Skins took another dip down with the fourth episode “Cadie.” So far, the series has been struggling to really find it’s footing. The premiere episode was pretty disappointing, but one week later the show showed a wealth of potential with a character unique to the American version. Last week’s episode “”Chris was pretty much a a rehash of its British counterpart, but still managed to remain fresh and entertaining. However, it seems that Skins has slipped once again in the most recent episode about an emotionally-damaged young girl and her struggle to find a place in the world.
Cadie is, in a word, troubled. She’s deeply depressed, over-medicated and under-appreciated. She sees several different psychiatrists who dope her up until she can’t feel anything. Her parents ignore her, and her “friends” use her. She’s utterly and completely alone.
Through the haze of mood-altering drugs, Cadie’s social life is pretty much non-existent. She pretends to be having sex with Stan (for his benefit), but the mere charade is enough for her to call him her boyfriend. Then when she finds out that Stan only invited her to Michelle’s party for her pills, she’s so hurt that she turns to the advances of Michelle’s mom’s pervy boyfriend.
The role of parental figures is probably the most interesting aspect of the show. The absence of reliable adult role models in Skins is a theme that was quite prominent in the original series and has made appearances in the American version as well (although less effectively). Cadie’s parents are oblivious to her problems as they pawn her off on doctors instead of spending quality time with her. “Cadie, don’t be batty,” her mom tells her. “Emotions aren’t real.” Her idea of reality is confused with vanity as she models around in her bathing suit talking about how beautiful she is despite her age.
At the party, Michelle’s mom and her boyfriend are both drinking and letting the kids do as they please. Later, after Michelle’s mom passes out, the boyfriend starts preying on the kids.
Despite all the drama, this episode falls depressingly flat. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t make myself interested in Cadie or the plot of her episode at all. To be honest, I had a bad feeling about this episode from the get-go. I’ve said this before, but Cadie is probably my least favorite character on the show. This is mainly because her U.K. parallel Cassie is my favorite character of the entire series. It was probably wise of MTV to pursue a different direction with the character because it would be very difficult for any young actress to top Hannah Murray’s interpretation of the role. But rather than create a fresh new character, they just took all of the heavy dramatic aspects of Cassie and left out the wonderful vibrant qualities that balanced her out. The result turns out to be fairly boring despite its best efforts.