Here are some things that suffer from an identity crisis: professional-wrestling, flamingos, people who play 'World Of Warcraft', the consistently astonishing Channel 4 drama 'Skins'…
'Skins' is perhaps the most misunderstood programme on British television. It is a brilliantly written, emotive, funny, sexy, pioneering TV drama, and challenging to the norm too - with oodles of extra content regularly posted on YouTube. But so many people who I know would otherwise love the programme have it tagged as 'Hollyoaks' for people who like Klaxons.
You’d have thought season 2 - which was darker than the bit in 'The Empire Strikes Back' when Vader cuts off Luke’s hand - would have addressed that. But then people can be thick and stubborn. “Uh, look at those good looking people with silly haircuts,” they grunt, the underlying agenda being they're scared and jealous of young people - forgetting that what makes the show so fascinating is remembering what an emotional clusterfuck being young is.
I watched the first episode in the forthcoming series of 'Skins' last night and – while recasting the entire programme could have been the kind of suicidal bravado normally only seen at games of Russian Roulette – it was probably the best programme in a series that’s probably only ever had three below-par episodes in two years.
I don’t want to spoil the show for you when it airs on Channel 4 next week, so I won’t deal in specifics here. Yet in terms of the programmes new infrastructure, Tony’s satanic younger sibling Effie (Kaya Scodelario) is predictably brilliant and effectively announced it was her show within ten seconds of appearing on screen.
Not only that, but funny guy Cook (Jack O’Connell) looks set to replace the void filled by – sniff sniff – Chris (RIP brother…), while I’m convinced that the hinted-at love story between are-they-aren’t-they lesbians Naomi (Lily Loveless) and Emily (Kathryn Prescott) is going to break my little emo heart into tiny pieces on a week-by-week basis throughout February.
But after the brilliant writing, ingenious story arcs and the funny bits that made me snort pizza through my nose last night, much of the enduring appeal of the programme comes from it’s passion in showcasing great new music. Last night the show opened with Fucked Up, segued into Joanna Newsom and ended with Klaxons. Well, at least that’ll give something to keep the knuckledraggers stocked up on moans…
Oh, and for fans of Sid. Don’t fret, you’re in for a surprise!
The new series of 'Skins' begins Thursday 22nd January on E4.