Here is the thing. You probably were disappointed by last night’s premiere of US “Skins.” It seemed incredibly familiar. Because, well, it was incredibly familiar. It was an almost word-for-word, shot-for-shot recreation of the first UK “Skins” episode. Same story, different accents. I know, what fuckery is this? But hold on, kiddies, things get really different really fast. And that difference is Tea. She is the new characters, the replacement for Maxxie. And besides being a girl instead of a boy, she is a lesbian. Yeah, now you’re interested.
Tea gets the spotlight in the second episode next week, which is good because you’ll want to see a lot more of her. No, not like that. Actress Sofia Black D’Elia is, um, I don’t know how old she is but it sure feels illegal. Still, I know you’re an impatient lot. So, do you want to meet Tea now?
those questions. As Tea says: “You want to know what we do, right? What goes where? Who licks what? So tedious. I screw girls. So what?”
The way the US “Skins” has been marketed is as a non-stop party of pills and whipped cream. Girls drenched in alcohol. Girls drenched in boys. Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. This is MTV, people. It has been, quite, frankly, an enormous turn off. But people tuning in for non-stop boning are going to be disappointed – at least by the subsequent three episodes I’ve seen. In fact, it’s a classic case of “Skins” bait ‘n’ switch. Lure them in with the salaciousness, then hit them over the head with sagaciousness.
Certainly the show can seem unsophisticated at times, a symptom of its continual grand experiment of using actual adolescent writers and letting them find their own voices onscreen. The edges aren’t polished, sometimes the seams show. But it’s early. In fact, I’d say the US kiddies have actually worked hard to make the show less sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll than its British origins. Some of that of course is a concession to the censors, those unwelcome pilgrims perched on all of our shoulders. But I’d even go on a limb and say the episodes I’ve seen have been a little, well, slow. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This isn’t CW-like plot progression where people are kidnapped, fall into a coma and turn into vampires and back all in 42-minutes.
My only question is, will those lured in by the promise of easy sex and free drugs stay to explore the sometimes messy, sometimes absurd, sometimes poignant inner lives of the American teenager? OK, I have one more question, if a bunch of teenagers can write a really good lesbian TV character, why can’t more adults follow suit?