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September 9, 2008 | by  | in Film | [ssba]


Season two of Skins opens with a hip hop dance routine, followed by a dramatic musical performance of a jingoistic US take on 9/11. Later in the season we get a climactic bonding moment across a crowded room to the jarring bleeps of Crystal Castles; a trip to the beach to the sound of the Arcade Fire, which devolves into a fist-fight to Battles’ ‘Atlas’; and, in the final episode, a car chase to ‘Baby One More Time’ followed by a funeral with fireworks to ‘Seven Nation Army’.

Skins is what MTV should be, throwing in every hip new song the producers could think of to illustrate the minds of its pill-popping teenage protagonists. Instead of talking overlyarticulately about their non-existent ‘issues’ (a la The OC), they run around with their balls hanging out, get fucked up and fuck one another.

It’s a teenage soap opera, and sure it has its over-the-top moments (epitomized by season one’s finale of oh, let’s just hit the arrogant guy with a bus and make the pathetic one sing ‘Wild World’), but there’s something about the chaos of these kids that I can relate to. The Tony-Sid-Michelle love triangle reminds me of an almost identical situation I went through in my last two years of college (I was Sid, except instead of being in love with my best friend Tony’s girlfriend Michelle, I had a crush on Tony. I mean hey, he gave me some pretty sweet A-class). One of our subeditors insists that every character is two dimensional, but I can’t help but feel that at least crazy, beautiful “I stopped eating and then everyone had to do what I said” Cassie has somewhat more depth.

But really, it’s about the music. That moment where Tony and Sid catch each other’s eye and hug out their issues across a crowded room would be all too typical if it weren’t for the fact that, instead of some weepy strings, they’re doing it to the most abrasive electronic noise pop you can find. And as the last episode comes to its conclusion, they play MGMT’s ‘Time to Pretend’, which I’d been waiting for all season, in the knowledge that it would be the perfect track to sum up these kids’ lives:

This is our decision to live fast and die young We’ve got the vision, now let’s have some fun Yeah, it’s overwhelming but what else can we do Get jobs in offices and wake up for the morning commute?

We’ll choke on our vomit and that will be the end We were fated to pretend


About the Author ()

Tristan Egarr edited in 2008. He threw a chair once.

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