much.

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(Series one and two) The Best Teen Drama Ever to hit the screen.
meatloaf630 May 2010
First thing's first, any praise i put forward applies to the first cast, and the first cast only.

Skins is phenomenal- Channel 4 have really nailed it. The acting is superb from teen and adult, the storyline is absolutely amazing and it is not short of strong emotion towards the characters. At points in series 2 i was sat on my sofa with a tear in my eye (Chris and Jal?) and I'm a 16 year old boy. :) I think that the thing i really love about Skins is the fact that although there is a powerful main story line that can be very dark in places, they still fit in some very pure and original humour, that can have you in hysterics, depending on what floats your boat. Across the two series, there really wasn't much to pick up badly on. I wasn't impressed by the second last episode of season 2; i think it was a good decision but pulled off in entirely the wrong way. Apart from that however i really cant fault this drama.

Now that is out of the way, I think it is a crime to put series 3 and 4 under the same umbrella. It is not Skins. The mood changes from modern teenage culture to "lets repeatedly do drugs and beat people up". It completely ruined any message that was being originally portrayed. The acting was pants (especially on Effy's behalf), the storyline was disjointed and didn't follow any theme, many parts ripped off seasons 1 and 2, the cast was unoriginal, the humour was absolutely f****** dreadful and completely unfunny, and i felt completely insulted to have my image as a teenager portrayed like that.

Did i mention how bad the acting was? I also hate the fact that the sex, lesbians, drugs, parties, suicide, sex, emotions and sex that did make the first Skins amazing in the correct dosage have been crammed and overused in a vain attempt to achieve some sort of goal which to me is completely unclear.

Oh and the acting is awful.

Overall, Skins 1 and 2 is my favourite TV series. Ever. When it comes to 3 and 4, every episode made me want to punch someone and the sheer amount of failure that came with it is just overwhelming. Do Skins a favour and don't even attempt to watch this complete monstrosity.
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I gave it a 10/10 before i saw season 3.
nikeillusion2 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
It was the best TV program till they made season three loved season 1 because it was funny had romance and was packed with entertainment than came season 2 which was sad , twisted had lots of surprises if they would have just kept the same characters from the beginning the end it would have definitely been the best teen sitcom no one would have come closer not even the high rated ones in US. In third season they got a character called thomas which helped a lot to ruin skins because he was totally unnecessary.


Season- 1 awesome(10/10) Season- 2 awesome with sadness and twists.(9.99/10) Season- 3 hugely disappointing horseshite Season- 4 so bad couldn't watch.
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I love it!!!
actormichaelo29 February 2008
In 2007, i sat down to watch the first series of ''Skins'' not really knowing what to think before it started but as it did i found myself getting more involved in the characters lives and was able to place myself into there situations. Absaloutly superb acting by all of the cast, young and older, Fantastic script, Outstanding communication with the young public and faces the real life problems young people face these days. About a Boy's Nicholas Hoult is amazing, i was blown away with his performance as Tony, a moody teenager that has two sides to him, spiteful and sweet, Mike Bailey also gives a great performance as his shy character Sid Jenkins who is slowly evolving into more of a confident character because of Cassie (his girlfriend) played by Hannah Murray who in my eyes gives one of the strongest female performance's in Channel 4 history, she gives her character an unusual, almost spooky gift about her. Kind of' creeps you out a little but you can tell she is sweet in heart. One of the strongest male performances in the show is played by Dev Patel , who in the show is Anwar, the desperate for a girlfriend Asian teenager who is best friends with the gay character Maxxie, played by Mitch Hewer, who in my opinion gives one of the best male performances in TV history, outstanding! I was blown away by his performance in the stalker storyline with Sketch, who also gives a brilliant performance.

