Friday, January 28, 2011

Round Two: Skins

Skins: Season 1, Episode 2 “Tea” (F-)

It’s hard to top last week’s horrendous series opener, but this one definitely goes for broke. Tea is hardly as despicable a character as Tony, if only because she’s not dead set on manipulating everyone around her. Her main vice is that she’s unable to connect to people, essentially turning her into as much of a promiscuous teen as Tony. The exposition to get there, however, is awfully rendered, with overnight guest Betty repeating the word “screwing” for no reason in front of her recent lover’s parents, amid a whole handful of inorganic dialogue. Since this show is intent on pushing the envelope until it simply bursts, why not show the lesbian masturbating to a picture of Audrey Hepburn and have her grandmother walk in and get into bed with her while she’s still in the middle of it? Turning the goofy grandmother into a Holocaust survivor was while a snippet from a whole different show, as if some decent writers came in for just a few minutes and replaced the people who pen this show. It was a staggering change of pace, and as soon as the grandmother’s brief moment of lucidity is over, the commercial break ends the moment of clarity and decency and returns to an overabundance of heinous storytelling and conversation. Tony saying “I know you like to pluck the lady harp” was easily the most obnoxious moment of the episode, and the assertion that even real lesbians can’t resist Tony is infuriating. Ending with jokes involving the crazy drug dealer and misheard slurs just sends it out a very sour note. Given the alarming rate at which this show is losing both advertisers and viewers, I’m not sure how much of its pathetic story it will actually live to tell.

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