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Member Name: kaljao
Skins - Complete Series 1 (DVD)
Advantages: Great show
Skins is a British teen drama based in Bristol that follows a group of college students during their time through college (or sixth form as some may know it). The series was broadcast on the channel e4 and has also been shown on channel 4.
I am a massive fan of skins and the aim is to review each episode in the first series. Each of the main characters has their own episode.
Episode 1: Tony
This episode starts off with Tony Stonem in his house. He causes a diversion so his younger sister can sneak into the house after being out all night. It features a very funny Harry Enfield in this episode as Tony's dad. You get introduced to each of the characters by Tony ringing them all up; they are Jal, Sid, Michelle, Chris, Anwar and Maxxie. The episode is based around Tony trying to help Sid lose his virginity. Tony's acting is very good in this episode and he also shows that he is able to sing well also. He is played by Nicholas Hoult. I found this episode very funny and It isn't long before you work out that the entire series is going to be about drugs and sex. Most of the episode is based indoors. You also meet the character Cassie towards the end of the episode. My favourite scene in this episode is Maxxie taking Chris and Anwar on a "big gay night out" which is completely dead. One of my favourite characters in this episode is a drug dealer, whose name is a bit too explicit for dooyoo, so I will only use his first name - Mad (short for Madison); he is played by Stephen Walters.
Episode 2: Cassie
This is a very strange episode as you see things through the eyes of Cassie. She wakes up half naked in a room covered in food where it looks like a food fight took place. It becomes clear that Cassie has feelings for Sid. This episode features Danny Dyer as Michelle's mum's new husband. He plays a character called Malcolm which is pretty much like any other character he plays - an idiot! I think this episode is pretty powerful as Cassie has an eating problem and it shows what troubles she is going through, which really made me think about people with eating disorders. I think it is acted pretty well by Cassie (played by Hannah Murray). This episode also sees another famous name - Neil Morrissey plays Cassie's dad. I think he goes a bit over the top with his acting in this though. This shows you some of the lengths people go to who have eating disorders and gives you a small insight. My favourite character in this episode is Kenneth (played by Daniel Kaluuya), a young African male who is very posh but occasionally tries to talk in gangster slang. Mad also appears again in this episode and becomes a teacher at Roundview College where the gang all attend. Cassie's friends don't seem to understand her problems and she can only talk to her taxi driver. All the way through the episode someone is telling her to eat but at the end I think she realises it's her conscience telling her.
Episode 3: Jal
The series starts with the college orchestra and the teacher swears constantly, I found it extra funny as none of my teachers were like that in college so it made me think how I would feel if it had happened! Jal plays the clarinet and is practising for young musician of the year. Jal is played by Larissa Wilson and plays a more serious character than Tony and Cassie have done and plays her role well. One of my favourite lines in this episode comes when someone says to Sid "you're disgusting" and he replies "what?!....it's lynx!" There is one scene where Sid is getting cookies and the guy at the cookie stand playing an extra is the worst extra I have ever seen, he pulls some strange facial expressions for no apparent reasons. The episode shows Ace and Lynton (Jal's brothers) who are aspiring rappers who play their roles very well and made me laugh. They are played by Troy Glasgow and Adrian Fergus Fuller. My favourite scene is when the gang try and get in Jal's dad's club and Chris pulls out the worst fake ID ever, hilarious! Jal is emotional when her clarinet gets smashed by Mad and she is very convincing during this, almost as if it was her personal clarinet that was smashed. Jal's brothers end up chasing Mad and getting beat up themselves but they still boast about getting a "couple of licks on him." Mark Monero plays Jal's dad and is very powerful and he is the most believable of all the characters in this episode. The end of the episode sees him drive off after having Mad bundled into his car.
Episode 4: Chris
Chris is my favourite character over the entire series. He is played by Joe Dempsie. Chris wakes up and gives his goldfish some drugs then goes downstairs only to find his mum has gone and left a £1000 in an envelope for him. He of course spends all the money on drugs and partying. He is pretty happy that he only knows about 10% of the people at his own party and is thrilled when he finds out his psychology teacher has come (Angie - played by Siwan Morris). One of my favourite lines of this episode is when and old man says "see that's Viagra for you, more trouble than it's worth" and his wife replies "speak for yourself casa-never!" Sid also comes out with a classic when Michelle drops her top and asks what he thinks of her boobs he claims he has something in his eyes "they must be blurring or something, maybe I've got an infection or something!" After losing his house he goes round to his dad's new house, where his step mum is none other than Sarah Lancashire who plays Mary. Chris manages to drop her baby on the floor then run off to the cemetery. Chris' best bit of acting is when he is reminiscing about his dead brother, it is brilliant acting and makes you feel sorry for him. The episode ends with Angie showing Chris to a room he can stay at college and gives him a goldfish.
