Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Mother's Day Treat

With Mother's Day winding down, if you're feeling a little bit underwhelmed, I have the perfect solution for you: watch the British TV show Skins.

Whether you're a mother or a child, this show is guaranteed to make you appreciate your loved ones. Skins is excuse the phrase, the mother of all teen dramedies.

I have a not-so-secret secret: teen shows are my guilty pleasure. I guess I just have a soft spot for over-the-top story lines. As a kid, I was really into Saved By the Bell. As a college student, I moved on the Degrassi, which blew my mind because it seemed so much more topical than SBTB, I mean school shooting? Whoa, that shit got real. Then last year, my friend Mike introduced to me to Skins, the show that is probably best known for launching the career of Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel. This show, with its nudity, graphic sex and drug scenes, among other you-can't-see-do-that-on-American-TV moments, makes Degrassi look like preschool programming.

Watch a Skins mini-marathon and you will feel both emotionally drained and also, you will gain a whole new appreciation for everything in your life. Now in its fourth season, the show follows two sets of schoolmates (the first two seasons focus one group who graduates and leaves the show, and seasons three and four feature a new set of friends). Each episode plays out like a train wreck. There's usually a high point for the character the episode is based on followed by some sort of cringworthy moment. You can't take your eyes of off it. You NEED to know what happens next.

The reason these kids have ridiculous lives is because they run around wild. For the most part, their parents really could care less and it's the emotional scarring their families have caused them which serve as the catalyst for their (often) selfish actions.

In the spirit of mother's day, I will give you a taste of the show. The most notable mothers on the show either:
A. Abandoned her young family and does not attempt contact with them
B. Bails on her son without so much as a word, rendering him a virtual orphan
C. Conducts an affair with her husband's business partner while her kid's at home
D. Are lushes/drug addicts/possible exotic dancers
E. Forced her son to leave the country

As you can see, these kids are messed up. And throughout the series, some amazing things happen to them. But mostly, some unbelievably shitty events occur to throw roadblocks in their lives. I guarantee you, you watch this show, which in the US can either be seen on BBC America or can be downloaded from, and you will want to call your mom/dad/son/daughter/etc. just to let them know how much you love them.

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