Thursday, 3 February 2011

Human Skins

It may seem strange to some, but I'm really enjoying a couple of series on TV at the moment that aren't particularly aimed at my age group. No, I don't mean 'Tellytubbies', but 'Being Human' and 'Skins'. Both appear to be aimed at a much younger demographic than mine - I'm approaching 50 after all, even though at times I still feel about 17.

'Being Human' is the story of four housemates, one of whom is a vampire, one a ghost and the other two werewolves. Over the three series so far they have provided some interesting insights into what it means to be human, from those who are no longer fully that. Episode 1 of the new series had Annie, the ghost, being rescued from purgatory by Mitchell the vampire, who himself was forced to face up to some of the consequences of his actions over the last 90 years or so since his 'conversion'. In this week's story the group had the task of helping a 46 year-old vampire trapped in a 16 year-old body, with all the associated urges and issues of adolescence and blood-lust. As with the previous two series, this is wonderfully well-written and brilliantly acted.

'Skins' has always been a controversial show, and now in its 5th series is introducing us to a whole raft of new characters. I have to admit to being pleased that one of them, featured this week, is one with something approaching a decent taste in music - maybe there's hope for 'the young people of today' (says the old man). Again, the narrative gives interesting insights into what it means to be growing to maturity in 21st Century Britain, and the pressures, from friends and from society, that are faced by today's teenagers - not all that different from the ones I coped with back in the sepia-tinted days of the 70s.

I hope that programs such as these continue to be made, and continue to maintain the current high standard of story-telling, acting a production. Some of the scenes are not pleasant, but then at times life isn't, and it's good that we have these 'warts and all' portrayals of modern life.