Monday, November 21, 2011

Angst Initiate: Chris Miles on Skins

I'm pretty sad American networks keep remaking amazing British television. Once in a while, it works out. The Office used to be good and Queer As Folk also translated pretty well. These once-in-a-while cases are why they keep trying. But more often than not, the remakes are pale reflections of their British counterparts. And when the remakes are absolutely god awful (as they SO often are) they turn people off watching the British original all together. And that's a huge shame. 

Case in point: Skins. The British version is amazing and the American one sucked balls. And if you're one of the twelve people who watched the American version, trust me, try the original. Seriously. Especially if you love angsty boys as much as I do.

Joe Dempsie as Chris Miles on Skins When will the American's learn? Joe Dempsie as Chris Miles on Skins
The thing I don't love about the British version is that they change casts every two years. I haven't actually watched past series two because I'm still angry that all the characters I fell in love with just vanished. But series one and two are simply too phenomenal to be left off The Angst Report. 

Joe Dempsie as Chris Miles on Skins Joe Dempsie as Chris Miles on Skins
There aren't many shows that give you a huge buffet of angst ridden boys. Vampire Diaries is the only one currently on the air that I think qualifies. Friday Night Lights did it too. And so did Skins. 

It's difficult for me to pick a favorite character from the first generation of Skins. I loved each and every one, including the chicks. And all of the boys had serious angst issues over the course of the two years (except Anwar...sorry Dev Patel. But you've done okay for yourself despite having the least interesting character on Skins.)

Spoilers ahead.

I decided to write about Chris first because...well...he dies. And it's awful. And depressing. And I was legitimately shocked when it happened. Dying is pretty much the angiest thing a character can do. I mean, suicide is the angiest way to die, and Chris doesn't kill himself, but in this case, that might just make it worse. Because personality-wise, he wasn't angsty at all. He was a character who loved life and laughed a lot. Over the course of the two seasons, he gets everything taken away from him, piece by piece. 

Joe Dempsie as Chris on Skins I'm going do die soon, Jal. Is this trip really necessary? Joe Dempsie as Chris on Skins
It's hard to understand who Chris is before the first Chris centric episode. At first, he's sort of a merry prankster, mostly just comic relief like Anwar. But when we learn some of his backstory (dead brother, father abandoned him, mother later abandons him) his crappy situation really comes into focus. 

Joe Dempsie as Chris Miles on Skins Joe Dempsie as Chris Miles on Skins
Joe Dempsie as Chris Miles on Skins Being angsty means loosing all my chapstick. Joe Dempsie as Chris Miles on Skins
The episode also makes you realize how great Joe Dempsie is. Chris doesn't have many layers before this. It's basically all smart-ass humor. And therefore Joe Dempsie doesn't have a ton to do. But in episode four, when Chris is left alone and he has to go begging his dad for help, he 180s personality-wise. Suddenly his bravado is gone and he's all drawn in on himself. And at this exact right moment, there's Jal. Future love. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, all angsty boys are better when there's a girl around to witness the pain.

Joe Dempsie as Chris Miles and Larissa Wilson as Jal on Skins Chris and Jal Skins
Jal and Chris are a great couple and Jal's a great character in her own right. Skins is one of very few shows where the female characters are as varied and interesting the males. There's more to be said about Chris (and more to screen-cap!) but episode four is really Chris 101. And it's delightfully angsty.

1 comment:

  1. I started reading your blog for the Tate Langdon posts, but now you've reminded me of how good the first series of Skins was, must re-watch! Thanks