All together Skins is a amazing show and i advise people of all ages to watch! Other main characters include Michelle, Jal, Chris.
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The most original British drama since sliced bread
price_ov_aber7 February 2007
When i 1st saw the original advert for skins on E4 back in late November of 2006 i thaught, i have too see this program :) i don't watch much TV, but the one main reason i go downstairs on a thursday night, is for this program, it is original with a amazing cast and script,

it has an emotional boundary which will make you feel as the characters do, it tackles all the problems in modern society for us teenagers and is highly appealing to not only teenagers but adults of all ages because you can relate to each character and story it has got myself gripped too the series, and im currently introducing my friends too it i hope they do another series

Well done E4 Adam
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Fantastic Television
thereisnothingleft6 February 2011
After re watching Series 1-4 for the third time, Skins still blows my mind how brilliant this show is. Skins has enough drama for all of those in need of that section and enough hilarious comedy to keep those involved who would otherwise stray away from a show with only drama. All of the characters are absolutely riveting and I can guarantee after watching either series that you will have at least 1, possibly more favorite characters that you are so attached to that you will feel every emotion they do and scream at your television (Series 4 finale anybody?). While there are a very small amount of hiccups that make you question the plot at times(A character getting into Harvard on an athletic scholarship after being expelled from school? Not likely), Skins is still an absolutely gripping ride that will leave you wasting a whole day going through a season of the show leaving your other plans for the day as only a fore thought. I urge anyone reading this who has not watched Skins to go on Netflix (instant stream!) or any of the 389561805 websites that stream Skins to watch the first season through. If the pilot turns you off, just give it the next few episodes until you find your character because once you are in, Skins takes you on a wonderful journey of character based "dramedy" that any fan of television should love.
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only show that shows what being a teenager is really like
eamo-112 February 2008
the first series is simply brilliant. The acting is actually quite good, you get the feeling that most of them are just like their characters. But skins isn't about acting it's about finally giving teenagers something to watch that we can really relate to.

There's at least one character for everyone to feel a connection with, or a friendship, but no teen can say that skins is bad, even some adults that remember the olden days should enjoy it. The episode when Cassie appeared was what got me hooked, she was so disturbingly real. I don't watch TV but i must say i love skins and advise everyone to watch it.
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Fun! Outragous!
alexmcinnes1026 January 2007
I thought Skins was fantastic! Although a little far fetched at times its still entertaining and funny too. Even though its targeted at people over 18, being 15 I think this program totally appeals to my age group (for all the wrong reasons). I certainly do hope they do another series, you can relate someone you know to all of the characters and has gaped a hole in English comedy!!! I certainly suggest it and check out E4's website, you can learn much more about the characters and extra clips. Overall my favourite aspect of the program are the characters especially Maxxie and Tony! - warning this program contains strong language, sex and a plethora of drug references
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An alternative opinion
Flaccid_Panda27 March 2008
I've tried really hard to like Skins, I really have, but time after time I find myself cringing at the elements of Skins which are (in an exaggerated fashion)reflective of everything the average British teenager secretly despises. No, really.

Sex: yes, teenagers want to do it. We get it. The idea that most teenagers are A)entirely comfortable with it and B)expert lovers from the get-go is as destructive as teenagers being led to believe that real sex is porno-like though. The average teenager is terrified (read: 'shrivel-dicked' or 'closed') at the idea that Skins represents what they should be achieving in their love life.

Drugs: yes, teenagers want to experiment with them. We get it. If you were an impressionable teenager, chilling out watching Skins, wouldn't you feel altogether uptight on your drug experiences for only occasionally puffing a spliff while the characters of Skins knock back pills like tic-tacs? Intellect: have the writers of Skins really talked to many teenagers? Considering Skins sells the idea of realism, it would be easy to misinterpret Britain's teenagers as the most articulate and pseudo-freudian in the Western world from watching an episode. For the most part teenagers simply don't talk like that, can't talk like that and those that try fail to understand entirely what they're saying. I apologise to the poor few who do. While this isn't as destructive as telling our teenagers they should be Ron Jeremey-esquire or mixing pills in with their Sugar Puffs; do we really need a generation of pretentious, self-righteous cynics? Delve deep enough into the average older teenager in Britain (especially the teenagers who watch Skins) and they'll tell you just how threatened and left out they feel at being expected to be a 'Skins Kid'.

Skins can be entertaining when it doesn't get lost up in a jumble of cluttered 'hip' dialogue, self-important themes and utterly farcical narrative. It's a shame the idea of 'realism' is highlighted, because Skins is passable as a raunchy, late night soap opera about young people. Our younger generation just need to understand it as that.