Episode 5: Sid
Sid (Mike Bailey) is Tony's best friend, and is in love with Tony's girlfriend Michelle. So far the series has focussed on him still being a virgin; even the elderly couple he looks at through the window are at it like rabbits. You see Sid's dad Mark in this episode (played by Peter Capaldi) who is very bad tempered and judgemental. He wishes Sid would be more like Tony. He plays the role so well and you feel embarrassed for Sid as he gets shouted at by him in college. There was actually a group made on Facebook about Sid "everyone needs a friend like Sid from Skins." Sid goes to see Tony in a school choir wearing a megadog jumper which speaks when you touch the nose and has to comfort Michelle when Tony kisses Abigail on stage (played by Georgina Moffat) who is a posh school girl who Tony has been flirting with. Sid has this look about him that makes you think that he is really like the character he plays in real life! One of my funniest scenes is where Sid gets beat up by a group of four girls for "giving them cheek." As they kick him while he is on the floor "megadog to the rescue" sounds out and then a tramp goes to the toilet on him and then his dad lays into him again only for Sid to call him a dildo! During of the episode you feel sorry for Cassie who has been waiting around for Sid all night. Towards the end of the episode she takes an overdose. This shows us more of the problems that teenagers are facing more and more each day.
Episode 6: Maxxie and Anwar
This episode follows two characters that are always together. Maxxie is openly gay (played by Mitch Hewer) and Anwar is a Muslim boy who likes drugs, alcohol and sex. Anwar is played by Dev Patel and he is the lead character in the recent film Slumdog Millionaire. This episode sees the college history class go on a trip to Russia. There is a scene where they cart away Anwar at the airport for thinking and Maxxie looks worried exclaiming that they think he is a terrorist. The college teacher has to pay the authorities to release him. It shows a very stereotypical view of Russia, but it only adds to the comedy of this episode! Kenneth show's himself again in this episode and comes out with the line "Raas! Russia's big, bruv! Me's gonna be hyped up" when he thinks he will be sharing a room with a girl. When he finds out this isn't true he converts back to his posh self and simply says "spoilsport!" to their college teacher, Tom. Anwar and Maxxie fall out over Maxxie being gay, saying it's against his religion. Tony ends up kissing Maxxie saying he wants to try something new. This show continues to teach us, now teaching us about religion and sexuality. Chris ends up sleeping with his teacher Angie on this trip, something that we are reading more about in the news these days! Anwar ends up sleeping with a Russian girl who he sees getting beat up out the window, so he very conveniently has a ladder in his suitcase and goes to rescue her! The episode ends with Tony kissing Maxxie again and the group leaving Russia and it cuts back to the Russian people who have scammed the college teacher out of all his money. The episode was full of very random moments, I liked it but not as much as previous episodes and it has put me off going to Russia!
Episode 7: Michelle
Michelle is played by April Pearson. She watches as she sees Tony flirting with Maxxie then she goes over to him and punches him in his face. Kenneth says "I must say, she is a fiery one!" Michelle's crying in this one seems a little over dramatic at times but her character does have to deal with quite a lot so it could be argued that it is believable. Michelle is sick all over herself so Angie puts her in the shower and she just sits there in her underwear. Sid punches Tony in this one when Tony is being harsh about Michelle. The episode again shows Danny Dyer (playing Malcolm - Michelle's stepfather). He plays quite a few scenes and is very convincing and puts in a solid performance. Michelle goes round to see Sid to try and sleep with him, but Sid pushes her away, Michelle ends up crying again(!) They both then pay a visit to see Cassie who is at a mental health home, it is extremely stereotypical, which was a bit low for the programme to do, but I couldn't help but laugh seeing people in the fields setting off rockets. It also shows a brief few seconds of acting from James Buckley who plays Jay in the Inbetweeners. Michelle sees Josh there, who is Abigail's brother and ends up sleeping with him. Tony steals his mobile and takes pictures of Abigail on his phone and sends them to Michelle. Again I didn't enjoy this episode as much as previous ones, but this was because it wasn't as funny and there was lots of moping around by Michelle feeling sorry for herself.
