My name is Nayla, I am 22 years old, and I have been watching Skins Series 6. There, I said it.
Why the confession? I am a little embarrassed. Partly because the show, with its reputation of being the first honest portrayal of teenage drama, is still going, and partly because, after six years, I have continued to watch.
Yet, I have the feeling that I am not alone. Perhaps we all feel an obligation to watch the series that claimed to portray our adolescence so accurately? Maybe we won’t ever really grow up until Skins raves its way off our television screens.
It could be a sign of the times, or a sign of my teenage time being well and truly up, but the latest ditty in the opening credits sounds like a painful Christmas jingle from the 1980s. What used to seem an inspiring motif for rebellious antics now gives me a headache.
With new jingle comes new drama, as we watch the third-generation of Skins progress into their final year at Roundview College. Series six boasts a plethora of high jinks: drug smuggling, death and hallucination, daddy issues, gang fights, and accidental pregnancy (stuff that everyone gets up to while doing their A-levels, don’t you know).
I am not quite sure whether it’s the motley of drama, or confusing character development, which makes this series particularly unbelievable. Take Frankie “head-fuck” Fitzgerald (Dakota Blue Richards), who started college in Series 5 as an androgynous, and perhaps gender fluid, misfit. Suddenly, she has grown her hair and began wearing conventionally feminine clothing, becoming the one that all the boys (and perhaps the girls?) like. Richards performs this personality makeover admirably, although her disproportionately posh accent appears out of place at times.
Frankie is not the only character who has peculiarly changed though – there appears to be a correlation between personality changes and hairstyles; Rich (Alexander Arnold) has transformed from metal-head to Beatle-head. The teenage boy, who used to be leather-clad, now looks like a cross between a young Paul McCartney and a bunny rabbit.
Nick (Sean Teale) too has gone from eye-wateringly arrogant, two-timing jock to nice guy. Although, nothing has happened to his hair… yet.
So, why watch Skins at all? The show does, after all, take a mix of the most dramatic things that could ever possibly happen to somebody between the ages of 16 and 18, and mashes them together to dazzle the British public. I’ll tell you why we watch Skins (if you have been watching too then you probably already know this, so forgive me) – for the gems.
Just when I had been about pack Skins in entirely, this week’s episode came up with some priceless moments. Special highlights included Alo (Will Merrick) and Poppy (Holly Earl) performing a choreographed dance in their underwear. Not to mention the moment when Alo discovers his new lover is 13 years old, Poppy insists “I’m not a child, I can get the adult menu at Pizza Hut.” Quality.
Despite its willingness to spin the teenage experience, I will continue to watch Skins, in the hope that at the end of it all we will see a shot of Tony Stonem (Nicholas Hoult) waking up in bed, only to find out that all of the sixth series has been the result of a drug-induced dream. Now that would be so Skins.
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