...and for your information, I do fall under the target audience (just about) and I realise not many people will find what I'm saying 'useful', but I had to say my piece.

Thanks for baring with my rant!
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Beauty of Skins
e_56730 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Every two years, the cast is replaced. But I have loved all three generations. The first group is a favorite because they're what drew me into the show. It was just so different from anything else I had seen. A lot of people said that it was too much and the US remake didn't get the response it could have. Not all parents in America realize how beautiful Skins is. The UK version was better by far. There's so much character development in so few episodes. Each episode left me wanting more. But when the two seasons ended and the cast was replaced, I was somehow able to let go and fall in love all over again with a new group of people. Unlike many others who think the show has gotten worse over the years, I feel like it's just as good as the first season. There's really so much beauty in this show but some people can't see past the sex and drugs. Skins is so real. It makes me feel like I'm not the only teenager in the world with problems that other shows and people try to sugar coat. I feel like I'm not alone when I watch Skins; it feels like I'm a part of something. Of course the show is over dramatic but it's a realistic dramatic. Tragic things happen to people, teens have problems, people do stupid things, but underneath all that there's a subtle message of love and hope. I have so much I could say about this show. Would I be dramatic if I said watching it may have changed my life? Probably, but I believe it to be true. I choose to see the beauty in Skins.
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The oldest teenagers in town!
last-picture-show9 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Considering all the hype surrounding this show and the number of writers credited, it's one hell of a disappointment. The plot is practically non-existent, some of the scenes don't make sense and while the teenage characters take drugs, drink like fish and have sex (well two of them do) they're really two-dimensional clichés we've seen time and time again. There are no interesting female characters (you can tell most of the writers are men) but even the teenage boys are more like old men dressed up.

There's Tony the supposedly good looking, over-confident one, who's actually a bit odd-looking, especially in the choir singing episode where he had his hair slicked back making him look like a lesbian Elvis impersonator. Then there's Sid the nerdy one who all the bad things happen to. And we know he's nerdy because he has glasses and a woolly hat. Then there's Chris the weird one who eats drugs like they're Smarties but actually looks and acts like Norman Wisdom with bad dress sense. We also have Cassie who's in love with Sid but is (gasp) anorexic, but only when the rest of the cast aren't taking drugs, drinking or having sex (we can't have too much going on at the same time can we).

And as it's 2007, and not 1977 (which is the year most of the writers were last teenagers), we have the token black brother and sister who, let's be honest, don't look like brother and sister, Anwar the token Asian who manages to find time to be a good Muslim and to take drugs, drink and have sex and Max the token gay. Except he's not really gay is he. It's been mentioned that he is gay a few times but despite being nice looking and comfortable with his sexuality to the point of drawing erect penises in his art book he's not allowed to have a boyfriend (or even a snog) presumably in case it upsets any of the audience.

The series was heralded as being 'From the makers of Shameless' and I should have guessed from that tag line that it was going to be a let down. Although to be fair Shameless did at least have a few surprises with wild characters and potentially good stories but quickly fizzled out into a series of obvious clichés and shocks for shocks sake. Now it's just a parody of itself. Skins is starting off as a self-parody.

The main problem with Skins is that it can't make up it's mind whether to be a comedy or a serious drama and ends up failing in both camps. Last weeks episode set on a school trip to Russia was pitiful. The scenes in the halls of residence put me in mind of Carry On Camping, only the comedy was less subtle! The male teacher only inviting his female colleague so he could get off with her but being rejected was pure Hatti Jacques trying to seduce Kenneth Wiliams, while Anwar lusting after the Russian girl because she had 'boobies' (don't English girls have 'em?) was Sid James chasing Barbara Windsor. They stopped short of having one of the characters in drag but they stuck to the Carry On code by having the potentially gay character (Max) who although branded 'gay' doesn't get off with a man but seems to be happy to be accepted by the gang as an honorary 'straight', even to the point of lusting after the Russian girl. If Charles Hawtrey was alive he'd sue!

And this was written by 'out' gay comedian Simon Amstell. Simon I suggest you go away and watch an episode (or even five minutes of Queer As Folk,) and see what good comedy drama is all about.

