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Meet the Predecessor to “Euphoria”: “Skins (UK)”

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northwestern chapter.

If you are like me (or the other 13 million weekly viewers), you are dangerously addicted to “Euphoria.” And I mean it when I say dangerous. When 8 p.m. rolls around every Sunday, it does not matter how much work I have — I am watching “Euphoria” the night it airs (or else it will get spoiled for me on TikTok). 

I have been watching “Euphoria” since it first aired in summer 2019, and I have been hooked ever since. Zendaya’s acting, the beautiful cinematography, the alluring soundtrack, the complex characters, the list goes on. It truly is a captivating show that reels you in.

While “Euphoria” was not filming or airing during quarantine, I was looking for something to fill the “Euphoria”-sized hole in my heart. When my sister suggested “Skins” (the UK version of course) and described it as a “British Euphoria,” I was a bit hesitant to watch a raunchy show from 2007. But once I gave in and started watching it, I guess it did fill that intense teen-soap hole in my heart. Also, how could I resist a young Nicholas Hoult

Both shows revolve around a group of troubled teens in high school and their struggles to find themselves and overcome their vices. (Interestingly, on “Skins,” the cast and characters change every two seasons, which obviously does not happen on “Euphoria.”) Both shows involve mature themes: drug use, trauma, explicit sex — topics maybe more suited for college-aged characters but nonetheless played out through teenage characters. Although both shows take it a little far at times and do not always seem the most realistic, both delve into universal themes like mental health and young love that resonate emotionally with viewers.

While “Euphoria” now makes “Skins” seem like child’s play in terms of pushing the envelope with nudity, drug use and other mature material, both were deemed controversial at the time of airing. When it aired, “Skins” was deemed one of “the most dangerous television shows for children ever” due to its explicit content. Similarly, “Euphoria” has racked up a fair amount of criticism for the sheer amount of nudity and drugs shown on the show. Even D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education, if you remember from elementary school) has criticized “Euphoria” for glamorizing drug use, sex and violence. 

But in my opinion, both shows increase awareness of struggles like addiction, eating disorders, and other mental illnesses, showing how debilitating they can be and feel. While the situations on the shows might not be realistic, the actual emotions are. Both shows can make viewers feel less alone in their feelings and struggles. 

I won’t lie: “Skins” does have problematic moments that have not aged well since 2007.“Euphoria” does too. But if you’re looking for a similarly edgy new show to binge when the second season of “Euphoria” comes to an end, look no further than “Skins.” Just go into it with an understanding that this is a show from 2007 and watch it with a critical eye, the same way you hopefully criticize some of “Euphoria’s” controversial choices. And come on, how can you resist a British accent?

Jessie Chaiet

Northwestern '23

Jessie Chaiet is a senior from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, studying Journalism and Economics at Northwestern University. In her free time, she loves to go to the gym, keep up with the latest pop culture news and curate Spotify playlists.