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Stewart Lee on Skins

by chumptowers • 210,163 views

Stewart Lee

he is indeed right, Skins has made weirdos like myself feel more alone, fucking modern TV eh.
There's an obvious problem with Stewart talking about Skins, in both that he's applying a double standard and that he blatantly only ever watched 1 episode. He chose two contrasting examples with fantasy/science fiction elements and yet didn't really appreciate that the first two series of Skins in particular were not going for a necessarily realistic take on things at the start, but that as it went on, more serious and down to Earth elements came though. So whereas at the start it was a hyper-real mishmash of over the top drama, by the end of series two, the real world had come crashing down and most of the frenetic and over the top stuff had dissipated. The message was never necessarily 'this is what teenage life is like', but it certainly was an interesting look at what it feels like to have to start really growing up - which is not something I've seen covered so well. I can't really praise the writing too much, because although I think Stewart Lee is criticising what he thought the programme was as opposed to what it actually turned out to be over the course of the first two series, the trajectory of series 3&4 very much made it look like that they just happened upon some really good ideas in series two and kind of stumbled into telling an interesting story rather than it being an overriding plan all along.
Bloody hell, you're even more pretentious than Stewart Lee!!!! And skins is wank.  
Agree that he's only seen episode one. Compare this with what Charlie Brooker wrote about it http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2008/feb/09/television.media
Skins started fairly good but I always think it's what teens think their life is like; super serious, dramatic, full of drugs, sex and debauchery. When most kids just smoke shit weed and take shit pills, try and cop off with people and think they're the coolest most undiscovered artist in the world, when really we're alienated, useless and complain all the time. That's what I did. I tried to believe my life was like Skins but really it just annoyed me when all the preppy kids who did everything right copied it half-arsed to try and be 'troubled' and 'cool'. Tedious but quite funny to look back on laugh,at.
I watched the first four seasons before I even started college, honestly believing we were all going that way. Turned out to be absolutely nothing like it.
I think Fresh Meat is a good depiction of what life at 18/19/uni is like. Fuck skins.
What's truly awful about Skins is that the first season isn't that fake, it's basically an over dramatised version of the actual young actresses/actors lives, a friend of mine who left 'the creative industry' went through it as she thought it would be a good career.
Digital skateboard turd text spliff indierock trilby.
made in chelsea is the perfect depiction of life. taking selfies and crying over your failed relationship while kids die in Africa. Yeah. That seems about right. 
Stewart Lee knows what he's talking about when he speaks about- as he called it- "The Angry Birds Generation".
Was cool that he spoke about this.
I am agree,,, watching skins characters at just five years their senior leaves you with a high sense on detachment. The whole teenage depiction is a total pseudo reality,which can leave you feeling inadequate.     
If there is some artits that makes you feel less alone it is morrissey, too bad he's crumpled here
It's a real shame yeah, he's let himself go.
The number of live action TV shows based around children and teenagers that depict them as believable and realistic can be counted on one hand.
The kids in skins were about 5 years older than children of the stones but kids do indeed love a treat
What about Byker Grove or Grange Hill. He doesn't mention them.
He's obviously never been to Bristol, Skinz is actually pretty accurate. 
Yup, or south London, or Chelsea, this is typical of middle class boring teens and their BS.
stew lee lives in Hackney in London. its full of hipsters and their nonsense. 
I quite like Skins. For all the reason Stew says. It makes me feel alone & scared. I like it when a show can stir emotions like that.
@MangaNeoLeo That's the 2nd movement of Beethoven's 7th Symphony.
the film 'submarine', for me, is the most perfect insight into the mind of a teenager ever put to screen
Totally agree with this. I've always despised Skins.
@FractalZero "(b) the meaning of drug use can be understood only in the context of an individual's personality structure and developmental history." "In short, the frequent users appear to be relatively maladjusted as children. As early as age 7, the picture that emerges is of a child unable to form good relationships, who is insecure, and who shows numerous signs of emotional distress.
I wish I'd been around earlier... before watching this I just expected a rant from a bored, middle-aged comedian, but he couldn't be more right
If you haven't seen it, you should watch Harold and Maude. If you like Submarine, you'll probably like it - Brooker's a big fan; when he previewed one of the episodes of Black Mirror, he did it back to back with Harold and Maude.
