Monday, July 06, 2009

life begins at the hop

remember when you could just get fucked up and dance away your problems?

that's what the kids on UK teensploitation drama skins do ... which is one of the reasons it's my latest shameless UK tee-vee fascination. it's all tender young things (see most of the series 1-2 cast, above) trying to sort out life while they drink, drug, party, shag, snog, mope, fight, cry, and accessorize -- you know, the usual dressing up in costumes and playing silly games that youth is heir to.

most of them are in college, which is sort of like high school here, but different. in the first two series, the alpha male is the kid in the lime green shirt at the top of the above photo; his name's tony, and the redhead pressed against his chest is michelle, his GF, with whom tony's BFF sid, the kid in the watch cap and specs, is also in love.

but sid's real soul mate is cassie, the blond girl at far right, a zany free spirit with a bunch of problems, mainly an eating disorder. (the actress, hannah murray, is pretty great ... she was one of the many rumored to be the next doctor who companion, but that gig went to scottish lovely karen gillan ... and that's OK, 'cause i think hannah would be better suited to playing a time lord -- specifically, romana -- instead.) the topless boy pressed against her is maxie, the prettiest gay boy dancer you ever did see, who's one of the more sensible characters. but he and his beffie anwar (to the left of tony) struggle to remain friends b/c anwar's muslim and thinks homosexuality is wrong. the girl in the orange shirt is jal -- a talented musician who's quick to lend a sympathetic ear to everyone's drama, even though her own troubles get shoved to the side. (not pictured is chris, a fun-loving fuck-up who forms a surprising bond with jal ... and has a fling with his psych teacher.)

on the downside, there's way too much puking, and, while some of the music is great, a lot of it is relentlessly emo. especially in series 3, which has a different cast:

i liked the first two series better, partly b/c tony was more a charming, conniving borderline sociopath, where the latest alpha male, cook, is a psychopath with anger-management issues -- and, while different episodes focus on different characters, the alpha male does tend to be in a lot of them. as alpha males will do. cook (third from left above) really got on my nerves, and most of the boys in S3 were rubbish, although the girls were pretty cool.

anyway. i'm not really one of those people who thinks that life is high school over'n'over again (lawd forbid!), but something about skins does resonate. yes, i kind of love living vicariously through the crazy party scenes where they drink and down whatever they can get their hands on, then dance in a gang at the discotheque, and never suffer a hangover ('cause those days are gone). but i think what attracts me the most is the ... fronting. they all act like they know what they're doing but often haven't got a clue. i feel like that a lot. still.

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