Perhaps they should re-brand the series: 'Skins from the shameless writers''
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freetwojib1 March 2009
This is a television series that just makes kids think that what they're seeing is how they should be. Aside from the shoddy writing and primary school acting apparently they have a party every week, sex causes and solves problems and the stereotypes of a teenager are being fulfilled while everybody laps it up. If it is supposed to reflect normal life or show the gritty side of it, it really does not. I am living in the skins generation and I know nobody that would even vaguely represent any of the characters in any series of this show.I don't want to go into every single minuscule detail (of which there are many) of why i dislike this show i just wanted a sane view among the myriads of "skins saved my life" and all the rest of that bullshit.
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Excellent show
bostonisfun-115 April 2008
This is the best show I have seen in years... Great production values, excellent story lines, very good acting, engaging characters, and thorough plot development. I wish Skins aired in the US so I wouldn't have to watch it on my computer! BUT I can't believe they're switching casts for next season. Only 1 character from this season will be staying on. Since the show is produced for Channel E4, I guess they must want to save money. Clever idea - they already have an established fan base, and so many people in the UK already love the show... Now, they can start with an unknown cast and pay them next to nothing, compared to what they would have to pay the "established" cast. After investing time in the show and becoming attached to the characters, I am upset that Series 3 ("season 3" as those of us in the US would say) is going to be totally different. Yet, I'm sure that it will still be an excellent show.
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Beware of the Skin Deep: Series 1 and 2
clivey619 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I caught up with Skins on a repeat showing, not even realising at first it was the same show. I'd found the first episode easy to dismiss during the initial fuss and media fanfare…

But the first episode had been misleading. It had Tony as the cocky, cruel, self-regarding star of the show (he's played by About A Boy star Nicholas Hoult, who could opt for a similar career as Jonathan Rhys Meyers if this is anything to go by.) No thanks, I thought. Likewise the hype had Skins as a raunchy, nihilistic exposure of teenage sex, drugs and whatever music kids are into these days. Like many a 30something, I tuned into half hoping to be shocked, half hoping to be able to dismiss it.

Certainly I'd seen it all before if episode one was anything to go by. Party gatecrashed by hooligans? Quadrophenia. Parent's car ends up in the drink? Risky Business. Nerdy kid hoping to lose his cherry? American Pie. Gets set up with a blonde Sure Thing laid on for him, ahem, by his mate? You may remember the John Cusack film of the same name. Sure, a house gets trashed, but with the comic stereotypes it may as well have been The Cat in the Hat with Beth Ditto on the soundtrack.

However, it was gradually revealed that Tony was MEANT to be a scumbag, and in subsequent episodes his friends each gradually came round to that. (If Series 2 lost its way occasionally, it's maybe because it didn't have that story arc to fall back on; making do instead with Tony's gradual physical rehabilitation.)

And most of the debauched mayhem only took place in the promos, hardly ever in the drama proper. Occasionally we see the aftermath of a party, but that's it. At heart, Skins is a pretty conservative show.

That opening episode misleads in other ways. It's inconceivable that Tony and Michelle would fix up their lovely, quirky, anorexic friend Cassie in such a heartless fashion simply to allow Sid to lose his virginity, or indeed, that Cassie, who had a sneaky side despite her kookiness, would simply go along with it. Would Chris, a wild party guy but essentially good-hearted, really wander into a stranger's house and just nick the mobile phones left there? Or were these incidents planted simply to outrage the Daily Mail contingent?

So why did Skins turn out to be just so affecting? Well, for thing, none of the characters are generic. Recently I watched the blockbuster movie Transformers. It had two women leads, one blonde, the other brunette. That pretty much about describes them in total. Unlike, say, Hollyoaks or The O.C. neither the actresses who play Cassie or Michelle seem picked just to be on the cover of FHM or Loaded. It was somehow easier to warm to them without the casting machinations made obvious.

Secondly, Skins eroticises compassion and vulnerability rather than arrogance and cool. Tony, may be the catalyst for much of the action, but it's the nerdier kids, speccy Sid and dippy Cassie, who turn out to be most lovable, while his fall from grace is overt. Unlike EastEnders, where every young kid seems only written to perform the next cocky, defiant riposte at some adult or each other.

