The Drama Skins is a bildungsroman drama that shows the life and friendships of U.K. teenagers.
Each episode title in this drama is represents the main characters’ name. Also, each episode deals with teenagers overcoming their problems. All the main characters enjoy drugs, alcohol and a sex life. They just want to enjoy their youth; but they each have their difficulties such as their parents’ divorce, adultery, a lover’s sudden death, and anorexia or other delusional disorder following behind them. Similar to this drama, adults in reality define teenagers as abnormal people who are not following the exact rules. Then why are teenagers continuously rebelling? Why do they choose preposterous ways?
The first main character is 'Anwar Kharral'. He is an Islamic student who is attending a school in England. Every morning he prays and bows down wearing Islamic traditional clothes, but when he turns around he is surrounded by drugs, women, and sexual relations. Due to this dual life, he gets easily confused and misunderstood. Nevertheless, he cares about his friends a lot, and often more than any other characters. Basically, he doesn't look like he has any problems at all. He enjoys a drinking life; he drinks strong liquor called tequila and he takes drugs that arouse hallucinations.
Then why can't he overcome his own dissipated life? The answer is within his family's severe surveillance and monitoring. His family forces him to concentrate on his school life while studying the Koran and Islamic life at the same time. He has to recite difficult statements from the Koran and must pray every day. He rebels against the religious rites and rules kept by his family. This situation continues as his parents become the older generation and enforce a functionalist attitude on Anwar.
A functionalist attitude is the attitude that rules and rules of a role given to you within an integrated society must be obeyed. Before Anwar realized what he liked to do, he lost his identity in a society and religion that had already been formed. We can sympathize that we always disobey fixed things to set our own personal right definition. It is a common reason for youth's rebellion to seek freedom from a strict family.
The second character in the drama is Zal Fazer. She is the most talented and promising character in the drama. She is the cleverest and youngest clarinetist in England. Her life-goal is clear. She also has a novel dream. You can feel how passionate Zal is by the first scene where she pops-up while playing the clarinet. She doesn’t look different than any other students. Zal’s only focus is on her work when she is totally alone, but when she hangs around with her friends she enjoys drugs and tries to avoid communication with her parents.
The reason why perfect Zal cannot overcome her rebellion is because she has many heartbreaking events. Zal fell in love with Chris, who is a boy character in the drama. At first they were normal friends and later they got involved with each other. After they have lived together for a while, Zal gets pregnant. However, tragedy strikes when Chris is suddenly killed and Zal falls into drug use as a crutch for her feelings of loss and emptiness.
Another reason for communication problems between Zal and her family stem from a tragic family story.
Zal only lives with her father and his job is related to a gang’s boss. Her mother divorced her father when Zal was young. Her mother just left young Zal. After that, Zal lived without knowing her mother’s face and she needed an exit to avoid her given situations. Later on, she meets her mother, but she can’t feel any affection for her. So, she actually is a really pathetic character. She began her life of rebellion because of a tragic family story and her boyfriend’s sudden death. These would all be pathetic for any adolescent student.
All teenagers with various forms of rebellion have a similar point. The point is they do not seek rebellion because they're intrinsically wrong, but all they often hear from adults is; 'It's all your fault. You don't have innate talent and effort.' So, they can't easily speak to adults about their inside stories. Many immature teenagers want to know how to how to solve problems with their “innate talent”, but it is not a matter of how much effort they put in, rather it is whether they have a good coach or not.
Bullying, school violence, running away, laziness at school and pregnancy are treated legally, but cigarettes, alcohol, and lack of schooling are not treated legally, and society doesn't really focus on these subjects. However, the fact that deviant students who rebel and are not treated legally can be no less painful than it is for students who are legally isolated. The older generation does not listen and simply frowns at teenagers who enjoy rebellion. This situation is called 'Stigma effect'. The stigma effect means that if a person is branded negatively, the negative awareness about him or her does not disappear. If you hope this situation will not happen to teenagers and you sympathize with their ordeals, I suggest that you watch Skins. Every teenager in the world has to become a grown, autonomous adult, and be able to depending on each other. So, I hope they can show teenagers the flowers that they are can bloom again.
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