Controversial teen shows like 13 Reasons Why and Euphoria are all the rage these days, but this trend really began back in 2007, when the British series Skins electrified audiences with its unfiltered, unapologetic handling of dark, mature topics. Throughout its seven seasons, the hit show broke new ground in terms of what teen shows could portray, as well as introduced a fresh new anthology-style format to the genre. Unfortunately, Skins is leaving Netflix in August 2020, so it won't be easy for U.S. fans to stream the seminal dramedy for much longer. There's still time, though, since each season has relatively few episodes and it's built to be marathoned.
Netflix announced all seven seasons of Skins will no longer be available to stream beginning on Saturday, Aug. 1. Skins has been available on Netflix for quite some time. The show was a rite of passage for all teenagers in the UK who grew up in the late 2000s, but many American viewers still may have missed it. The show's premise may seem basic at first — it chronicles the trials and tribulations of a group of friends in high school together — but it set itself apart from other teen shows by unabashedly exploring sensitive storylines and constantly shifting its point of view.
One of the most notable aspects of Skins is the formatting of its episodes and seasons. Each episode is told from the perspective of a different member of the core friend group, often revealing new details or significance about an event that had already been previously shown. The series takes this perspective-shifting to a macro sense as well, as both Season 3 and Season 5 nearly completely did away with the past group of characters to focus on a totally new central group.
Along with its experimental format, Skins also pushed the topics it depicted to extremes. Many of the show's teen characters used drugs, experimented sexually, and coped with various mental illnesses. The series stirred up controversy when the show was still coming out with new content, although these topics seem relatively common compared to the edgy teen shows of 2020.
The show also served as a launching pad for some of the most successful British actors working today. Nicholas Hoult and Dev Patel helmed Skins' first two seasons, and Daniel Kaluuya even had a small role in those beginning seasons well before he broke big in Get Out and Black Panther. A ton of Skins alums also found television success within another fandom as Game of Thrones stars: Hannah Murray went on to play Gilly in the HBO fantasy series, and Joe Dempsie portrayed Gendry.
If you're looking for a dramatic, messy, and shocking teen show to stream, it's heard to beat Skins, so be sure to watch (or rewatch) it before Netflix removes the series on Aug. 1.