The Skinnies

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Normally, you know me, I would never report on something unless I’d watched it beginning to end. What you don’t know is that often I’ll sit in a movie theatre and see a scene or hear a line and start crafting my post right away. Of course, if the movie is post-worthy something will happen that drags me away from drafting and makes me watch the rest of it. In this case we’re talking small screen and Netflix and my weird insistence on ordering my queue to alternate between a TV disc and a movie disc. I’ve watched 1 disc, 4 episodes, of BBC’s Skins and I can’t wait to tell you about it.

There’s a problem, though, it might be awful. It’s a Brit One Tree Hill, but no the writing is better, it’d have to be! It’s a Brit 90210 I suppose, except that I never watched 90210 religiously so I can’t say. Let’s say it’s a Brit Dawson’s Creek because I love Dawson’s and I love these guys and they refer to DC in their pilot episode (never mind that Brit TV doesn’t use the stupid pilot system and please stay tuned in the coming days for my thoughts on the British television nurturing system vs. the American one).  I know that none of these comparisons make the show necessarily appealing to adults or mark it as valuable in any way. Just bear with. Mmkay?

A gross generalization would be to say that Brit TV is better than American. Then you tie me to a chair and make me watch Britcoms for a couple of hours and I gouge my eyes out with the pen I’m using to write “All TV is the BAD” a thousand times. I do think, though, that British TV has a looser set of federal restrictions on the airwaves that give shows a chance to explore topics more fully, to perhaps be more realistic but certainly to be quite raw which, on the subject of teenagers, is often one and the same.

hannah-murray-shockwaves-nme-awards-2007-red-carpet-arrivals-1ktimzObserve my favorite Skins character, Cassie, at left (played by Hannah Murray). The general overview of the show is a bunch of relatively smart, entirely risk….(what’s the opposite of risk averse? risk adjacent?) embroiled high school age kids in a generally average school get up to hijinks. In the episodes I’ve watched so far we’re mostly meeting the kids. Cassie is part slut, part addict, part airhead with a keen emotional sense and a debilitating eating disorder. In her introductory episode we don’t see her in a vacuum or only in school. Her disorder does not crop up suddenly in one episode and she is not miraculously cured with a cheeseburger and an invitation to the dance. We get to see her in all her crazy, deluded glory and that is frightening because it is so endearing. We also get to see her family and her friends and her slot in this life, all the reasons she is who she is and all the other reasons that becoming someone else is nearly impossible.

What I’m saying is, it’s a teen show with a shock factor and a rather glossy end-tying-up veneer but if you like that sort of thing it’s one of the best of its kind and well worth your time. And if you’re a character junkie, as I am, it’s must-see DVD*.

*This reviewer recommends watching on DVD as opposed to BBC America where American broadcast regulations may edit content in a detrimental way.

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4 Responses to “The Skinnies”

  1. JCK Says:

    This review blog is a stellar idea, Kizz!

  2. kizzbeth Says:

    I wish I could take credit for it. My friend, Chili, set it all up and got all the contributors on board.

  3. V Says:

    > (what’s the opposite of risk averse?

    risk-embracing, or risk inclined.

  4. gabriela Says:

    te amo sid

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