@jcb21691 Ahh, I see, it's really a clever satire highlighting sexist and misogynistic attitudes occurring in the schooling/socialisation process. Thanks for that, I see how utterly wrong-headed and misinformed my thinking was. Cheers!
i find myself doubting everything he says because he constantly sounds sarcastic.
“This is how people should greet eachother, like in Children of the Stones—” “Hello!” “Hello!” Hahaha.
I like Skins. I could pretend I don't, because I agree with Lee about how different teenage life is in the real world, but I do. The first couple of series of Skins were great. They were nothing like my life, by they were an entertaining fantasy. Silly escapism from the mundane isolation of my life. I don't think teens watch skins because they want to see an accuarate protrayal of teenage life, any more then adults watch enders or corrie for an realistic depictionn of their lives.
When I look at history, I feel like we as teenagers are more alone than ever before - everyone lives in their own small bubbles and the only way to escape it is getting pissed at the weekend. Stewart Lee you hero. I'm 18 btw
I liked the series of Skins with that goggle-eyed dude from the Office, and that big African kid - that was a pretty well written series I thought, the little shits that were little shits, kinda got what was coming to them. Didn't like the other series much... really programs like Inbetweeners are closer to the mark IMO. Teenagers are mostly awkward, socially inept losers - and it's ok to laugh at that because we've been there. Skins on the other hand, well it's just a bit too insepid.
I'm kind of in a grey area about it myself. Although I think Skins is an okay show and I like that each episode is a character study with character development and really good actors for kids of their age, but a lot of it IS very out there and there isn't one teen in that show who doesn't drink, do drugs, smoke, party or fuck around and if they don't do all that they're suicidal. There wasn't one character I could relate to.
I hear they won't allow it to go to series 4 for some reason. ;D
I'm aware everyone's entitled to their opinion but it's called a story arc, if you judge Clockwork Orange by the first twenty minutes it's just a series of disgusting acts committed by a psychopath. You have to go a bit further, even Charlie Brooker, the guy who made this show Lee's appearing on later admitted he judged Skins too quickly 'As it goes on, it becomes clear Skins isn't a youth show at all, but a proper drama, far closer to Jimmy McGovern's The Street than Hollyoaks.'
@FractalZero If you find the comments vague then you obviously have no empirical experience of feeling that way just as I have no empirical experience of the feelings in a religious fundamentalist's mind state. As for your point about none anecdotal evidence, no theory in the world is provable as each person can only approach the world from their point of view. Skeptical argument reduces us down to not even being able to know that what is in front of our eyes exists.
@BlowBackBenny - About as good as anybody could put it. Going slightly OT here and more related to skins but I personally felt the first cast of skins had a good storyline with the majority of the characters being believable-ish. However when I watched cast 2 & 3 it almost seemed likes the programmes had been written by totally different writers with the main goal being to make everything more ridiculous.
I love this guy, he's so honest and clever without being a dick. A true legend of the mind and tongue. Big love Stu x
Really appreciate the awesome Beethoven going on near the beginning.
@jimmybob12 Sure, because 'adult' and OAP are synonymous...
Josie Long, a comedian featured in Stewart Lee's 'The Alternative Comedy Experience' is an incredibly clever and funny comedian who's friends with Mr. Lee. Incidentally, she is a writer for 'Skins'.
he's right, skins is vile, everyone in it is cunt and it's sad that this is what arseholes are aspiring too.
I would hate to be in my early teens growing up these days.Being young you feel enough pressure with the world as it is since youre still learning.Every teenager feels alienated and scared,its natural,but what annoys me is pathetic TV shows like skins,magazines ect telling young people how to live their lives...that if they dont make themselves look perfect then they are weird alienated people.They glamorise sex so much that it makes them feel out of place if they dont sleep with 100s of people
What's wrong with skins? It's a good show imo, interesting charachters, good acting. Not only cunts watch skins, wtf? :s
@Lan5in6 so true even though it was generally a much better a show i think the fact that it was more true to the life of a teenager that made it even more popular and you could relate with it more because your average teenager on the street is an 'inbetweener' not some mad, drug taking emotionaly unstable little cunt
How in all FUCK can you think Hitler and Stalin are polarities?
I never enjoyed skins, i think the only part i enjoyed was when tony gets hit by a bus
most of the people I know and subsequently have known adore skins, I'm glad someone else realises that it's a crock of shit and above all not at all realistic. Something they don't talk about here is that a lot of people my age try too hard to imitate what goes on in party filled drug fests like skins because they think it's the norm, and either end up in hospital or getting told off by their parents because they're children, or even worse, they think they're cool, silly bastards.
