The dark comedy drama series follows the lives of teenagers as they pass through the sixth form at a school in Bristol. The unique show replaced its main cast every two years and focused on the experiences of young people by looking at the life of a different character character each episode.
Skins received critical acclaim for its treatment of tough issues in teenagers’ lives including sexuality, mental health issues, substance abuse and bullying, all through a comedic lens.
Here’s everything you need to know about the series.
The show’s main cast changes every two years, so there are three generations of teenagers with unique stories exploring different elements of young adult life.
The first generation stars Nicholas Hoult as Tony Stonem, a typically popular jock type whose sociopathic tendencies go unnoticed thanks to his charm and good looks. Hoult previously starred as Marcus Brewer alongside Hugh Grant in About a Boy, and more recently played J. R. R. Tolkien in Tolkien. Other first generation stars include Mike Bailey as Sid Jenkins, April Pearson as Michelle Richardson, and Joe Dempsie as Chris Miles.
(Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images)
The second generation includes Tony’s younger sister, Effy Stonem, played by Kaya Scodelario, her friend Pandora Moon played by Lisa Blackwell, and Thomas Tomone played by Merveille Lukeba. Scodelario recently starred in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile as Carol Ann Boone, Ted Bundy’s Wife.
In the third and final generation followed by the show, Dakota Blue Richards stars as Franky Fitzgerald, a shy girl who is bullied after moving to the school from Oxford. Richards also plays Margaret Osborne in Beecham House, released 2019. Will Merrick plays Alo Creevey, an optimistic dog-lover whose best friend is Rich Hardbeck, a middle-class boy who loves heavy metal, played by Alex Arnold.
What is Skins about?
Similarly to 13 Reasons Why, Skins is a controversial show that deals explicitly with the issues of modern teenage life, from sex to suicide. The show remains popular because of its honesty about the issues faced by young people.
Unlike so many earlier teen dramas, the actors chosen were close in age to the characters, and care was taken to use the language of teenagers at the time. This was met with a mixed response from the over-25 audience of the show, but secured loyal younger viewers by looking at the world from their perspective. It now also offers nostalgia to those wishing for a pre-iPhone world.
Another important feature that kept Skins feeling fresh was its writers’ attention to detail when choosing a soundtrack. The writers would ensure that each episode had a selection of edgy new music that effectively convinced its teen audience that the show was cool, and helped them forget that it was co-written by a member of their parents’ generation – the same generation that the show’s characters were so desperate to avoid.
Where is Skins set?
Skins is set at a secondary school in Bristol, and also visits the surrounding areas where its characters live.
Where was Skins filmed?
Skins was filmed in and around Bristol, including on Vauxhall Bridge, West Country Water Park, and Pero’s Bridge.
What is Skins rated?
Skins is rated 18+ because some episodes show features full-frontal nudity, violence, and drug use. However, some episodes are considered suitable for those who are 15+.