One of my most favorite television shows ended last Monday, after seven seasons, 61 episodes and an undetermined number of broken hearts.
Skins was a youth-oriented British television show that premiered more than six years ago. Divided into three generations with two seasons each, the show tackled family problems, sexuality, drugs and a plethora of all things depressing and beautiful at the same time. For its final season, six episodes divided into two parts showed an update on the lives of three of its major characters.
I like Skins because aside from my anglophilic tendencies, I liked how the show, for the most part, managed to tell the story of young people through their own lens, in a manner that was both honest and irreverent. Whenever I talk about Skins to my friends, I usually blurt out my frustration with the kind of teen-oriented shows we have in the Philippines. Teen shows in the Philippines are written from the perspective of condescending adult writers, who reduce young characters into annoying stereotypes with raging hormones. A huge part of the storyline involves a cheesy love story peppered with cliches and shallow concerns of the supporting caricatures. It’s like a boy meets girl then boy meets another girl and the other gets jealous then they go to an out-of-town trip (usually the beach) where they reveal to each other how absolutely pathetic they all are.
Skins is different. It shows real issues like anorexia, cancer, broken families, homosexuality, drugs are other real things that confront the youth. It’s dark, but it’s a breath of fresh air.
But before I spontaneously combust from this inappropriate rage, let’s take a look at my six most favorite characters (there are about 40) from the series.
6. Jal Fazer (Larissa Wilson, Seasons 1 and 2)
Jal is probably the most level-headed person in the entire series, and she’s the metaphorical hand that knocks some sense into the troubled heads of her friends. Jal is a perfect girl, but not too perfect that she’s boring. She is also a strong woman with brass balls.
5. Maxxie Oliver (Mitch Hewer, Seasons 1 and 2)
Maxxie is the free-spirited gay guy, who has no problem admitting that he is a slut. Despite such, he has a life that’s generally more upright than most of his friends’, and he confronts his bullies through fierce kissing.
4. Cassie Ainsworth (Hannah Murray, Seasons 1, 2 and 7)
The insincere-sounding ‘Oh, wow’ expression is probably the most notable takeaway from Cassie’s character. She’s a girl with an eating disorder who throws all of her problems out of the window because she doesn’t want to confront the fact that she’s fucked up. She’s beautiful but she doesn’t know it and she’s brilliant without intending to be.
3. Tony Stonem (Nicholas Hoult, Seasons 1 and 2)
Tony is the epitome of a cool guy, probably the life peg of more than half of Skins fans. Tony is smart, good-looking and manipulative. When he gets bored he makes out with his gay friend for fun and he doesn’t give a flying fuck because why should he.
2. Chris Miles (Joe Dempsie, Seasons 1 and 2)
Chris is a fellatio-loving junkie who is fun-loving to a reckless extent. Chris’s sob story is quite a sad one, and his life proves that when things are bad, it’s going to get worse.
1. Effy Stonem (Kaya Scodelario, Seasons 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7)
Effy is the only character in the series to appear in five out of seven seasons, and rightfully so. She’s Tony’s little sister, but she manages to step out of his shadow in her own brilliant ways. She knows what she wants and is shameless in getting it. She fucks things up every once in a while, but she owns up to it with an impish smile. She’s the whore with a heart of gold, and I miss her already.