Skins: Complete Series 1 [DVD] 
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Skins follows a group of teenagers living on the
bright side, who get high, get drunk, get laid
and get up for their A levels. These kids really
grab life by the balls and then give it a twirl.
One of the more impressive television hits of recent times, Skins burst onto TV screens at the beginning of 2007, and in short space built itself an impressive, dedicated following.
Skins is set in and around the lives of a group of friends who live in Bristol. In their late teens, and each at sixth form college, this compelling drama then follows the various problems and challenges that its characters face.
What stands Skins apart from many other shows that have tackled similar ground is the sheer down-to-earth of it. The first series dedicates its individual episodes mainly to a certain character each, although that doesnt stop the assorted story arcs of the others from building too. And amidst them all is some terrific acting, quality writing, and gritty, grounded drama, albeit not without humour.
Given the age of the characters within Skins, its clearly a show skewed towards a reasonably young late-teen demographic, and thats going to leave some who sample the programme a little cold. But theres still little getting away from the fact that this first series is some achievement, and the many who do embrace the show arent going to be disappointment by this terrific DVD collection. --Jon FosterSee all Product description
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The series bills itself as 'realistic'. In some ways this is misleading as a lot of the situations portrayed are reasonably extreme, and many of the characters don't rise far above their stereotypical origins, but I did find the dialogue and attitudes to be more realistic than in many teen dramas. There's plenty of nudity, swearing, drinking and (mostly soft) drug use. A lot of the themes tackled have been seen before - pupil/student romance, eating disorders, parental expectations versus young drive, unfair parental rejection of kids - and the show doesn't exactly break new ground but for the most part it's fun to watch.
The series succeeds best when it treads the fine line between drama and comedy without falling too far on either side. Episode 3 (Jal) is rather dull and self-important; Episode 6 (Anwar & Maxxie) is a totally unrealistic farce which is funny enough but for the most part lacks credibility. However I did enjoy some of the psychological darkness that is introduced mostly through the complex character of Tony (excellently played by Nicholas Hoult). Tony is goodlooking, highly intelligent and greatly respected by his friends but his arrogance and hubris come to the fore as he takes advantage of his position to manipulate his friends for his own ends and starts manifesting some real sociopathic tendencies. Episodes 5-8 in particular are strong in this regard.
Given that this character is so strong, it's a shame that many of the supporting characters - in particular Maxxie and Anwar - aren't given a lot of time and character development. However, the principal focus of this series is on a love-square between four characters (Michelle loves Tony, Sid loves Michelle, Cassie loves Sid, Tony loves himself) and this reaches a reasonably satisfactory conclusion, so hopefully Series 2 will give some of the other characters a bit more space.
Many of the actors are first-timers, and most acquit themselves well although there are a few who don't quite convince. The adult parts are, for the most part, exaggerated parodies but some fine actors fill them with aplomb. One of my favourite characters was the male teacher who tries so desperately to be cool and can't see how hopelessly awful he appears.
I am saddened to hear that the music has been changed for the DVD release. One of the show's strongest suits was its use of music - generally English, drawn from a number of eras, and more edgy than the plaintive soundalike Indy crap that suffuses American teen series. God knows why they would tinker with such a vital piece of the show.
I'm a lot older than the target demographic but found this good fun overall.
This is an excellent production which focuses on the lives of Bristol, South West living friends, good-looking, smooth-talking Tony (Nicholas Hoult), his best mate Sid (Mike Bailey), and all their other pals and quirky characters they meet in life. Each character, a highly interesting individual, is given an episode devoted in their lives, loves and conflicts, and we are able to understand why they are as they are as we are gradually given an insight into their home lives and back stories. The young actors do a really wonderful job in portraying them. Some good guest stars pop-up throughout the series, including Sarah Lancashire and Danny Dyer.
Many issues are dealt with 'Skins', touching upon all of the typical situations that most teenagers have experienced, from bullying to substance abuse, making it highly relatable and completely watchable. I couldn't wait for the next episode as I came to care about these kids and was eager to see what antics they were to get up to next. Once again, us Brits showed them how to make a gritty and engaging drama.
This three disc DVD set contains the complete nine episodes of series one, broadcast on E4 originally between January to March 2007, and lots of extra bonus features including 'Ancillary storyline' for every ep, video diaries and the 'Director's cut trailer'.
Underage sex, drug abuse, violence, and ignorant parents the list is endless. Praise the creators for making something so shocking and equally colourful.
A trend has developed in cinema and TV over the last decade. Making audio visual material darker and edgier is almost a guarantee for success. The Bourne trilogy has surpassed the Bond saga, each Harry Potter film develops into a grizzly tale and the Doctor Who reboot isn't afraid to encode violent concepts and dramatic deaths.
Skins takes full advantage by encoding its dark message and making it meaningful and a stab at modern culture, but also slapping it in the face with some collected style comedy.
The first episode for example sees Tony (Nicholas Holt) waking up with the best set of duvet covers you will ever see and seeing his middle aged neighbour stare at him from over the road, completely naked. After his sister Effy returns home Tony ignores the abuse he receives from father Harry Enfield to start his day organising a scheme to get his best friend laid.
Much more mayhem ensues for the rest of the series. A personal favourite of mine was Cassie (Hannah Murray) and her shamed perception of herself being anorexic and her inability to get help from other people.
Skins has worked so well because it captures that unique personality of teenagers. That sense of insecurity, that bowing to peer pressure and the inability to say what is really on your mind.
From a cast aged 18 and younger the dramatic performances and experimental humour are beautifully demonstrated. Chris (Joseph Dempsie) is the wildest party animal unafraid to try new drugs and is easily one of the funniest. His unashamed love for his teacher is kind of sweet and up until his particular episode we see little of his dark past and thanks to his dramatic telling story of his brother, we are totally unprepared for what is to follow.
I honestly can hardly fault this programme. I've heard some find the relationships a bit woolly and coincidental but I disagree, particularly after seeing the final episode of series 2.
Whilst there are not many special features there are funny moments with the cast.
Whilst there has been three series with an upcoming series due later this month (January 2010) this stands out to be the funniest and because of the raw integrity it contains, is certainly the most unique.
This is simply brilliant entertainment. All the while writing I've tried to draw comparisons to another comedy drama like Skins provoking controversial issues whilst maintaining a strong amount of comedy and spirited acting, and I can't think of one.
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