Drugs. They’re everywhere, apparently. And they look damn attractive. Skins is back and they’re all doing it. From Anonymous Suicide Girl in episode one, who performed the remarkable feat of parting a drunken crowd with nothing more than the anticipation of a fall, to Thomas, who can afford a modern house on the back of his drug pushing, it is obvious that drugs can grant you both superhuman powers and everlasting wealth. Pass me the syringe. I want me some of this life-changing ofcourseonlyinapositiveway elixir.
Drugs have a great history on TV. In particular, weed. I cannot remember one bad weed-related incident on TV. Everyone seems to love it. Those crazy Peep Show chaps are always ‘stoked’ and they’re ruddy hilarious. Yes, their drug induced haze only ever seems to result in public embarrassment but at least they’re having fun... Even dour Betty Draper on Mad Men got in on the act recently. Cannabis not only got her in with the other ad-men, it also gave her inspiration to rise head and shoulders above her pesky male counterparts.
Prescription medication has a slightly worse reputation. Dr. House’s addiction to Vicodin renders him totally and utterly unlovable because he’s always so ruddy grumpy. Nurse Jackie seems to be doing alright on her snort-and-relax pills but her increasingly short temper, forgetfulness and propensity to have nose bleeds can only lead to one thing: a major melt-down. Perhaps one on the same scale as Lynette Scavo from Desperate Housewives way back in season one, where her dependence on anti-depressants almost led to her suicide. Grim stuff. In all honesty, all this teaches me is that addiction to prescription medication is not the way forward: it’s a pathetic drug to be addicted to. It’s unglamorous, is only taken by mardy neurotics and doesn’t even produce a high.
No. As keen followers of the deranged habits of ‘crazy’ Television characters, we like to stay up to date with all of the latest drugs crazes. Smoke opium with the Desperate Romantics! Snort coke with Skins! Take roofies with Hollyoaks! Of course, I am being silly. In most programs drugs are shown to have negative side-effects. If one takes drugs in Hollyoaks, one will either end up arrested or dead. There is no middle ground. Oh, actually, there is. Rape. You will end up raped, à la Sam-whatshisface from the Hollyoaks Late Night Specials. Everyone seems to die in Desperate Romantics. Granted, it is semi-historical and there were other underlying health issues like a complete lack of antibiotics in the nineteenth century, but drugs play a salient role. It’s only really in Skins that most people seem to come off relatively unscathed most of the time.
Which leads me to the whole point of this drug-high diatribe. Skins. I used to like it because I was a 15 year-old public school boy. Bristol night life seemed so mysterious. I have now been out in Bristol many times. Life is not like that there. Life is not like Skins anywhere. Skins is about as representative of the youth of today as Jackie Stallone is of the elderly. When people take drugs in other programs, they turn away from being the vapid air-sacs that the writers of Skins dare to call characters. I bet they’re not even snorting cocaine, but indulging in a bit of Dip-Dab. Skins is a pathetic legal high. It is a classless, empty con of a drug. Give me Mad Men’s weed any day, because I’m not buying whatever Skins is trying to sell me.