3.8

Skins Review: "Eura" (Episode 1.10)

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<em>Skins</em> Review: "Eura" (Episode 1.10)

The Skins finale was at best anti-climactic, and at worst, a disappointing waste of time and possibilities. “Eura” would have been more appropriately titled “Everyone,” as the season finale of the U.K. version was. The primary plot of the episode dealt with wrapping up the individual story arcs of the characters, as well as the collective story about teenage kids growing up in modern-day America — or rather, a show about teenage kids growing up in modern-day Britain redressed with Canadian and American actors and an American setting (despite being filmed in Canada).

The finale finds all of the gang disconnected from each other as a result of Tony and Tea’s affair. However, when it appears that Tony’s sister Eura has been kidnapped, Stanley calls in the troops to locate her. When they finally do find her, it turns out that she wasn’t kidnapped after all. She faked the whole thing in order to rouse Tony out of his depression and bring everyone back together.

By the end of the episode, this seems somewhat accomplished, but there are just enough loose ends left open to hopefully draw viewers for another season. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. The kidnapping plotline is built up to seem extremely important, but it falls exceptionally flat. Eura’s U.K. counterpart Effy is likewise kidnapped in the original series, but her abduction is tied into several other characters’ story arcs and is built up over a couple of episodes. This is one of the major flaws of the American Skins: It borrows from the original but is much too clumsy in its execution.

Another huge factor in the failure of MTV’s Skins is the acting. Creator Bryan Elsley has made a point to hire largely inexperienced actors for the show, and in the past, this has worked out to the show’s advantage, capturing very real portraits of youth culture. However, the actors on the American version just don’t seem to cut the mustard.

It really is a shame that Skins didn’t work out in America. The original is such a great series, and the realm of possibilities for expanding it to other cultures seemed endless. The show seemed to have such potential early on but was ultimately unsuccessful with its follow-through.

Stray Obserations
-Effy is one of the more interesting characters in the original Skins. She is dark, mysterious and, most noticeably, mute. When she finally speaks her first words in the show, it is a moment that stands out. On the other hand, with Eura, we weren’t really exposed to her enough before the final episode to really gain much interest in her, and the few occasions where she was glimpsed before, there wasn’t really much substance available to pique our attention.

-The song near the end seemed really out of place. I actually kind of liked the cover of Tears for Fears’ “Shout,” but it was served no real purpose in the context of the show. There is a similar musical number in the original series in which several of the characters sing Cat Stevens’ “Wild World,” but the song follows an extremely surprising, climactic moment, adding a sense of melodrama and muted closure. There was no such moment or sensation with MTV’s Skins.