Skins recap, episode 2: the show that gets high school right—except when it doesn’t

Skins recap, episode 2: the show that gets high school right—except when it doesn’t

Left to right: Tea, Daisy and Michelle (Image: MTV)

In only its second week, Skins—the Toronto-shot remake of a hit BBC Channel 4 series—is already the biggest tempest on a television since Janet Jackson’s nip slip. After last week’s premiere, the Parents Television Council has petitioned the U.S. government to investigate the show for breaking child pornography laws. Such advertisers as Taco Bell, H&R Block, GM, Wrigley and Subway have all pulled their support, citing racy content. Even Denise Richards has called the show “disgusting,” and she was married to Charlie Sheen.

This week’s episode focused on Tea, an out-but-not-entirely-out cheerleader who is searching for a partner who can match her self-diagnosed awesomeness. Tea meets a girl at a club (a club that makes us wish we were a 17-year-old lesbian) but later decides that she is too boring. See, everyone is too boring for Tea, except Tony. But wait, Tony’s a guy—and so goes another episode of Skins. Below, our roundup of what the show got right and wrong when it comes to the reality of adolescence.


• Tony says he dates Michelle because she is “the hottest.” Shallow, sure, but that’s kind of his thing. And be honest: who among us doesn’t remember the “hottest girl in high school,” either because you wanted to be with her or just be her? You know how parents on TV shows always say that the prettiest girl stays home on a Saturday night because everyone assumes she’s already got a date? Well, that’s a load of crap. Guys like Tony date girls like Michelle.

• No doubt Tea’s make out with Tony will provoke some discussion among fans, given that she’s gay and he’s, well, a dude. Still we’re giving it our stamp of reality approval because both characters are so into themselves that the brief face action was all about vanity: Tony because the sexy lesbian is into him and Tea because Michelle might be the “hottest,” but she can still score Michelle’s boyfriend.


• Tea masturbates to a picture of Audrey Hepburn. Apparently she’s less a teenage lesbian than a time-travelling gay man with a Holly Golightly fetish. We’re thinking this photo would have been more appropriate.

• At one point, Tony makes a Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction joke even though he was 10 when Nipplegate happened. Of course, based on the worldliness of the Skins kids, 10 is the new 35.

• Michelle confides to Tea that Tony hasn’t exactly been jumping her bones lately, and wistfully explains how you have to work on relationships to keep the fire alive. Nicely observed, Michelle, but isn’t this what disenchanted 40-year-olds discuss at book club, not what oversexed teens talk about in the high school caf?

• Why does Stanley always have food on his face? He’s 17, not seven. If he’s even the slightest bit concerned with losing his virginity, maybe he should be sure that this mug isn’t covered with chocolate or gravy.

This post was updated to correct the original U.K. network. Toronto Life regrets the error. (January 25, 2011, 4:38 p.m.)