TV Review: The End of Skins Series Four

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 become mentally depressed).

The last two series, with its new cast, was much darker and dramatic, possibly negative, side of teenagers. We barely ever see them at college or work, unless they are setting fire to the school or creating mayhem in the most unrealistic of ways. 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…if anything.

The only two episodes I liked from the final series was Katie’s and Emily’s when their family broke up but got back together at the end and then JJ’s episode where he gets a girlfriend. Maybe that’s why they were only two episodes that I liked; I didn’t feel like committing suicide after them. It was nice to finally see an ‘unbroken’ family and a happy character in the series.

Skins received many complaints from older generations, especially over in America. After this final series I can see why. The first two series subtly (or atleast more subtely) used drugs, alcohol and sex. But then Effy’s episode in series 4 shows the huge contrast between the different use of cast. The 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 here. I will upload my findings and essay in about a months time, so keep a look out. And feel free to post any of your comments or thoughts. It would all be really helpful for my assignment at least.

5 thoughts on “TV Review: The End of Skins Series Four

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  1. Hello Charlie!

    I think things like this do happen, for example is it very easy for a group of both sex mates getting together…maybe hooking up with one another! I am pretty sure there are a lot of drugs here at University and sex! I have been to some pretty mad house parties here in Falmouth, been chased by a group of thugs and been drunk numerous times!

    For example you have been swiming in the harbour after a night out does this not relate very close to some things that happen in the series? I think although most of it is very unrealistic i kinda wish my life was more like skins! I dunno!

    Annways talk more about this in class!

    Much love!
    x

    1. Yeah I definately relate to a lot of it, mostly in the first two series though.
      The second two series just took it too far I think.
      Yess we have to get some work done soon, haha!
      4 weeks until presentation! xx

  2. Hi,
    I found this article really interesting, and totally agreed with what you said about the first two series being a more rounded, positive view of teenage life. (Its nice to see series five make at least an attempt at achieving some of that light-hearted energy).
    That isn’t to say that I didn’t find series 3 and 4 entertaining and thought-evoking – they definitely touched an some important issues – but I agree with your point about the negative view being promoted.
    Just thought you might like some feedback 🙂 Thanks for sharing your article.

      1. Hi, Charlie. I know I’m about 2 years late to jump on the bandwagon, but from an American perspective… I was totally disappointed with the direction seasons 3 & 4 took. You’re absolutely right to say that the first two seasons were more realistic and uplifting. I fell in love with the characters & their stories– but the second generation left me feeling empty. As for the constant drug use, I kept thinking… What is this, Amsterdam?? If it’s that easy, then, hell, I’m catching a plane ASAP! :p

        Still, I have loads more to say. I just finished up the 4th season on Netflix, and I was outraged at how it was so poorly rushed through. I remember looking at the bottom of the screen, thinking… There’s only 3 minutes left; how the hell are they going to wrap this up into something hunky-dory, or atleast give the audience some sort of closure? For God’s sake, I invested a week, watching this generation. I NEED SOME FREAKIN’ CLARITY! I do have to admit, I was verrrrrry reluctant to continue watching after the first generation. I, personally, fell in love with Mike Bailey (Sid), and it was hard to let him go. Super hard. In fact, I decided to give the second gen. a fair chance with the first episode, but I felt so bummed out about the memories of the past season– that I had to take a week hiatus from the show.

        The first gen. had such a vibrant, unique group of people. And it was relatable. I still related to their characters, despite being a 25 year old American college student. But you’re right, the second gen. we’re so depressing. It was just 2 seasons of cheating, mental illness, reckless abandon, and sleeping around with whomever was available. The friendships were awkward, the relationships were super blasé, and everything felt very over the top. I had read online that Freddie died– prior to actually watching the show– Normally, spoilers bother me, but I had a hard time feeling as compassionate or sympathetic about his murder, particularly because I didn’t have strong feelings, one way or another, about his character. I didn’t really click or connect with anyone, because I was -probably, instead- judging them for their indescretions, and their ability to constantly keep fucking things up in their circles of friendships and family.

        Meh. I hope they reunite Cassie & Sid in the movie that is allegedly coming out…!

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