Which ‘Skins’ Character Is The Most Devastating? A Ranking
Ten years later, Crystal Castles will still probably make you cry (don't test it).
Spoilers for Skins, obviously (and weirdly, Downton Abbey).
This month is the tenth anniversary of Skins, the show that made other teen dramas look like sanitised after-school specials starring sarcastic 26-year-olds.
Skins was the real one; the one that starred real middle class teenagers with real acne, real low-rise pleated skirts, polo shirts and fluorescent belts and shitty flip phones. “This is what being a teenager is really like,” you’ve probably said, while pretending that when you were a teenager who got invited to cool drug parties where everyone was beautiful and made out with each other. You didn’t. I know that you didn’t.
You probably listened to Gossip a lot, though.
The thing about Skins was between the cool drug parties and exciting British slang (‘safe’? What the bloody hell does that mean!!!) it was secretly one of the most depressing things on television from 2007 to 2013. You may think that Breaking Bad was the most depressing show during that period but no, sorry, Walter never confessed to Jessie that his father was sitting at home dead while they were at a Crystal Castles concert. Millennials can’t actually listen to ‘Alice Practice’ without welling up. That’s an irrefutable fact, don’t test it though.
(Note: we’re only doing First Generation here, because this show is full of so many sad characters that the rest of my career would be spent documenting every sad thing to ever happen on Skins, then I might eat my own hands just to have an excuse to stop writing about that. I really want to keep my hands.)
It’s time to rate Skins characters according to how devastating they are, let’s go.
Anwar is conflicted because his lifestyle, which is mainly motivating by scoring drugs and attempting to sleep with girls, doesn’t sit comfortably with the fact that he’s a practicing Muslim. This results in him temporarily rejecting his best friend, Maxxie, because he judges him for being gay and hides Maxxie’s sexual orientation from his parents. But then they make up! Anwar’s problems are usually solved in a timely manner and he has a very nice and supportive family, thus Anwar is probably one of the least devastating characters to appear on Skins.
(Side note: who knew that Anwar would turn out to be a hottie, not me, dare to dream kids.)
Maxxie is remarkably well-adjusted for someone who was literally stalked by another character on the show. His most devastating moments revolve around other characters discriminating against him because he’s gay, including his best friend Anwar (see above) and some dude named Dale who lives in the same block of flats, who then turns out to be in the closet and just wants to make out. Hm.
What really seems to bother Maxxie, is when his dad declares that he can’t be a dancer in London because he has to become a builder in Bristol. He takes this back almost immediately though, and Maxxie is no longer devastated. Like Anwar, Maxxie has a very supportive family which on Skins seems to be the key to having a good life.
Michelle is treated very badly by Tony. Tony continually cheats on her, withholds affection and makes fun of her boobs. Michelle sort of gets revenge on him by sleeping with his best friend, Sid, but this is also motivated by the fact that Michelle is frustrated that Tony isn’t recovering from his head injury fast enough. Michelle sometimes ignores the problems of her friends because she has trouble seeing outside of her own problems with Tony.
When you think about it, Michelle can be kind of a dick, but being a dick and being devastating are not always mutually exclusive.
Effy isn’t in season one and two that much (I doubt she even has more than 20 lines in either season), but when she does pop up it always has fairly devastating consequences. Effy — who is only 14 when the show starts — has a drug overdose when she is tricked by some local private school boys trying to get revenge on her brother, Tony. Effy is also the one who witnesses Tony being hit by a bus and helps him recover from a brain injury. When her mum slips into a deep depression after Tony’s accident, Effy is the one to look after the whole family.
If you still don’t believe that Effy is devastating, please note how much eyeliner she wears. As Sigmund Freud once said,”eyeliner is the first indicator of deep sadness”.
Jal is the most level-headed member of the group, which is remarkable because her life is truly devastating. Jal’s mum left home with no explanation and which causes Jal’s father to be grumpy pretty much all the time. Jal doesn’t really feel supported in her musical pursuits, even though her dad is some sort of grime rapper/producer who is very famous and important.
The reason Jal is devastating is a pretty devastating reason: she finds out that she’s pregnant and then like a week later her boyfriend unexpectedly dies. Then her boyfriend’s dad says she’s not allowed to go to the funeral. Can you think of a more devastating scenario on Skins? I’ll wait.
I mean, getting hit by a bus is pretty devastating. And then, even when you start recovering from being hit by a bus, your best friend and your sort-of girlfriend start sleeping together. That’s a pretty bad year.
Just because you’re almost offensively good looking doesn’t mean you’re not also extremely devastating.
Sketch’s story is one of the worst in the whole of Skins. Sketch stalks Maxxie, not in a ‘oh my god you’re OBSESSED with him, what a stalker’ way, but in a ‘taking secret photos, masturbating on his bed and then hiding under his bed while he’s sleeping’ kind of way.
Sketch also poisons Michelle so she can be in the school play opposite Maxxie, falsely accuses the play director of assaulting her to get him fired, ties up her disabled mother when she accuses Sketch of lying about the above and then starts seeing Anwar to creep out Maxxie. You feel sorry for her, but in the way that you wish she was never on the show and you’d never even heard her name.
Angie is devastating because she’s a loser who ruins everything, sorry.
Sid is a fairly lowly character when we meet him, particularly as his dad and best friend, Tony, love to reiterate what a pitiable loser he is. This results in Sid actually becoming the most loveable character on account of him being vaguely pathetic — something that is only attractive in a TV character and not a real life person.
Sid is probably the person who does the most crying in the show (Michelle not included; Michelle manages to cry on average once an episode) mainly because he cries when he’s frustrated and being Tony’s best friend is extremely frustrating at all times. However all of this information is irrelevant, because the thing that makes Sid truly devastating is his dad’s death.
Sid wakes up after a tumultuous night (his dad finally stands up to his own horrible dad, reunites with Sid’s mother and has a rare warm moment with Sid) and finds his dad dead in the lounge room. Sid then goes to school in shock, goes to see Crystal Castles in shock, and ends up breaking down telling Tony about it during the concert. Sid’s dad’s death is one of the most devastating English TV deaths of all time.
Worst English TV Deaths Of All Time, Ranked:
1. Sybil Crawley, Downton Abbey
2. Cousin Matthew, Downton Abbey
3. Sid’s dad, Skins
4. Mrs. Coddlesworthpepper, Peartree Lane (made-up show)
Ooh boy, Cassie. Cassie! Cassie’s story is a tale of relentless neglect — she is ignored by her parents, friends and she also can’t seem to hold the attention of Sid. This results in her developing an eating disorder and more than once, attempting suicide, for some semblance of control over her life.
But it’s not all bad! Cassie finally wins Sid! But then Chris dies and she runs away to New York, where she is abandoned again (to the soundtrack of ‘Hometown Glory’ by Adele, the actual most devastating song in British history). On closer reflection, it is in fact all bad.
I don’t want to talk about it.