Skins Skined: Setting and Environment

This is the start of a long series of posts about the application of situations in the TV show Skins to normal life. Today, I discuss the impetus of everything I will write about, the environment of Skins.

Skins focuses on a group of coming-of-age teenagers (16-18). Each generation lasts two series, with the characters of that series written out after the end of the second series. We are now half-way through the second generation.

16 to 18 year olds generally begin to taste the freedom of life. So it seems natural for them to experiment with the wonders that have been unavailable to them, such as drugs, alcohol, sex, clubbing, etc… Add to that the frivolity and the diversity of Bristol, and there is half the recipe of what drives Skins.

The other half, is the mix of characters. Let’s take a look at Effy, who we’ve seen across the two generations. When we first see her in Series 1 (Ep. 8) she is already into the drinking, smoking and dangerous behaviour. By the time we get to Series 3, this earns her “queen bee” status (more on this later). She is seen as the one who wants to break the rules (supported by the rather interesting introduction by the teachers in Ep. 1) and rather ‘smart’.

Effy’s ‘best friend’ is Pandora. In Series 3, she wants to experiment with drugs and alcohol, and does so with interesting effects. By placing a ‘smart’ person next to a not so ‘smart’ person, well you understand.

Next time, I’ll discuss the ‘gang’ and the subculture of the ‘queen bee’.

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