Episode 8: Effy
Effy is Tony's brother and we saw her at the very start of episode one and a tiny bit in one of the other episodes too. She is played by Kaya Scodelario. She is the longest serving member of skins as she is in it in season 1, 2, 3 & 4. The episode also shows Harry Enfield again as Effy and Tony's dad. He is his typical funny self and fits the role perfectly. Tony and Effy have a strong bond and he lies in her bed when she sneaks out for a night out so that their parents think she is sleeping. Effy and her friend go to a party in a warehouse, let in by the security guard. Tony does a lot of sulking in this episode and even offers to help the local big issue seller (Kenny) sell copies. Effy meanwhile is busy taking drugs and kissing boys, the police come and then Effy is taken to the station and Tony being the good brother goes to pick her up, but she is told her brother has picked her up already and then he is attacked outside. Tony then goes to meet the rest of the gang who are all upset with him over upsetting Michelle, he tells Sid that Effy is missing and they steal Sid's dad's mini and go to look for her. Josh turns up to the party and injects Effy, which she is already in a dazed state from all the drugs she has taken. The programme continues to teach us the negatives of drugs. Effy spends most of the episode in a dazed state and doesn't say that much. It is a darker episode than all the rest and all the characters seem to be miserable at the moment. Cassie returns to this episode and her and Sid share a kiss. Unlike the rest of the episodes about each character, you don't actually learn that much about Effy during this episode which I was a bit disappointed about.
Episode 9: Finale
Oh no the final episode of the series! It's Anwar's birthday and Maxxie will only come if Anwar tells his parents about Maxxie being gay. There is a funny scene at the start where all Anwar's sisters burst into the room to wish him happy birthday while he is stood there naked. Sid tries to write Cassie a letter and at the same time Cassie is writing Sid a letter. Sid realises he loves Cassie so puts on his megadog letter and rushes off to see her, wearing odd shoes, classic Sid! Angie wakes up in bed with Chris and then discovers her estranged fiancé at the door (Merve). Anwar's family is a stereotypical Asian family and it is funny to see them all winding him up. Anwar's mum is played by Nina Wadia who is more famously known by her role in Eastenders. Tony is still sulking and that's one of the only things that is getting a little bit boring to me now. Another classic from Kenneth in this episode is where there is an old pop song playing and he says "Raas! This is a big boy tune! This mofo's got some serious riddims kickin' off! You get me?! You get me?!" then resorts back to his usual posh self as he asks Jal to dance. The episode again shows some of the problems people with eating disorders have. I also laugh when Tony steals Sid's dad's car again to go and rescue Sid who has been locked up in the mental home. Tony see's Cassie and gives her Sid's letter. Kenneth then gets on the decks at Anwars birthday party and blasts out a bit of drum and bass. His party ends in fighting when Merve shows up. Michelle is crying over Tony again and he rings her and then steps out into the road without looking after telling her he loves her and gets hit by a bus. There is then a hilarious sketch where an old song is playing (wild world by Cat Stevens) and Sid sing's along to it while walking around, it features Cassie leaving, Tony singing on the floor while Effy holds his head, then it shows all the other characters and Sid gets the bus home still singing and he reminisces over Cassie. Chris and Angie sing parts too. It is of course miming to the song that is playing, but it is funny to watch.
I was a bit disappointed that the series only has 9 episodes; compared to American shows this is extremely short. But they were a fantastic 9 episodes!
