Skins: Teenage Kicks of the Brits

For years us British viewers have been bombarded with US shows that supposedly depict the lives of teenagers and British telly had never been able to compete…until now.

Skins exploded onto British television and into the consciousness of young viewers in late 2006 and early 2007. The raw energy, humour, wit, and intelligence of the show was unbelievable and never seen before. Skins deals with issues such as drugs, sexuality, race and the difficulties of growing up. It’s British youth culture to the max.

The fast-paced energy of Skins mimics the flow of hormones that surge in the blood of real teenagers. The issues and storylines are entertaining yet easy to relate to or emphasize with. The characters are far from the typical one-dimensional entity, with the writers really getting into the minds of the individual they have created, rather than simply having them ‘exist’. The episodes focus on one character, specifically on the issues they are battling with along with how they manage themselves in the real world.

Head writer Bryan Elsley sought to create an authentic teen drama, and went about achieving it by having youngsters help him in the creative process.

“We wanted to show that teenagers have interesting, complex lives,” says Elsley. “Most teenagers are intensely moral people, but they are given absolutely no credit for this because their parents are all so busy behaving disgracefully. I wanted to portray these kids as the true inheritors of happiness.”

You could describe it as the British version of The OC, One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl and other shows that have found their way over to our side of the pond, but rather then sensationalizing teenage life, Skins attempts to tell the truth. The actors are actual teenagers, so reality need not be suspended for some 25-year-old attempting to recapture their teenage angst.

Many of the actors on Skins were unknowns or had never acted before, with exception of Nicholas Hoult. Hoult played the cute 11-year-old sidekick to Hugh Grant in the film ‘About a Boy‘. These days, he’s a young man with tremendous acting abilities and capacity which is being further revealed in the series.

Skins is so huge that people have even started hosting themed parties called Skins ‘Secret’ parties, usually held in the major cities with live and up coming bands taking the stage to entertain the misunderstood youths of our society.

The show has it’s own channel on Myspace TV, Dailymotion and the show can be seen on E4 and 4od or alternatively you can catch up on episodes on

What are you waiting for? Check out what us Brits have to offer!

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