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charlotte hallisey

on 24 April 2010

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Transcript of Skins

Skins GENRE RECEPTION NARRATIVE REPRESENTATIONS PRODUCTION- MULTI MEDIA PLATFORM The writers of Skins describe the programme as being "Similar to soap opera (Jardine 2008), however it is better considered as a teen pic." Teen pic comes in a number of forms such as; 'the social problem'picture and exploitation movies. Skins uses its 'shocking' content as a way of defining itself as ideal for E4: aimed at a younger audience and more risque than mainstream channels. There are elements of sitcom and soap opera in Skins too. E4's teen smash- soon starting its 4th series has viewers officially numbered at around 1 million per episode when it's on tv, but unofficially the audience is much bigger than that locally and nationally due to its online presence. This shuns critics who had previously written off the show as "teen nonsense" at the start of the first series but it has been largely successful and has a very large fan base. The Daily Mail: "Gatherings named after the channel 4 drama about appalingly behaved teenagers."
"Because Skins really is one of the best shows for and about teenagers that british tv has ever come up with. It's just like that, like all teenagers it's misunderstood. It has an unusual structure; is both a serial in that episodes follow one after the other chronologically, and also a series, as each programme is self contained. The programme focuses on one character from the 'gang' in each episode, and most of the rest of the 'gang' will appear in each other's programme. Issues are raised such as; sex, drugs and relationships. Skins emphasizes the 'different worlds' that teens and adults (appear) to live in by representing the latter as hopeless at helping their children and the former as constantly striving to solve their problems which are almost always rooted in their relationships with their peers. On the other hand it shows what teenagers actually 'get up to'....parents it seems, are all too ready to believe the hell raising hedonism. "Teenageness is a significant 'in between'period, and teen drama deals with the stuff of adolescent anxiety; friendship, love, sex and impending adulthood." Skins deals with most of these problems; relationships; parents; demands of studying; peer group pressure etc, but doesn't suggest teens are the problem. In the teen pic, rebellion is invariably recouped by the narrative closure where the teens are seen to 'grow up'; the 'rites of passage' narrative has taught them the life lesson that they can't act like teenagers forever. Adults (parents) are represented in a stupid and immature way. As expected by a modern text aimed at a young audience, there is a diversity of characters: the 'black' Jal, the most studious; the muslim, Anwar: the gay, Maxxie. These are all fully rounded characters whose behaviour is not simply motivated by their ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. The programme is also symptomatic of modern tv in that there are 'spin off' narratives available on the website; it tries to engage audiences within '360 degree tv.' The attempt is to use new media technologies to engage the 'media savvy' generation in the programme; Skins actually officially debuted on Myspace before it was shown on E4. It's been placed on E4 as it is new and to test its popularity to see if there is a possibility it is popular enough to be on more mainstream channels. If its 9/10 rating on the internt movie database is anything to go by, it does strike a chord with its audience. So much so, Skins is also available on DVD.
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