There is 80minutes of extras on the DVDs, which include ancillary storyline for each episode, video diaries, director's cut skins trailer, skins broadcast trailers and the gossip's music video for "standing in the way of control" which is often played on skins trailers and adverts. The video diaries are quite funny. They are done by each of the characters doing various different things. They are:
Project 2107 - Abigail Stock
Anwar - Anwar Kharral
Cassie - Cassie Ainsworth
Chris - Chris Miles
Wax Effigy - Effy Stonem
Jal - Jal Fazer
Maxxie - Maxxie Oliver
Michelle Explains it all - Michelle Richardson
Grandpa's Video - Posh Kenneth
Online Destructathon - Sid Jenkins
Tony - Tony Stonem
Ancillary story line is bits of supporting stories from the episodes that weren't included in the main episodes. They are:
I most certainly do:
This is where Cassie meets Michelle and they discuss going to a party (Abigails's party from episode 1) and Michelle says how she should sleep with Sid as he is a virgin. They then go in a wedding shop and manage to steal wedding outfits, including a top hat and a wedding dress! It is totally irrelevant that is probably why it wasn't in the first episode.
This shows Chris visiting the careers officer Josie. They both seem as dumb as each other and Chris shows his name to Josie on his shoe. She then points out that where he has been asked what his ideal career is that he has drawn a picture of a snake. They discuss selling soup at festivals and Chris thinks he would make good cocktails. Jal then sees Josie and says she wants to be a musician. Sid is told that he would be good as a landfill waste consultant. Sid then ends up giving Josie leaflets on how to change careers!
Shoot 'em Up:
This follows Ace and Lyton trying to get their music on the radio. They talk in gangster speak and it puts subtitles on so that you can understand what they are saying! It goes on for a couple of minutes and is quite funny. When inside they talk as posh as they can and the subtitles show what they are saying in gangster speak. It turns out instead of taking their mixtape to the radio they have a bag of food and then the receptionist starts talking gangster to them! They manage to get on the radio and get thrown out after a short while.
Friend in Need:
This shows Cassie trying to get a top off a guy in order to give to Chris after he lost his house and was wandering round naked. Then it shows Michelle trying to get someone's jeans for him but he won't give them, so then Maxxie tries and gets them. They then realise the guy was gay.
Careers Office part 2:
Josie is filling in her own careers forms and she decides to draw a snail. She then calls Sid and asks for advice because she doesn't know what to do. She leaves him a voicemail as he isn't in. A Chinese throwing star then appears on her desk and Anwar starts doing kicks and is dressed as a ninja. He says he wants to be a ninja and she looks at him funny. He then pretends he knows what he is doing and Josie says "I can't help you." Anwar then does a funny impression of his mum. Josie tells Tony that he can be anything he wants to be. Tony says he wants to be Elvis. Josie is starting to realise she is a rubbish careers advisor. When Michelle comes in Josie is hiding under the table and she tells Michelle she should go to university and do languages. They then have a conversation in French.
To Russia with Love:
This shows everyone putting money in a pot when they are sat in a pub. Chris walks in dressed as a fish, but he has made no money. They are all trying to raise money to help Chris come to Russia. The group then notice a porn star in the pub. Maxxie speaks to her to see who she likes and she says Chris. So Chris sleeps with her and she gives him £700 so he can go to Russia.
Cat and Duck:
This shows Michelle in a bar talking to Jal talking about men while looking at Glass ornaments of various animals (that came from Malcolm). The girls do various amounts of shots and get pretty drunk. Michelle compares Tony to ice - cold and transparent. She then does a good impression of Abigail. They then go and talk to a couple of guys who soon leave them after acting strange.
This shows Effy all wet, after just getting out the lake. Her make-up has ran and she is talking to the camera about a girl who lives on lemonade, she then talks about the girls brother and nobody but the girl talking to him. It isn't too clear what the point of this is but I think that this is Effy's dream while she is unconscious from taking drugs and she is talking about herself and Tony and references to lemonade and grass are references to drugs.
This shows Cassie and her friend chatting before Anwar's party (you later see her friend being sick in the final episode before Tony goes over and gives Cassie Sid's letter). The two then smoke a joint. It is clear Cassie is having a look round Bristol before she leaves. Cassie gets her friend some chips after talking about food with her.
The director's cut trailer is my favourite trailer. It shows all the gang at a wild party and they are all taking drugs and there is lots of sex going on, things being broken and people being sick before it cuts to the gang all collapsed on each other (which is then the picture that is shown on the front cover of the DVD case).
The Gossip - Standing in the way of control plays during the menu screens on the DVD.
If you don't mind frequent swearing and drugs and sex references then I would recommend that you watch this programme, I can't get enough of it, 10/10!!! It is only £11.93 at the moment on amazon!
Summary: Buy it now!
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