The home of Critic, Writer and Film-maker: Liam Walters

Screen Daze: Skinning Up

[ Article By: Liam Walters ]

[Originally posted: 21/09/2010]

So it seems like a lot of people like Skins. I myself find it as a bit of a guilty pleasure, but then again, I’ve always been attracted to drama programs. Still, Skins seems to be something unique, as it appeals to us directly as its target audience. It depicts what we’re like as late teens… Or does it?

To be honest, I don’t actually think so. It seems like the stereotypical viewpoint of what we’re like as a generation. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love to go out, get drunk and high as much as the next teen does but… Wait a second… No I don’t.

In fact, I don’t really know anyone who does it on a regular occasion. So where did this all come from. I think the news is to blame personally. It seems that teenagers are always in the news, but not for the right reasons. It’s either because they’re terrorizing a neighbour, or having babies before they even start Year 7.

But that’s what the media does. It mainly focus’ on the negative, which is normally a very small minority of what the generation actually is. But it is because of these people getting the lime light, that our generation is being named in the way that it is.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that there are people who get wasted every night and take drugs every day. I know the reason why I don’t really know these people is because I don’t really go looking for those types of people to associate with, and if I did, I’d probably have been stabbed by now. But from what I see, Skins is not an accurate representation of our generation.

I know it’s a fictitious drama, and isn’t exactly suppose to represent the real life. But then I ask, why is it so popular. What about it draws millions of viewers in every week to watch it. Well, as a self-confessed watcher of Skins, I can say that the acting is actually quite good, and it is well written. But at the same time, so are a lot of shows. So why did Skins break the mould and became one of the shows that came to define our generation.

Well, up to now Skins has had 4 series, with a 5th one soon to come. It has a book released, and there are talks of a Skins feature film. Ask nearly any teenager or young adult and they’ll be able to tell you what Skins in, even if they don’t watch it…

And that’s another thing. There is actually a lot of people who don’t like skins. For this article, I went to look up 2 episodes of Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe. The first one was Series 3 Episode 4. In one section of the show, Stewart Lee talks about how teenagers in TV have changed over the years, and uses skins as an example. The other one was Series 4 Episode 4, which was a Teenagers TV special. Charlie Brooker shows a group of late teenagers a number of shows, one of them being Skins. The teens all liked Skins, but that isn’t where I’m focusing on.

Instead, I looked throughout the comment sections of both videos. The majority of the comments left were that of teenagers, saying that they in fact disliked, or even hated skins. Obviously there will always be the people who dislike the show, along with the people who do like the show, but I did not actually find one comment in either of the videos that actually was in support of Skins.

What’s more, during one of the episode, Charlie Brooker mentions that half of the audience of Skins is over 35. Which absolutely baffles me. If half of its intended target audience dislikes it because its shallow and uninteresting, then why do people who are so far from its target audience like it to the point where they build up half of its actual audience, and if half of its target audience is 35+, then why is it the program to define the generation that over half of it doesn’t even like.

In the end, I asked the question: Why does Skins represent our generation? It’s overly dramatised and half of its intended audience actually hates the show… I guess really, there is no answer. With the media always looking on the negative of our generation, and the show being as popular as it is with us as its intended audience, it seems like it really chose itself to represent us.

Do you agree with me, or think I am talking out my backside? Share you’re own opinions in the comments section, and get your voice heard!


2 responses

  1. Tagged you in my latest post. Here. 🙂

    September 23, 2010 at 09:37

    • Haha, Thanks. I’ll have a go at this later =]

      September 23, 2010 at 11:56

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