'Skins' season finale: When controversy's not enough to carry a show
Many moons ago, it seemed like everyone on the Internet was clucking about Skins, MTV’s adaptation of a beloved British show that dramatizes the lives of teenagers gone wild. There was drug use! There was cursing! There was child porn, maybe-okay-not-really! As word of the series’s scandalous content spread far and wide, advertisers began to pull out of the show faster than you can say “She’s Too Young” — which only stoked the virtual fire.
But then a curious thing happened: Ratings for the teen drama’s second episode, which aired January 24, dropped sharply from 3.3 million viewers to 1.6 million viewers. In later weeks, that number got lower still… and subsequently, people stopped talking about Skins. Chances are that you had no idea the show’s season — and possibly series — finale aired last night.
So why did Skins start with a bang and end with a whimper? Well, if the finale episode, “Eura,” is any indication, the reason is simple: The show is just not very good. Granted, I haven’t seen every episode of this version of Skins, so I couldn’t fully appreciate the impact of plot strands wrapping up and characters reconciling in the season’s last episode. But even so, I do know that any show that forces an actress to deadpan lines like “You sure put a lot of time into that boy, and he put a lot of his penis into you” without a hint of irony is not at the top of its game.
While watching “Eura,” I wasn’t shocked by the amount of skin on display. Instead, I was fighting to keep my eyes open through scene after scene of pretty, blank-faced young people staring meaningfully at each other and speaking each of their lines in the same affect-less tone. In their rush to make something controversial and zeitgeisty, MTV forgot to create characters with personality—and all the lurid storylines in the world can’t make a series successful if viewers can’t be bothered to care about the people they’re watching. Near the end of the episode, one character’s father said something that really resonated: “You’re boring me with this sh–. Yeah. And, uh, that about covers it.” You’re telling me, buddy.
PopWatchers, will any of you take to the comments to defend the show? Or do you, like me, think MTV’s Skins plays like Gossip Girl‘s sullen suburban cousin? And finally, if an 11th grader takes off her shirt and crawls into the hospital bed of her sleeping ladylove and no one is around to see her, does she make a sound?