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Skins: Season 1 (Preview)

Skins DVD

Preview by Jack Foley

FROM the makers of the multi award-winning show Shameless comes Skins, the critically-acclaimed hit comedy drama series about the lives and loves of a diverse group of Bristol teenagers who get high, get drunk, get laid and get up for their A-levels. These kids really grab life by the balls and then give it a twirl.

A ratings smash that has been recomissioned for a second season, Series 1 of Skins was released for the first time ever on DVD on Monday, September 24, courtesy of 4DVD.

The brainchild of a young team of writers with an average age of just 22, including Josie Long (newcomer 2006, Edinburgh Comedy Festival), Jack Thorne (Shameless), Simon Amstell (Never Mind the Buzzcocks), The Dawson Brothers (Balls of Steel, Dirty Tricks), and 20-something newcomers, Ben Schiffer and Jamie Brittain, it also boasts creator and executive producer Bryan Elsley.

The Skins DVD is packed with extras, including an ancillary story line for each episode, video diaries from the main characters, the director’s cut trailer, and a music video for Gossip’s Standing in the Way of Control.

At the centre of the Bristol teenage scene is Tony (About A Boy’s Nicholas Hoult), the most popular boy in school with a manipulative streak a mile wide.

Everything he touches turns to gold, but this philosophy-reading hedonist uses his charm more often for evil than good. Caught in Tony’s web is his best friend Sid (Mike Bailey), an unconfident virgin who is often verbally abused by Tony, but sticks around because he is in love with Tony’s gorgeous girlfriend Michelle (April Pearson).

Joining the love triangle is kooky Cassie (Hannah Murray), who struggles with severe eating problems; Chris (Joe Dempsie), the resident party animal with a thing for his psychology teacher; Michelle’s best friend Jal (Larissa Wilson), a no-nonsense person with serious ambitions about her clarinet playing; Anwar (Dev Patel), a Muslim boy who finds that the Koran and his pleasure-seeking lifestyle do not mix well; Maxxie (Mitch Hewer), the only gay boy in the group; and Tony’s mysterious younger sister Effy (Kaya Scodelario), the only person Tony truly cares about.

Except for the premier and final episodes, which are ensemble cast pieces, each of the nine 60-minute episodes are named after a different central character, which the episode then focuses on. However, overarching plot lines run throughout the entire series, such as Tony’s tumultuous relationship with his girlfriend Michelle, and Sid’s quest to lose his virginity to escape Tony’s taunting.

After a hugely successful premier run on E4, Skins: Series 2 began filming this summer on location in Bristol.

Read our review of the soundtrack