Well, the inevitable has happened. The UK series Skins, which is currently airing its sixth series, will end after its seventh series.
Channel 4 confirmed the news yesterday: “Skins is a brilliant show which has defined a generation and will go down as a truly iconic, game-changing piece of television. After seven series it is time for E4 to make way for the next generation of the bold, the new and the innovative.” Skins will conclude with three two-hour long episodes in 2013. These episodes will focus on the series most-loved characters and wrap up their story lines. (As long as the writers clear up the series four cliffhanger, I’ll be more than satisfied.)
It is no secret that I am a huge fan of the series. While I’m disappointed that Skins won’t continue (for the sole reason that there is no other show like it on television), I’m not that shocked or upset by this news. The ratings for series 5 and 6 have steadily declined. This is after the problematic American spinoff that never stood a chance and creator Jamie Brittain left the UK series in 2011.
It’s a shame that these events have overshadowed the actual quality of the program. While the current series is hardly as great as it initially was, Skins is still producing excellent episodes. Series 6, for instance, has tackled teen grief in a manner that is both poignant and funny. No other teen drama has captured the tragic and awkward moments that happen after a teenager dies like Skins.
But it is better for Skins to conclude now while it is a still creating memorable characters and story lines than for it to end once it becomes a shell of itself.
Skins will always be one of the best teen dramas. By producing edgy and controversial content, portraying vulnerable teenagers, and tackling subjects that other teen shows solve in 30 minutes or less, Skins changed teen programming for the better.
In the next few years, I hope we will see the results of the “Skins effect” across television. I’m still looking for a Skins-esque program to come along and change the way teen shows are viewed in the United States. The reaction to the American version of Skins made it abundantly clear that as long as there are conservative watchdog groups, a show like Skins can’t survive here. At least not on a commercial broadcasting network. So I hope this changes once the people who have been most influenced by Skins start creating television programming. (This can’t happen soon enough. I’m tired of the supernatural phenomena currently infecting American teen shows and I’m not definitely not looking forward to the upcoming Hunger Games 2.0 series that will be on the CW this fall.)
The cancellation of Skins is still bittersweet. A unique moment in the history of teen dramas is concluding. We should savor the final episodes of series 6 and hope that the two-hour specials in 2013 give this great show a proper send-off.