I’m bored. What a perfect excuse for me to rewatch Series 1 through 4 of Skins. Again. (You know how I love my Skins.) First up, Series 1, Episode 1 – Tony.
In the very first episode of the series (the episode the US version would do a severe disservice to), we got our first glimpse at the original Skins gang – Tony, Sid, Michelle, Cassie, Chris, Jal, Maxxie and Anwar.
Let’s get into it.
The Skins pilot is simply wonderful. It perfectly establishes the series signature style: the characters, the music and the outlandish situations that are balanced by more touching ones. We’re reminded of this every time the opening credits flash before our eyes. Segal’s music is synonymous with Skins.
After the credits we’re greeted with the pair of eyes belonging to Tony Stonem (Nicholas Hoult)… and his bedspread. Damn, that bedspread.
Tony is an arrogant pain in the ass who doesn’t care for many people and gets away with anything he wants. Every morning he helps little sister Effy (Kaya Scodelario) sneak back home after her nights of heavy partying. Effy is silent with piercing stares while Tony will do anything is antagonize his father and friends.
The episode picks up the pace when Tony starts calling his friends and detailing his plan for the night – get his lovable loser of a best friend Sid (Mike Bailey) laid. (“You’re a lazy turd, Sid. We have plans remember? Concerning your cock.”) Tony catches each person in the middle of their morning routine. Sid is masturbating, Jal (Larissa Wilson) is practicing her clarinet and having none of Tony’s antics, Michelle (April Pearson) is dolling herself up, Chris (Joe Dempsie) is with last night’s hook up, Anwar (Dev Patel) is at the mosque, and Maxxie (Mitch Hewer) is tap dancing his heart out.
The important thing to know about Sid is that he is hopelessly in love with Michelle, who also happens to be Tony’s girlfriend. Everyone knows it. Sid damn near has a coronary when he thinks Michelle is the girl who will pop his cherry. But Michelle and Tony have other plans. First, public displays of snogging.
Second, they have roped Cassie, recently sprung from rehab, into doing it with Sid. (Hey, she’s dumb enough and just has to stay away from knives.) Third, Tony sends Sid to get an ounce of drugs from local dealer Mad Twatter. And all of this before Tony’s choir audition and psychology class. Seriously, don’t these kids have to get to school?
So while Sid is securing the drugs and Tony is wooing the pants of posh Abigail, everyone else has made it to the college green. (Did you catch Jal call Tony the “cock of the year”? Best. Description. Ever.) Chris shares with us his idea of what is better than soiling your mind with Dawson’s Creek: pills and shagging. It’s cultural!
But no one wants to go to this party at Abby’s house. Jal’s not interested. She’s too cool. (No, she is really too cool.) Maxxie, Chris, and Anwar have a big gay night out planned. Tony tries to get Sid to not buy the drugs. Too late. Mad Twatter has arrived.
We also meet Roundview’s hot mess of a psychology teacher – and Chris’ love interest – Angie. Chris tries to cheer her up post break-up. Only your most dedicated students offer to accuse a male teacher of sexual harassment. Jal puts a stop to Chris’ offer before disappearing from the episode all together.
Finally we get to the party scene after so much freaking exposition. Sid and Tony plot how they will get rid of the drugs and pay back Mad Twatter. If they just tell Abby and her dim friends that it is Mongolian hallucinogenic, they might be okay. And, finally enter Cassie (Hannah Murray).
Cassie’s not completely together yet but with her huge smile and lovely “wows,” she wins you over in seconds. The party is out of this world. Literally. Mummy just had the carpets imported from Iran. It’s clear that Tony and company are little bit too unkempt for Abby’s crowd.
With Tony and Michelle in full PDA mode, Sid and Cassie begin their awkwardly adorable courtship. Sid spends the entire night with her, because, well, what else is going to do? Cassie fills him in that Michelle knows that he loves her but Michelle just thinks Sid is sweet. And so, the Skins love square has been established. Cassie loves Sid who loves Michelle who loves Tony who loves himself. It’s a problem.
Meanwhile Chris, Maxxie, and Anwar finally arrive on the scene after a disastrous gay night out. They bring absolute mayhem with them. The next thing you know Chris has stripped down to his underwear and he’s making out with some random Polish chick. Everyone is brawling. Maxxie is hilariously cornered by two girls. Cassie overdoses on pills and passes out. It’s a perfect time to steal a car and get Cassie to the hospital in case she’s like dying or something. (Sid’s words not mine.) But she doesn’t die.
Just when you think the gang’s night, now day, can’t get any worse, this happens:
So let’s get this straight. Drugs? Check. Brawl? Check. Various degrees of undress? Check. Overdose? Check. Stolen car? Check. Lost drugs? Check. Indebted to a thug? Double check. To quote Tony, that could have gone a lot worse. Only an episode of Skins can end with a stolen car taking a nose dive into a lake. But at least they have their health.
Other highlights of Episode 1
Best Line: “Here he comes. Cock of the year.” – Jal, about Tony.
Best Parental Appearance: Sid’s dad yelling at him in the morning. (I’d pay good money to have Peter Capaldi cuss at me all day.)
Best Disappearing Act: Jal. She’s rarely in enough scenes in most episodes.
Best Outfit: Chris’ flair for the fluorescent; Cassie’s gold dress.
Best Song: Brendan Benson, “Flesh and Bone” Heard as they walk back from the harbor soaking wet.
Second Best Song: The Fall, “Totally Wired” – Heard when Chris, Maxxie, and Anwar arrive at the party.
Worst/Most Unnecessary Scene: Tony creepin on his naked neighbor.
Best Scene: I adore the entire “Big Gay Night Out” scene and how Maxxie’s homosexuality is never made into a big deal by his friends.
Stay tuned for another Skins Rewind next Thursday.