Skins Series 4 has finally ended. I can quite honestly say that I have never been more disappointed by the series. Suicide, mental illnesses, murder…what went wrong? I didn’t enjoy the first few episodes of the series but I carried on watching in hope for improvement. But the series became more depressing as it went on, ending in murder and violence with the death of a popular character.
What happened to being a realistic portrayal of teenagers in the UK? Fair enough, we’re not all constantly taking drugs and having sex. But as a TV programme, Skins had to bunch it all together to make each episode exciting; I don’t think it intended to mean that we party every day. I mean, you wouldn’t want to watch an episode of them all spending the day hungover whilst watching Jeremy Kyle.
I absolutely loved the first two series of Skins. I feel that they were more realistic because they didn’t completely focus on this aspect of teenage life. The characters still went to college and had plans for their futures. We see Jal as the Young Musician of The Year and Tony attending a University interview. The characters were a close group of friends, with somebody that everyone could easily relate to. They were put in realistic situations of family break-ups, relationship problems and teenage pregnancy (just to name a few). The characters made us laugh along with them and cry at their despair (without making us want to slit our wrists or becoming depressed by their own states of depression).
The last two series, with its new cast, however, has been much darker and dramatic, showing a more negative side of teenage life. We barely ever see the characters at college or work, unless they are setting fire to the school or creating mayhem in the most unrealistic of ways. Instead, the characters are more individual. They either dislike each other, are cheating on each other or are about to break up. What can you relate to, and therefore learn from, with this series? I think it’s fair to say, not a lot.
The only two episodes I liked from the final series was Katie’s and Emily’s episode when their family break up but get back together, and JJ’s episode where he gets a girlfriend. Maybe that’s why these were the only two episodes that I liked; I didn’t feel mentally exhausted after watching them. It was nice to finally see an ‘unbroken’ family and a happy character in the series.
Skins has received many complaints from older generations, especially in America. After this final series, I can see why. The first two series subtly (or at least more subtly) used drugs, alcohol and sex. But then Effy’s episode in series 4 shows the huge contrast between the different use of the cast. This episode starts with Effy and Freddie taking a ridiculous amount of drugs, having sex on the stairs and…well, not doing much else. Not really a typical day for a teenager to be honest. Or at least not worth making an episode out of.
I’m currently doing a research project on the audience of Skins to find out whether people agree with me here. So for now, I will end this rant here. I will upload my findings and my essay in about a month’s time, so keep a lookout. And feel free to post any of your comments or thoughts below. It would all be really helpful for my assignment.