Features and Columns · Movies

‘Skins’ Generation 3, or how to Ruin a Great TV Show

The British teen drama was riding high for four seasons… and then came the third generation.
Skins Generation Richards
Company Pictures
By  · Published on August 18th, 2021

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay on how the once massively popular British teen series Skins failed its characters and lost its fans with its third generation.

It can be hard to describe a specific sensation to someone who didn’t live through it. But if you watched the British series Skins when it was airing in the late 2000s, you know how revolutionary it felt. Finally, there was a teen-centric TV show that was raw and relatable. Sure, it could be heightened and histrionic, but it was grounded in a sense of honesty that resonated with millennials on both sides of the pond.

Skins was split into “generations.” Two seasons were spent with the same set of characters. Then, after those two years were up, the show moved onto a new ensemble. The first generation was relatively more lowkey, while the second generation certainly brought more drama. But both have their places in fans’ hearts, and there’s a healthy debate to be had over which is superior.

But there’s one thing that pretty much everyone who has seen the show will agree on. And that is that the third generation of Skins was a letdown. Among other problems with the last two seasons of the show, the major issue was that the series grew to completely mischaracterize the outcast protagonist Franky (Dakota Blue Richards).

The following video essay dives into exactly what went wrong with the third generation of Skins and why so many felt betrayed by Franky’s character development. But the story of Skins‘ demise is not just a narrative concern. As the essay explores, issues behind the scenes had run rampant for years. And though the show is a decade old, the importance of scrutinizing its problems is still vital.

Watch “The Third Generation: A Skins Retrospective”:

Who Made This?

This video on the third generation of Skins is by Yhara zayd, a video essayist who provides thoughtful analysis about pop culture, TV, and film. Often working through a feminist lens, her videos offer deep dives into common tropes and forgotten stories. You can subscribe to her channel on YouTube here.

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Anna Swanson is a Senior Contributor who hails from Toronto. She can usually be found at the nearest rep screening of a Brian De Palma film.