Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Skins: British Degrassi with dubstep and more "It goes there" moments

I'd been seeing Skins screen shots floating on my Tumblr dash for, like, ever and I never knew what it was until a few months ago when I realized I could watch it via Netflix Instant.
Skins is very much like Degrassi: TNG - the tortured youth of today and all the problems they face. What kind of problems? Oh you know, the usual: eating disorders, homosexuality, homophobia, teen pregnancy, parental abandonment, parental loss, getting hit by trucks, RAVES, drugs, alcohol, obession...well, you get the point.
At first, it was a little rough getting into Vol. 1 since each episode introduced you to a specific character but towards the end, after you've been properly introduced and the story can move on, I was hooked.

The first episode introduces you to Tony.

Good-looking (I guess - he's not my type) and he's dating the popular girl (I guess Michelle is our equivalent to the popular girl). He parties and he's very open with his sexuality - which I think is great. The downside: he's kind of a douche (obvs). He calls his gal "Nips" and keeps telling her that one tit is bigger than the other, making her feel like crap. He also takes advantage of ALL of his friends - which is not cool. Arrogant prick.

Then there's Cassie.

She's flawed. She has an eating disorder, she attempts suicide (later on in the season) and she's one of my favourite characters. She's like a nymph. Everything is "cool" and dreamy to her. She always has a very breathy voice and she seems at ease but you can tell she's hurting all the time. You instantly want to hold her and make sure her world never crashes down on her.

Next up is Jal.

She's the Liberty of the group. She's in band, she's pretty straight laced and I would say she's the responsible one of the whole group. I like her but I like her more in Vol. 2...(can't give too much away)

Next is Chris.

He is, without a doubt, my favourite guy (next to Maxxie). He's so happy-go-lucky it's infectious. But - we meet him after he wakes up to find out that his mother has abandoned him. What does he do? He takes the money she's left him and goes on a bender, resulting in a gigantic party at his house. You gotta love him but he needs help...And you can't help but love him even more when he starts sleeping with his teacher (who reminds me of Katy Perry)!

Here we come to Sid.

Tony's best friend. And he's in love with Tony's gal, Michelle. But there's one small problem - Tony has been trying to hook Sid with with Cassie (who is in love with him) but he won't really give in so easily, right away. But Sid has other problems: Tony takes advantage of him a little too much (obvs) and he's failing in school. Not to mention his mother is leaving his father and his father has crazy high expectations of him. Sid is likeable with all his flaws and I like him even more in Vol. 2.

Up next the power duo of Maxxie and Anwar

Maxxie is one of my favourite guys on the show. He's cool, he dresses well and he's gay - which I guess would make him the Marco of the group. His best friend is Anwar (played by Slumdog Millionaire's Dev Patel). They're pretty inseperable - that is, until Anwar discovers Maxxie has a bit of a crush on him and he gets all weirded out because he's afraid Maxxie will "gay him". Through it all, they go through some pretty intense shit and they make it out in the end. Their situation gets kind of funnier in Vol. 2 when Maxxie's stalker starts sleeping with Anwar just have to watch.

And now, we're at Michelle.

She's kind of average looking - which is a good thing because that makes her more relatable. What can I say about her? She's a party girl, she's Tony's gal, Sid's in love with her and she's BFFs with Jal and Cassie. Her mother marries too quickly and that makes her home life a little too unstable. Tony treats her like crap, too. Tony and Maxxie get all touchy feely on a school trip to Russia with Michelle pretending to be asleep in the same room. She sees this as the last straw and breaks up with Tony. BUT like most girls in love, she's still not over him and in the finale, something happens between her and Tony that is totally tragic and beautiful at the same time - but it makes it hard on their relationship in Vol. 2 and Sid might have his dream come true with Michelle.

We can't forget about Effy, though!

Effy is Tony's younger sister. She barely says anything and yet, she's one of the best characters on the show. She parties HARD and in her episode, she parties so hard, she gets quite fucked up and if the guys had the chance, they probably would have left her for dead. Thank goodness Tony showed up when he did... Effy has it rough in Vol. 2 but she still maintains her secret party life - which I love because she dresses so well!

Vol. 1 ends in a big way - which I don't really want to reveal here if you haven't seen it but it will definitely leave you breathless for Vol. 2. One thing that I appreciate about Skins is that it's so raw. They cuss, they fight, they get naked, they have sex, they drink, they do drugs and it just feels a little more real than Degrassi ever did. There might not be a cocaine nosebleed in the style of Craig but there definitely are some blackouts - which kind of scared me. And one thing I really do appreciate is the music. The kids rave. They party with glowsticks, pills and tabs. Every time they go to a party, I wish I was there too! Parties made me so happy when I was their age (whoa - I'm old) and I want that to come back in a major way. It feels like it's on the cusp of fully returning to the good old rave days of the '90's but it's not quite there yet... I thought it would be close with the MTV version of Skins but I'm not really interested in seeing that so I'm not sure if that would generate any intrest in rave culture. It's all "scene" or "cyber" now. In any case, I'm having a lot of fun watching it and Vol. 2 has really stepped it up since Vol. 1. I'm officially hooked and I can't get enough!

Love and kisses,