Skins, Vol. 1
DVD | Box Set
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Skins: Volume 1 (DVD)
Skins. A brand new British drama follows a group of raucous teenagers who get high, get drunk, get laid and get up for their A levels. They really grab life by the balls and give it a twirl. Tony (Nicholas Hoult, About a Boy) is the best looking boy in town. His sidekick Sid is less successful with the ladies, much less until bonkers anorexic case Cassie turns up. But Sid's in love with Michelle, the school fittie, who goes out with Tony, of course. Then there's sassy musician Jal, party animal Chris, Maxie and best mate Anwar, who manages to combine the pills, the thrills and the spills with his faith, well sort of.]]>
Sex, drugs, yearning, frustration--all the ingredients of adolescence are made freshly vivid in the first series of this topnotch BBC series. Skins follows a gang of British schoolmates, including Tony (Nicholas Hoult, About a Boy), whose alpha-male cockiness starts to curdle into nasty self-absorption, gradually alienating his insecure girlfriend Michelle (April Pearson) and best friend Sid (Mike Bailey); Anwar (Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire), who struggles to balance his Muslim faith and his friendship with Maxxie (Mitch Hewer, Brittania High), who's gay; musical prodigy Jal (Larissa Wilson), who resents that her father favors her brothers over her, while Cassie (Hannah Murray) and Chris (Joseph Dempsie) try to escape reality with anorexia and pharmaceuticals. Skins could have been just a catalogue of hot-button issues, but sharp writing, fluid direction, and a charismatic and deeply engaging crew of young actors make this one of the best shows about teenagers ever made. Each episode centers on a different kid--a character who was never more than peripheral or a stereotype in previous episodes suddenly bursts into three dimensions, expanding your grasp of their flailing, hungry world. Divorce and the loose mores of contemporary life have left these kids with few restrictions; watching them slam into problems they're ill-equipped to handle makes for riveting television. Forget the airbrushed, designer-dressed kids of Dawson's Creek or Gossip Girl. Skins is both more real and more exciting. The extra features on Skins - Vol. 1 includes a series of video diaries by the characters that feel a bit forced, but the "ancillary storylines"--mostly deleted scenes--are more enjoyable, particularly a series of interviews with a hapless career counselor. --Bret Fetzer
- Nine episodes on three discs (due to music clearance issues, the final scene of episode 9 has been edited for DVD release)
- Video diaries
- Ancillary storylines
- Music video
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the strides forward this show makes in the teenage dramedy genre can be compared to that of 'freaks and geeks.' it is a very different type of show from 'freaks and geeks', but like that show, it is full of the love and pain that goes along with growing up. in addition, it is truly funny.
one caveat- this american dvd release does not include the final scene in the finale because they could not get the rights to the song that plays during the seen. this scene is not required to understand the finale, but it is awesome. look up "wild world skins" on youtube to see this final scene. otherwise, if you have an all-region dvd player, just buy the british release of the dvd.
The program centers around a group of teenage friends living in England. They smoke, they drink, they do drugs, they party, they have sex. They do what teenagers around the world do (or more often, especially with the sex part, merely wish they were doing). Pretty standard fare for most teenage dramas, actually, except that since this is British TV, they don't censor everything; you actually get to see bits of the sex, hear lots of the swearing and see quite a bit of naked flesh.
Nothing like a bit of titilation.
But had the show been nothing but titilation, it wouldn't have kept my interest. From the very first episode, I found myself really drawn into the storylines, and coming to like most of the characters. I started to care about them and their lives.
Consider for example the character of Tony. He seems initially to be just a total wanker, but as the show goes you see that he actually has some layers to him, ones he doesn't know are there.
Or consider Anwar, a reasonably devout Muslim who finds himself torn between faith and friendship due to the fact that his best friend, Maxxie, is gay.
Or consider Cassie, an anorexic girl who is falling rapidly in love with Sid, who happens to be in love with Michelle, who happens to be Tony's girlfriend. Who Tony might be in love with the viewer is welcome to guess, though I'm inclined to suspect it's both Michelle and Sid...
Or consider Jal, the sweet young clarinet player. Or Chris, a wonderful young man with more teeth than brain cells. Or Michelle. Or Maxxie. Or Sid. Any of the characters, all the of characters, are fascinating.
The show isn't without its imperfections, of course. It's a bit exaggerated and unrealistic, but who cares? Most TV is. On the other hand, "Skins" is daring, entertaining, effed-up and wonderfully brilliant! What other show would've given such a "WTF?!" ending to the first series as this one did?
"Skins" isn't for everyone, but I loved it, and can't wait to own it on DVD!
*** UPDATE ***
So amazingly I got the DVDs today, the day before the street date. I won't tell if you won't tell. :) Because of this, I can answer all the questions we've been wondering. Well, most of them, anyhow. I don't know if the music was left intact from the broadcasts cause I never really paid attention.
Anyhow, the DVDs are not the episodes as they were broadcast here in the USA. They are not censored for language or nudity, which is a plus for those of me who like to see these sorts of things as they were intended!
There is one thing that was completely cut out from the DVDs however. At the end of the last episode of series one, there was this very odd, very surreal moment where the cast, more or less in character, were singing Cat Stevens' song "Wild World". Due to copyright issues that entire scene is cut. You get the moments right before and right after, but the scene itself is gone. Happily that's what the YouTube is for and if you go there, you can see the last scene as it was meant to be.
Sadly there's no commentary on the DVDs, but you do get the video diaries and ancillary storylines the Brits got, so that's all good. Overall, a package well worth getting your hands on!
The characters from Skins really come to life, and each one (well Maxxie really gets the short end of the stick in Season 1 but all the others...) get a thorough character examination. You know what they love, what they hate, and you'd be suprised how Skins skirts the predictable checkbox character profile.
I begrudgingly watched the first episode, and about 30 minutes in I was hooked. I made it halfway through Season 1 in a single night because it really hooks you on what is going to happen next.
I also find myself applauding the writers and directors because they seem bound to follow the story wherever it leads, no matter which characters, come, go, die, live... lead character or not, they are all subject to the will of the plotline.
As for it's US appeal... it is going to be a bit shocking to those who aren't familiar with British TV. It's certainly not for kids, and most Americans would consider in inappropriate for teens as well. If it were a movie in the US it would be rated R for sure. That being said the graphic content is organic for the most part and belongs in the plot. For the most part it's got enough mainstream appeal for the target audience on either side of the pond.
I'm so glad I listened to my friends and gave it a try! I think you will be too!