Many of you know that I'm a huge fan of Skins, a British show about the extreme lives of teenagers. I was introduced to the show by a friend in Boston back in late 2007 or early 2008. He handed me some CD-ROMs with video files on them and said, "Watch this. You're gonna love it." He was absolutely right. It's safe to say I became obsessed. I actually made a digital mixtape of nearly all the music in Season 1 as a gift for a fellow fan. That's 110 tracks, people!
My short description of the show is that it's a cross between Gossip Girl and Kids, that is silly, meaningless, lighthearted combined with soul-crushing, heart-breaking super depressing. The adults are caricatures, and the teens are completely out of hand. In general, the show is dark. No one is happy. These kids have a non-stop string of seriously heavy problems, and the only way they make it through is with each other. Oh, and drugs, lots and lots of drugs.
While it's not a reality show, it has a realistic feel for the way it takes on heavy issues: homosexuality, parental neglect, pregnancy, a broken education system, to name a few. The music is stellar, and for a while was my primary way of discovering artists. The writing is sharp, with much of it done by actual teenagers, and it's hilarious.
Now MTV looks like it's going to ruin it with a U.S. version of the show, airing in January 2011. Check out this extended trailer and exclusive clip in the player below. It's in multiple parts, so wait through all the segments before continuing.