The Skins debate

Rachel Chistyakov

Voices Editor

Skins is a popular British television show that chronicles the lives of a group of teenagers who attend the same high school. These characters lead lives atypical of any real high school student; they experiment heavily with drugs, alcohol, and sex and face tragic accidents- on a daily basis. Every two seasons, the cast changes to a completely new set of characters with new issues for the audiences to become engrossed in.

It is safe to say that Skins is nothing like any other television show airing in America- take, for example, the MTV adaptation of Skins. The new show censored many parts that the original version did not. The MTV version of Skins does not include the same amount of sex, drugs, alcohol, or reality that the British version did. MTV simply could not air an uncensored version of the show because many of the viewers would be appalled by it; the British version of Skins prefers to show the true stories of the characters, uncensored and very real. Viewers and critics in America found the show so controversial that Taco Bell has refused to air ads during the show and many companies have pulled out from sponsoring the show because they didn’t want to be associated with such a “racy” depiction of teenagers. Yet the British version of Skins has released four successful seasons and has recently aired a fifth season without many complaints.

So how did this racy British show spread throughout Milken so rapidly? Although the origin of Skins’ arrival on campus cannot be calculated, the main way that students found out about the show is through their friends, on blogs that frequently mention Skins and it’s racy material, and refernces to Skins posted on social networking sites, like Facebook.

Each character exudes a different personality, making the series relatable to almost any one who watches it. The first season introduces Tony, a playboy without a conscious, who is forced to restart his life after a tragic car accident. And then there is Cassie- a seemingly ditzy blonde who suffers from an eating disorder and deep depression. The show also displays the controversial friendship between Maxxie, a gay teenager, and Anwar, a religious Muslim. Skins isn’t afraid to tackle any issue, or to show any part of the body.

“Skins simply is raw and witty. The hilarious characters contrasting with the intense situations keeps the show light but still dramatic. The show is real, without trying to convince the viewers that it’s a ‘real drama about real teenage issues’. Skins is really just about having fun and watching the crazy antics of the two casts while they try to maneuver their way through daily life,” Emily Brown ’12 said.

The second cast introduced more controversial characters with many new exciting scenarios, such as the introduction of an African immigrant, Thomas, and the conflicts between twins Katie and Emily. Skins has recently been getting more publicity with the American version airing on MTV in January. American Skins will feature the same characters as well as the same plot line as the British version, but with American cast members. The remake of British Skins has created some uneasiness among the original fans of the series; whether or not these fans plan on watching the new version of Skins is yet unknown for some.

Although Skins is a fantastic show and very popular among Milken students, the content is still very mature and not suitable for some. The series deals with very real, grim, and uncomfortable situations in every episode. However, as many of the die-hard Skins fans will tell you, once you start watching the show, you will become addicted to it.

SHOUT OUT: Who’s your favorite Skins character?

“My favorite character is Cassie because she has to conquer her own insecurities and that is something we can all relate to. Plus, she’s just the coolest girl ever.” – Allyson Zucker ’12

“My favorite character is Sid because he’s a cute little nerd and I can really relate to him.” – Sarah Ben-Zvi ’12

“My two favorite characters are easily Sid and Cassie. With Cassie’s classic phrase, ‘Oh wow…lovely’ (ask me to do an impression of her, I’ve been practicing) and Sid’s nerdy persona, the two have the most incredible dynamic. Even though Sid and Cassie are so different, you can’t help but want them to be together!” – Emily Brown ’12

“If I hear one more thing about Sid and Cassie, I’m just gonna leave.” – Ami Fields-Meyer ’12

“My favorite character is Naomi because I just love her. She’s so interesting! Every speech she makes really touches me, her relationship with Emily is adorable.” – Ariana Hewitt ’12

“My favorite character is Effy because she is so cool. Her life is full of ups and downs and it really keeps the show interesting. I’m obsessed with the cast because of their British accents; that’s why I watch the British version and don’t plan on watching the American version.” – Tara Schlussel ’12