@FractalZero "They are, then, alienated from the "love and work" that lend a sense of satisfaction and meaning to life. Consistent with this, they appear to feel troubled and inadequate. It is easy to see how these characteristics could create a vicious cycle: Feeling troubled and inadequate, these adolescents withdraw from work and relationships, and alienated from work and relationships, they feel all the more troubled and inadequate."
Skins is not at all accurate to British teens.
I thought charlie brooker and stewart lee were the same person!? wtf!? Cmon, make it easier for us.... MERGE!
you sir, are a twat. if you had just said tv is evil it'd been fine
@C8CKSTAR They are not the only two reasons people take drugs, and even the two reasons you provide are so horribly vague i wonder if you've ever even drank alcohol nevermind used other drugs.
Skins is fine. It's entertaining and well written, and covers a lot of problems teens are having these days. Its just it is very dramatized, to the point where almost no one can relate, not even the target audience. Generation 1 is more about shagging and unrelated shit, whereas Gen 2 everyone just hated each other and it was pointless. Gen 3 was the best for me, but Lee is right... Most teens just feel left out if they see a bunch of non stop shagfest on a popular series. Gen 3 wins by far.
Skins was completely meaningless. It was designed more than written. It had no depth at all. It was contrived and had no other purpose than to get viewers who will watch anything pretending to be anything other than a hollow product.
when i was young i wanted to murder the whole cast of biker grove. it was a blinding hatred that poisoned and haunted me for years and in the end got me put away. i had just been declared sane and concidered not a danger to others when Skins came out....im saving up for a chainsaw
@ignorantpom the music is Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A Major Movement 2
I want more Screenwipe seasons. :(
@guitarmaster1112 Who's a "baguette eating dickhead frog"? Skins is well shit. And I think the fact that you've got a video with some poor confused cunt being smacked in the bollocks with a cricket ball speaks volumes about the sort of "comedy" you find entertaining. Go and smoke some really strong draw like those fucks on Skins; hopefully it'll render you infertile. Or maybe Ryan'll get his own back...with a croquet mallet.
@HandyBendyGandhi You are unpersuasive. Extremely so.
When I watched skins I figured I was meant to identify with sid. he kinda made me feel good because I'd had sex by his age and sort of knew what I was doing socially, but I got where he was coming from. Then he took off his shirt in one episode revealing abs and a six pack and neat pecs and it was like a curtain lifted and the show just made me feel alienated and unpopular from then on.
I've always got the feeling that the awful hipness of Skins was kind of forced. There's a lot of quality and artistic merit in Skins, and I feel like they had to shoehorn in the ludicrous over-the-top hedonism to convince twats in suits that teenagers would want to watch it. It feels like an advert sometimes, telling kids, "Look! We know exactly what you like! THIS IS YOU!" while at the same time missing the point completely, and suffering as a result.
I can always watch Skins and enjoy it, but you'd have to be an idiot to be able to sit through it without saying "this just wouldn't happen. No one behaves like this. No one's lives are like this. No man exists who gets gawped at by every girl he passes. This is ridiculous." That's my viewing experience of it anyway.
@IneffableLifestyle Its true. He misses a lot of the point about Skins specifically, but generally Skins is symptomatic of what TV Execs think teenagers want to watch.
@FractalZero However I have a suggestion to you, the pragmatist Paul Grice states that conversation is a cooperative enterprise, in other words we should help each other attain our own sense of the world through it. So in future if you wish to engage someone in debate, don't be upset if their individual truth is not your own. At the end of the day there is no objective truth in the socratic sense only what we attach our minds to. Peace
Yep, couldn't agree more, what truly revolting cunts. And yes they would make me feel more alone if I were a teenager now
Homo Propaganda? Oh god, not another homophobic nut.
He's totally right! I don't identify with Skins at all and none of the characters are likeable in the slightest. For some reason, teenagers are made to feel inadequate and unpopular for not liking or watching Skins, but there are a lot of people who don't like it.
I watch skins and think 'you're all cunts, a dalek would be less of a prick because at least its honest about it's disgust for all otherkind' then I look at my friends, who all gleefully emulate the skins ideal, and think myself lucky that I can tut at my cake and eat it to.
Come on! Give A Clockwork Orange a bit more credit than that!
sorry i have no idea which channel skins aired on, but i have a sneaking suspicion that theyre all run by paedos.
