Skins recap, episode 5: the show that gets high school right–except when it doesn’t

Skins recap, episode 5: the show that gets high school right–except when it doesn’t

Michelle embraces Stanley (Image: MTV) 

This week’s Skins was all about Stanley. We’re not sure why. Doesn’t it feel like we already know Stanley? He’s goofy, gets food all over himself, loves his best friend’s girl and has a poor relationship with his parents. Oh, and he skips school a lot, which was the kickoff to this week’s action-packed (and yet strangely humdrum) episode. Below, our usual reality roundup, this time including why Esquire magazine needs a refresher course on the teen pack mentality.

FO SHIZ: Skins gets it right

• Michelle makes out with Stanley to get back at Tony. We’re not sure why, but girls and boys have been getting it on with the BFF of the person they like since the beginning of time (or at least since the beginning of Betty and Veronica). Michelle’s move is illogical, yet oh-so-accurate.

• Michelle asks Stanley: “Is this dress too slutty for private school?” referring to the metallic mini she wears to Tony’s choir performance. The answer, of course, is yes. When a girl asks if an outfit is too trampy, the answer is always yes. It’s as though asking somehow gives her permission to attend a stuffy collegiate event looking like Donna Summer’s loose little sister.

• Tony is still obsessed with Tea. Tea is still gay, but Tony, like all high school boys lucky enough to avoid an awkward phase, is motivated almost entirely by the desire to conquer what he cannot have. In this case, a lesbian.

• Stanley tries to forget his troubles by attending a massive, drug-fuelled beach bender, and it comes off as totally in character. We just read Esquire’s assessment of how the characters in Skins compare with real life teens. Author Foster Kamer argues that the show is a “ridiculously absurd approximation” of adolescence because 100 per cent of kids on the show drink while, in reality, only 26.4 per cent of minors drink. He also points out that most of the kids on Skins engage in some kind of drug use, counter to statistical evidence that shows fewer than 30 per cent of teens smoke pot. Thanks, Esquire, but your logic here is flawed. The teens on Skins don’t represent a random sampling—they’re one group of friends. Birds of a feather, anyone? We may be well out of the demographic in question, but if memory serves, almost all the kids who go to boozy beach parties drink. The 74.6 per cent of high schoolers who are teetotalers wouldn’t be hanging out with the Skins gang. Let them get their own show.

BULLSHIZ: Skins gets it wrong

• Tony is a member of a choral group that performs old Stevie Wonder hits. We don’t care how many potential sex targets are in the choir, there is no way he would go to the trouble of attending regular rehearsals. There are far easier ways to get a private school girl’s attention (tongue piercings and tattoos, for example).

• Without warning or explanation, Cadie’s mom has gone from shallow, bikini-wearing beauty queen to caring parent who knows exactly who Stanley is and takes an active part in her daughter’s mental health.

• Also: why is Cadie all of a sudden in a psych ward?