Oh, and thirdly, actress Hannah Murray is very good as Cassie, with all her flaky quirks and self-doubt offset by occasional smartness and assertiveness. It's a performance that always catches you off guard, but there aren't any bad performances here. The confrontation between Sid and Tony in the 'Effy' episode is a great and natural bit of acting; none of that Harry Potter acting school rubbish here. Possibly some of the black characters were a tad generic in the writing, however.

Skins nails its teen themes: problems with parents (who are only on the sidelines and seem more immature than the kids, rather like in the late 70s classic Gregory's Girl), sudden alienation, strained friendships, idiot teachers. However, the series does conveniently let plot strands drop, made easier by focusing on a different character in each programme. Plus, there are those surreal flashes to stop things getting too heavy or literal.
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Un-realistic, trashy, idiotic
nate34515 August 2011
Most teens don't act like this. the way these kids act are the way most scummy kids act. i don't know anyone in my high school like this. i mean of course there is weed and alcohol but nothing like this idiocy. i don't think I've ever said wtf so much during any show. of course things like this happen in college for the most part. not in a high school as much. i should know im in high school. of course this show brings out all the things teens are doing and what teens have to face in life but if someone didn't already know that then they are pretty naive. the American version of skins is just as bad. its plain bullshit, stupid, and un-realistic. if your high school life is actually like this then thats a pretty scummy crowd of people.
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Story of the Life's of average A Level Students
Antman65uk8 February 2007
Skins, is a comedy drama about a group of A Level students who try and deal with everyday life. Each episode so far as dealt with a different character life and there role within the group.

So far we have only really seen the personal life's of Tony, Sid and Cassie.

The series has so far been funny and moving at the same time. Showing the problems that 17 year old's have to deal with. The series is aimed at teenagers, however I think that this can appeal to a larger audience. I have so far been impressed with the main storyline and it seems quite true to life and have remained me of my experiences when I was of that age.

I think the series will appeal to any one in between 17-27 and unlike the previous user comment I do think this could materialise into a second series.

I hope E4 continue with brand new comedies like this, that breathe fresh air into Television
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This American adult likes it too
ardee005 September 2008
Skins is starting to air, censored, in the USA on the cable TV network "BBC America" (a great channel but I wish it were carried in high-def by Comcast!). I'm a fan of many, many British programs and, well, here's yet another top-notch show. I've gotten 'hold of the DVDs so I can watch it without the inane censoring. This is a funny show with good acting and fine character depiction. It's sharper than most shows and the characters really draw you in. I'm adding it to Monty Python, Little Britain, Dr. Who, Green Wing, Coupling (the British version, of course), Fawlty Towers, Not Going Out, and dozens more shows (not to mention Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, the Who, Elvis Costello, Queen, etc., etc. -- really, 2/3 of all my favorite musicians) as further evidence that you Brits create great entertainment way out of proportion to our countries' relative populations. Thanks and keep it up!
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One of the best shows for teens, about teens
nevdholiel10 March 2007
This show is quite amazing, but I don't quite understand why this show is now rated 18+. I find this quite odd, I'm still a teen, and I suppose the creators believe that even teens are too young to see the sex and drugs and all, but we learn about all this at our teen years, so the 18+ is pretty much useless. This show shows a lot, and the best characters in my opinion are Cassie: for the female role and Maxxie: for the male role. I'm actually gay myself, but I'm quite the opposite of Cassie, I like food and all, but I can't seem to stop myself from eating crap foods.

Bloody awesome show, I'm hooked.
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Finally something real
FieryPropagandist16 March 2007
I have to correct the comment below when they say it probably wont get a second series...there will be! Thankfully!

Through i just cant take Nichols Holt seriously, after About A Boy....i think the characters highlights teenage life today; Peir Pressure,Experimenting,Love,Family Issues and Mental Health. I think they show creators are young enough to "get this" and that is what appeals to me..i don't want to watch a show where the geek gets the pretty girl. I want to see the characters grow, get a few bruises along the way because real life doesn't always play out like an episode of Hollyoaks.

Can't wait until the Second Series!

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