‘Skins’ Puts Its Clothes Back On

MTV's "Skins." They're so cute in their matching leather jackets.

Last week I struggled with my feelings for Skins. The show I started watching to comment on the media storm was taking baby steps toward capturing the intimacy and poignancy of teenagers, and I found myself grudgingly looking forward to this week’s episode.

Next week won’t be so lucky, considering last night’s continuation was a major disappointment (it’s hard for me to even say that–I had enough expectations of Skins that it let me down).

The show continues with its format of following one character through the issues of their life so that we might become acquainted with the entire cast of the show. This week it was Chris, the crazy wild child that we’ve basically seen none of so far. It was a weird choice for only the third episode–Michelle, Stanley, or even Cadie would have been more anticipated choices.

He spends almost the entire episode with a visible erection (he’s a pill popper) and at one point walks naked down the street. We get a full view from the back (sorry, PTC). His mom has left him–for good it seems–and we learn a little about his father’s replacement family and his dead older brother, Peter. The show doesn’t come close to making us care.

There is a single intimate moment where Chris establishes a confidence in Daisy beside his brother’s grave, and for a show that is supposed to be all about sex, they don’t capitalize on their moments at all. Maybe sometime down the road they will, but right now it feels like season one (probably the only season there will be) is going to be a huge pile of establishing backstory.

Not surprisingly, the only interesting aspects of the episode are the few hinting back at Tony and Tea. Tony finds it hilarious when Stanley catches a look at girlfriend Michelle’s boobs but huffs in jealousy and anger when Tea exposes hers to the group. He asks her for a moment to talk, but she smoothly avoids him, radiating apathy again, only now we can see past her.

Next week looks like it will be from Cadie’s point of view, a better choice than Chris, but if Skins were smart television, it would finish off the love-triangle and do an episode from Michelle’s point of view. You can’t hide your only compelling story line in the background.

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