‘Skins’ for dummies October 10, 2012 — by Dylan Jew and Akshara Sekar “Skins” is a British television series on the air since 2007. The show follows a group of teenagers who navigate through through controversial topics, like drugs, alcohol, mental illnesses and death. “Skins” is a British television series on the air since 2007. The show follows a group of teenagers who navigate through through controversial topics, like drugs, alcohol, mental illnesses and death. Despite this material, or even because of it, the show has an enormously devoted fan following. In 2011, MTV aired an American adaptation of the series, only to fail since many viewers took offense at a show that portrayed such young teens dealing with such serious issues. Show explores teen homosexuality. Homosexuality is one of the controversial topics present in both generations of this series. Like some modern American television series, “Skins” has a gay lead, Maxxie Oliver; however, it takes a different approach to the subject. For the most part, “Skins” treats him similarly to the other characters, with his sexual orientation playing a minor role in the plot. In the first generation, Maxxie Oliver is an openly gay character who is accepted in his social group and known for being a talented performer. The only part of the first two seasons when Maxxie’s sexuality hinders the plot is his desire for his best friend, Anwar, to tell his father the truth about Maxxie’s interest in boys. The plot doesn’t stress this topic as much as the seasons of the second generation. First generation stuns. The secret to the show’s cult status may lie in its candid depiction of teens using and abusing alcohol. These were molded into the first-generation characters, and viewers related each provocative party or controversial topic to its respective character. The second generation almost seemed to resemble the first two seasons too much. The love triangle, struggle with homosexuality and epic character death were too reminiscent of the adventures just completed in the first two seasons. Another reason the first generation of “Skins” is better than the second is that Tony is a much stronger lead than Effy. Tony appears to be selfish and uncaring, but in reality he is compassionate and capable of loving others. This makes him impossible to hate, despite some of his rash actions. Effy, on the other hand, is mysterious to the point that it is difficult to understand her. She is extremely reserved, and viewers and other characters cannot read her emotions well. The second generation is missing a character like Tony, someone who makes every episode interesting with unexpected outcomes.