Skins: Volume 2 (BBC Warner)

2009, Not Rated

This show was getting some notice even before one of its actors (Dev Patel) turned up as the star of Slumdog Millionaire. It’s a shame British shows aren’t more widely embraced by U.S. audiences unless they are Americanized, and sometimes even that doesn’t work. While Greg Daniels and crew did a great job with The Office, Americans should take their British TV straight, and Skins is a good place to start. A teen drama somewhat akin to our One Tree Hill, the show follows the lives of a group of teenagers in Bristol, England. Teens are teens all over the English-speaking world as it turns out (see Canada’s Degrassi franchise), yet there is something particularly engaging about this group of young people. Maybe it has something to do with the accents? Partying, love affairs and dysfunctional parents are some of the familiar issues, but it’s done with a brutal honesty and that dry British sense of humor. Tony, the smooth, goodlooking one is best friends with awkward Sid. Sid is love with Tony’s girlfriend until he meets the lovely Cassie, who seems to fancy him as well. Chris is having an affair with a teacher, while Anwar (Patel) is best friends with gay Maxxie. Each episode usually focuses on a different character with sub-plots involving most of the rest. Familiar yet exotic. Cheers! (P.F. Wilson) Grade: A

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