Skins Season 1

Skins Season 1
Watching this North American remake of the hit UK series Skins is almost déjà vu. With practically identical characters and scenarios, this version is pretty much the same despite being less raunchy and controversial. Skins, however, remains a teenage drama. Produced by MTV, it follows a group of rambunctious and rebellious teenagers who have a lot of sex and do a great deal of drugs, alcohol and partying while having to deal with life's tribulations of growing up, dealing with parents and getting by in school. Its ten-episode season starts off with Tony (James Newman), the cocky and unfaithful boyfriend of Michelle (Rachel Thevenard), who's obviously too bright and smart for him. Stanley (Daniel Flaherty), on the other hand, is Ton‎y's sloppy yet endearing best friend who's not-so-secretly in love with Michelle. He's a virgin, and to Tony's disappointment, tries to lose his virginity before he turns 17. Sound familiar? Rounding out the group of friends are Cadie (Britne Oldford), a bipolar, depressed and anorexic girl who's sent to help Stanley lose his virginity but ends up having feelings for him; Chris (Jesse Carere), the party animal of the group who ends up having sex with the teacher; Daisy (Camille Cresencia-Mills), who often has to fix everyone else's problems; Abbud (Ron Mustafaa), a Muslim who's not particularly faithful to his religion; and Eura (Eleanor Zichy), an unnecessary addition to the cast who plays Tony's silent sister. The biggest and freshest change is Tea Marvelli (played by Sofia Black-D'Elia), a smart and confident lesbian who starts questioning her sexuality after sleeping with Tony on two separate occasions. She's by far the most interesting (not to mention one of the better actors in the group); it's just a shame the writers didn't spend enough time developing new characters like hers. While child pornography claims, vulgar behaviour and offensive language may have been why the North American version was cancelled after one season, it's hard not to compare it to the UK version when even the writers don't even make much of an effort to switch things up. Despite a few plot changes and minor character additions, the characters are one-dimensional, have practically no redeemable qualities and are quite poorly portrayed by the cast. With original writers Bryan Elsley and Jamie Britain involved, they could have easily strayed away from making a poorer quality, watered down version of something they completed four years ago. Considering that the UK version recently wrapped up its sixth season with a third generation of characters, this series had so much potential had it chosen not to tweak something that has already been made to relate to North American teens. While it doesn't have many redeemable qualities, it would have been nice to see this version renewed for one more season. With different storylines, greater character development and better acting, Skins (U.S.) could have been something worth watching. No extras are included on the disc. (eOne)