Review for Skins: Series 4
Skins is one of the best teen-based dramas to come out of the UK in a long time and when you look at an episode of this and then look at something like Hollyoaks, you really wonder why they bother at all?
If you have only watched the first two series of Skins you may be thinking 'Wait! Who are all these people? Where is...?' Yes, in a unique way, Skins shed all their characters from the first two series and are now focusing on a brand new set of misfits. I like this idea as it means the stories are always fresh and even if it isn't by seeing it through another character it adds a new dimension. It will be interesting to see if this is a trend that catches on and if Skins Series Five starts with a host of new characters again.
These characters include the 'Three Musketeers' James, Freddie and JJ who are the best friends dynamic of the group, Emily and Katie who are twins, although Katie is incredibly homophobic and Emily is a lesbian and then of course we have Effy who is the sister of the main character Tony from the first two series who during this one is seen more or less turning into a manic depressive and has been placed in a psychiatric hospital for treatment. Her episode (Seven) is one of the best of the series, and in fact of the entire run of the show and shows just how good an actress Kaya Scodelario is. The episodes in general range from your typical taboos, from lesbianism, to drugs and though there are some dark moments there are some brilliant moments of comedy that just undercuts all this and stops it being just another dreary British drama. All eight episodes are brilliantly written and performed and the way the characters seem to weave in and out of each episode is masterful to watch and I would have loved to have heard or seen more about how the actual series was written and constructed. However, sadly the extras don't provide this.
Commentaries on episodes 1, 4, 7 are nice, but I always hate it when TV shows only do a select few episodes and not the full series. A collection of extra stories, some in the form of animation and some which are obviously deleted scenes and really they should have been some indication as to what you would be watching as it is a little odd to say the least. However, one involving Thomas an JJ having to perform customer service situations in the form of ET, Superman, Harry Potter and Hannibal Lector during an interview for the local cinema is just pure genius. The behind the scenes is a collection of small looks at particular episodes and though it is nice that they do this and you can see the progression of the development throughout the series, I did find it a little odd. Finally and rather bizarrely they have a huge amount of trailers featuring various characters which is a nice idea and really benefits from the 'play all' function.
Skins Series Four is a great drama and though it doesn't feel as fresh as it did during the first series, it is still one of the best dramas to come out of the UK in a long time.