Its really great to hear someone like Stewart Lee having an opinion which i can relate to. Ive only ever watched one episode of skins and thats only because napalm death were in it! Other wise watching it would just depress the fuck out of me because ive never lived anything remotely close to the lifestyle that is portrayed in that awful show. I absoulutely love Stewart Lee and think he is a genius not just in comedy but theres very little i can disagree with him on his views on society.
reading the comments on this makes me wonder, did any of you get this joke?
Awkward and alienated characters in season one I guess would be Cassie? I hesitate to include Sid, because I did not know he attempted to be a date rapist, and thus I don't like the idea of him representing awkward kids. They have more difficult problems to deal with than ~the agony of becoming a date rapist~, even in series 1 - cancer, anorexia, Tony's rehabilitation after the crash which led (cont.)
@FractalZero Nice attempt to be clever, but vagueness on a topic doesn't entail ignorance of that topic. Your comment was also fallacious and is the equivalent of saying 'your reasons why people go skydiving are so vaque, I wonder if you've ever gone yourself.' My knowledge on the general reasons why people do drugs isn't affected by whether or not I have done drugs.
Skins is titalation for C4 which is loosing viewers to sky. Its not shocking its dull.
What can you say- brilliant. He's nailed it perfectly. It's so reassuring to know there ARE other people out there who share my opinion of Skins. Skins is the perfect expression of post-Thatcherite Britain: ugly, shallow, ignorant, cruel and materialistic. Ah well, so long as Stephen Fry is alive and making QI there is hope.
ABSOLUTLEY! That's exactly how I felt watching Skins, more alienated and alone I'm 20 by the way.....
I watch Skins and i feel alienated and alone
Yeah Skins seems pretty poor, I've barely watched it. I'm sure there are lots of better shows on for young people though... shame there's so much junk on TV (for all ages, let's be fair)...
It's from the 2nd movement (allegretto) of Beethoven's Symphony Nr. 7.
@FractalZero "At age 18, the frequent users appear unable to invest in, or derive pleasure from, meaningful personal relationships. Indeed, they seem fortified against the possibility of such relationships through their hostility, distrust, and emotional withdrawal. Neither do they appear to be capable of investing in school and work, or of channeling their energies toward meaningful future goals."
Xi Jinping has really let himself go
@FractalZero Individualism therefore is the best option, everyone should make sense of the world in their own way because from a purely objective view information cannot exist.
@vollsticks The point is that Simon 'fucking' Bird's does have a punchable face. He's not meant to be admired. His character isn't a role model; just a kid trying to make friends and find his feet in a world he doesn't really get. And the show is not just gratuitous filth; it undermines gratuitous filth by making it uncomfortable to watch and ensuring that any attempts at meaningless sexual predation upon women fail. (It fails most when it shoots itself in the foot with unqualified misogyny).
Stewart Lee is right about everything regarding Skins except the greeting. I would prefer being groped under the table rather than a bike ride. That I can't ride a bike is neither here nor there.
The main problem with his argument isn't even his misconceptions about modern teenagers, it's the fact that Skins isn't made for teenagers in the first place, it's a show for adults.
f you don';t watch it in that light it's actually a pretty good drama
Hear hear. An excellent comment, and I wish it many more months at the top. I've taken a look at the first four episodes, and read a bit about it elsewhere, and am finding it fascinating. Thank you.
I think this is pretty perceptive. Instead of letting kids know that it's normal to feel out of place and lonely, it encourages the idea that they should be blustery phoneys pretending not to feel like that at all and making it that much the worse.
This piece has always seemed kind of simplistic to me. Wheras Children of the Stones is a sci-fi/fantasy show designed for younger kids, Skins is basically a stylised soap opera marketed towards an older, teen demographic. There are still plenty of programmes for the former audience (Doctor Who, Merlin and the like), and in any case, Skins isn't necessarily as crude and hollow as Lee implies.
@SkyPirateYankee i see you removed your comment, huh
@rosiewardd96 He's not saying it doesn't happen, he's saying the way that its depicted is out of sync with the emotional state of being a teenager. As someone who was on just about every drug (except crack & heroine) as a teenager, I can tell you that skins doesn't accurately cover teenage drug culture. People take drugs because they are uncomfortable in their own skin or peer pressured into doing so not because they are effortlessly confident and cool
Skins is a complete fantasy and anyone who doesn't think so is just an idiot.
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