Thursday, January 21, 2010

I've gotta watch my "stories," okay?

I'm hot-blooded, check it and see.
I have a fever of one hundred and three...

(One hundred and two, actually.)

Though I have been in bed drinking pedialyte, and hiding under 4 layers of blankets in an attempt to lower my 102-degree fever and regain my health, I've also been nursing my unhealthy obsession with horrible teen dramas. (Goes hand-and-hand with chicken noodle soup, wouldn't you agree?)

But I've already re-watched 90210 for the bazillionth time, lost interest in the new Degrassi: Next Generation cast (I never thought that I'd say that I miss Paige, but I do, man. I really do.), and am still waiting for Gossip Girl Season 3 to come out on DVD. So, for my current episode of illness I had to find a new melodramatic addiction. Thanks to Netflix's "Watch Instantly" feature, I found BBC E4's absolutely ridiculous and wonderful show Skins (2007). Crisis aborted.

If you've never seen Skins, let me explain: If Degrassi claims to be "100 percent intense," Skins' intensity is at about 200. And where Degrassi elicits giggles at the many Canadian "aboots," Skins prompts whole belly-laughs with various British accents, dialects and constant drop of the F-bomb and the word "wanker." (Not to mention "bollocks.") The witty dialogue (Note my British spelling) is fantastic and the students' and teachers' constant use of profanity with one another is hysterical. It's completely inappropriate for its demographic -- you know, actual teens -- but totally appropriate for bored 20-somethings like me.

In a nutshell: The show follows the lives of a group of 17 year-olds in Bristol, England as they habitually party, do drugs, screw -- and screw over -- one another. Topics covered in Volume 1, which I watched in one sitting yesterday: drug use, narcissism, promiscuity, eating disorders, depression, suicide, absent parents, racism, sexual confusion, homophobia, religious tension, class separation, and more! While I admit I know nothing about Bristol, I don't think it's far-fetched for me to assume that this show is beyond exaggerated. For instance, in one episode a kid's mom straight-up deserts him, and within like a week he manages to destroy the entire house from a party and is booted out of his place (naked, might I add) by a random squatter who takes over. Gold.

Intrigued? Let me break down the characters for you by giving them their North American dopplegangers.

Tony Stonem (played by Nicholas Hoult)

Tony is the fiercely scheming leader-of-the-pack. He lies, cheats and makes-out with everyone just like Gossip Girl's Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) and Kathryn from Cruel Intentions (Sarah Michelle Gellar). The cool thing about Tony is that though he is a huge ladies' man, he's also bisexual. I don't think an American show would have the balls to have the "hot" guy on the show also hook up with dudes.

Sid Jenkins (played by Mike Bailey)

Sid is my favorite, even though his character comes a dime a dozen. He is the everyman: the nerd, the virgin, the neurotic stoner, the hopeless guy that always makes the bad decisions but you love him anyway. He's like Dan Humphrey from Gossip Girl (Penn Badgley) except he's dumb as rocks and basically flunks out of school. A little Michael Cera and a bit Seth Cohen-y. Oh, and Jason Biggs from American Pie, and maybe even a little Seth Rogan. Like I said, a dime a dozen. Only he's British, so it's cool.

Michelle Richardson (April Pearson)

Hot chick who everyone wants, but she dates Tony even though he is a douche. (Go figure.) This makes her our Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester) of Gossip Girl or Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth) from 90210. Not surprisingly, all of these three women have missing dads and moms that re-marry a bunch. All three can also be found drinking their sorrows away when one of their asshole boyfriends cheats on them for the second, third or fourth time.

Cassie Ainsworth (Hannah Murray)

Cassie is the really spacey weirdo with impeccable, quirky style and an eating disorder. She begins every sentence with either "Wow" or "Totally." Perfect combination of Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter and Marissa Cooper from the O.C. (Mischa Barton).

Jal Fazer (Larissa Wilson)

Jal is the only character on the show who isn't constantly striving to get laid. Instead she obsesses over mastering the clarinet, hangs as "one of the guys" and has trouble dealing with her frigid dad, who happens to be some famous rapper. Think Vanessa Abrams (Jessica Szohr) from Gossip Girl or Liberty Van Zandt from Degrassi (Sarah Barrable-Tishauer).

Chris Miles (Joseph Dempsie)

Like Dylan McKay from 90210, Chris' parents totally abandon him. So, he parties non-stop and finds love (lust?) with an older woman. Though, I'd say he's less Dylan and more like Spinner from Degrassi, because he's also an unattractive idiot who, despite dressing super goofy and taking pills 24/7, still gets tons of hot babes. (From the looks of his picture above, he's just as baffled by this phenomenon as I am.)

Anwar Kharral (Dev Patel)

Yep, that's the dude from Slumdog Millionaire. Anwar is constantly referred to as the "Muslim boy" on the show. But he's also the pervy kid with a junior high mentality, and because of that he reminds me of a young David Silver -- just kind of embarrassing to be around. But he also struggles with his religion's rules and morals throughout the show. For instance, his best friend is Maxxie, the gay character. The best thing is that both he and his strict Muslim father accept Maxxie's sexual orientation regardless of what their religion preaches.

Maxxie Oliver (Sean Verey)

Maxxie is awesome. I mean, his name is Maxxie. Besides Jal, he is the most thoughtful and rational character on the show. He is openly gay and his family supports him (I feel like most TV shows portray parents of gays as mostly unsupportive and/or angry). Stereotype: He's an aspiring professional dancer and sometimes slutty. Definitely the Marco (Degrassi) on the show.

Told you I'm a fiend.

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