‘Skins’ Gets It Right

Daniel Flaherty as Stanley Lucerne on MTV's "Skins."

Well, Skins has finally done it. For the first time since Tea’s episode, we had an installment that did (almost) all the right things. Don’t freak out–it’s still not great television or anything. But if Skins can continue down the path it started last night, it will have secured a place as what it is meant to be–a satisfying guilty pleasure.

The show is still not rushing into anything, but the setup is a good thing. If this show ever does stay on the air for more than one season, it will have laid the appropriate groundwork for real story arcs to emerge. My complaints over the past few episodes have been numerous and wide-reaching: the kids are not strong enough in their dialogue yet, issues don’t translate from one week to the next or the kids don’t suffer realistic  consequences for their actions. Some of those issues were righted this episode and some were not, but the most significant problem with Skins–that episodes spend entirely too much time on their featured character–was fixed this week.

This episode was undeniably about Stanley. We got a good sense of his home life, his issues, his feelings, and his struggles. We could tell what mattered to him. That said, we got to see plenty of Tony, Tea, Cadie and Michelle as well. Not only did everyone get screen time, but we also got a sense of what everyone was struggling with this episode. Cadie and Chris’s episodes were simply boring profiles. Stanley’s made this a TV show.

His familial problems were real and not overdone at all. There are dads who think like that and moms who enable them. Eventually, it all exploded around them (literally and figuratively). Michelle’s overemotional reactions to the drama in this episode are just the right level of crazy and self-loathing for a teenage girl as well. And any little hint I can get of Tony and Tea make me refuse to write this show off. The tiny doses they give us are frustrating, but perhaps the writers know exactly what they’re doing–keep us wanting more until the big payoff. From next week’s preview, it could be sooner than I had expected.

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One thought on “‘Skins’ Gets It Right

  1. just one comment. the issues don’t transfer because, if you look at the UK skins, it starts out by introducing the characters, so some of the issues will get left behind for a bit. I agree that the dialogue is a little weak, but I’ve only really noticed that between Tea and Tony. Could it be that alot of these guys (writers, actors) are fresh meat? I disagree about Tea and Tony though. If they end up in love it will frustrate the hell out of me.

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