Are You For or Against Skins' Fourth Season?

Suicide, murder, and drug addiction have proved essential to the storylines of Skins' fourth season. The eight-part series has been far darker than before, featuring serious issues rarely covered on TV -- let alone on shows aimed at teens. Though it's continued to attract decent audience figures the show's dark changes have divided fans. Now the series has ended we put to you the cases for and against Skins' fourth season. Which side are you on?

FOR
OK, so this season of Skins has been rather grim and unrealistic, but hasn't that always been the case? Think back to the first two seasons when drug abuse was rife, Maxxie was stalked and Tony was hit by a bus. The storylines then were no more ridiculous than they are now, and they certainly didn't stop fans tuning in by their bucket loads. The show's just a bit of fun, albeit exaggerated; it doesn't try to be anything else.

It's actually quite refreshing to see the gang have to deal with the consequences of their actions, well apart from Cook that is -- he's still evading jail. For the last two seasons they've taken drugs, been in fights and slept around without a care in the world -- critics even claim Skins is glamorising these pastimes. Isn't it right then that after four seasons of recklessness we get to see the results of their behaviour? If it didn't happen this season it would be covered in another.

Granted, the murder of Freddie was unexpected and gory, but Skins has always set out to shock its audience. Doctor John bludgeoning Freddie to death certainly did that. It also led to an intriguing finale, in which his friends and family were left wondering where he'd gone right until the end (when Cook discovered his demise). Sure, there were storylines still unresolved when the final credits rolled, but again this was the case at the end of the last generation: remember the uncertain fate of lovestruck teens Cassie and Sid?

If you have any gripe with this series let it be with lack of episodes, which meant that not every character had their own instalment as was always the case in the past. This season Naomi and Panda missed out, and they were arguably two of the more interesting characters from this generation. The shame!

AGAINST
Nobody minds change when it's for the better. It's healthy for TV shows to evolve: it gives greater depth to characters and keeps audiences on their toes. The fact that Skins changes its entire cast every two years and continues to be renewed suggests that huge script changes don't put off audiences or broadcasters, or at least not E4.

The thing is: Skins has lost its way. It's changed so much in the past few seasons it's forgotten what it originally stood for -- illicit fun for the young -- and season four has taken the fall for all of this. Skins' quest to shock viewers has taken new meaning this series: once a drug-and-sex-fuelled teen show, it's now a full on drama about obsession, addiction and ill health.

It's not just the darker tone that spoils this season; it's the lack of character investment. Fans wouldn't be so annoyed if the transition went smoothly, but Freddie's murder seemed to come out of nowhere and Thomas’ cheating was so out of character. The storylines needed to mesh better, with an overrunning arc that lasted more than just three episodes. Alas, this wasn't to be.

Fans hoping the final episode would redeem the series' downfalls were sadly mistaken. The characters that they formed a bond with in season three were given wishy-washy send-offs that seemed to be picked out the sky. Sorry, but "I might have done some exams without telling anyone" is not a good enough explanation as to why our loveable, yet dim, Panda Pops managed to get a history scholarship at Harvard! Frustratingly, we'll never get to see how the group come to terms with Freddie's death, or what impact this will have on his mentally-ill girlfriend. At least we know Cook got his revenge on the psycho doctor. Or did he? The plot holes make us as crazy as Effy.

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for i love skins am a young teenage girl who would never do anything like they do here but its not real i love watching the lives of these challenged teenagers i loved effy in this generation and Chris in the last although i don't know anyone like that in real live. i just enjoy watching skins. i do think freddie's death was pointless and didn't really needed to be written in that way it was a bit over done however i will be watching skins for a while yet hopefully the writers will learn from the mistake that is Freddie's death. the rest of the series was good. i cryed while watching this series it was well written. i cant wait to see though what they come up with next
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I watched the first two seasons and it was ok, when I saw that in the third there was only Effy I was shocked, I mean, who changes all the characters but one?! I kept watching because I really liked Effy and there was Freddie and even Cook, but Freddie dying?!?!?!?!?! NO WAY! I'm so angry about that!!! Then I try to find out whether there is a chance of things getting better in season 5 but I only get more bad news such as Effy leaving too! Plus the romour that only Emily and Katy's brother might be staying is the last straw!!! I am now oficially disapointed and regret ever watching the show!!!
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The season 4 finale has made me decide that I won't be watching the next seasons. The writing has gone completely downhill, and sticking something in a show simply because it will be "shocking" is no justification in and of itself. It has to benefit and affect the story in some way. Freddie's death didn't do that. It was utterly pointless.
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The ending spoiled the season imo. Too much left unresolved. I think the show is evolving because it never thought it would be so popular, and thinks because it has such a massive audience they need to be more serious. Effy should have had a better ending. I really hope Cook killed that doctor. I will be watching next year; kind of excited to meet the new cast.
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I was very torn about this season. It seemed very choppy and the last episode has so much it had to cover that it seemed very rushed and incomplete. I'm still very curious to see the next cast though!
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Last nights episode and the last scene with Freddie really angered me investing so much time in watching series 3 and 4, for it to end like that. Really wasnt impressed.
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