Skins Alive: The Agony and Ecstasy of British Teen TV

Illustration for article titled Skins Alive: The Agony and Ecstasy of British Teen TV
Image: E4

What do Daniel Kaluuya, Gilly and Gendry from Game of Thrones, and Dev Patel all have in common?


If you said out loud that they are British, you’re correct. If you took that assertion on step further and screamed “POSH KENNETH, CASSIE, CHRIS, ANWAR, SAFE!” then you’re in the right place. While all these famous people are now famous in their own right for many other things, they all got their start on a little British TV show called Skins—a brilliant, slightly heavy-handed, and very real look at being an angsty teenager in Bristol.

In 2007, Skins headed up a brief but glorious moment in teen television, leading the pack of a spate of shows about real-enough teenagers acting like real life teenagers—all out of the UK. Shows like The Misfits, My Mad Fat Diary and The In-Betweeners shone a light on experiences that were much more relatable and real than the dross on offer in America—Gossip Girl and The OC. For some reason, British television had the teenage experience in all its intricacies down pat—and we loved every minute of it.

We were joined by Jezebel staff writer Ashley Reese to discuss the glory years of British teen TV and why America never seemed to get it right; we also discussed the highs and the lows of the Academy Awards and the dastardly machinations of the Bachelor franchise. It’s a fun one this week—but really, isn’t it always?

DirtCast can be found on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play, NPR Onea nd iHeart Media.

Thanks to Ashley Reese. Our show is produced by Levi Sharpe. Mandana Mofidi is our Executive Director of Audio. Our theme music is by Stuart Wood. This episode was mixed by Jamie Collazzo.

Senior Writer, Jezebel


Ashley Reese

Skins forever. My Mad Fat Diary, Some Girls, and The Inbetweeners also hold a special place in my Anglophile heart.