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The news of director John Hughes’ (“The Breakfast Club,” “Some Kind of Wonderful,” Pretty in Pink”) passing this morning is made even more poignant by the fact that the latest season of “Skins,” a gritty BBC teen drama full of Hughes’ influence, premieres tonight on BBC America.
Powered by sex, drugs, and ennui, “Skins” follows the exploits of a group of teen friends in Bristol, England, as they navigate the twists-and-turns of adolescence. While seasons one and two focused on popular Tony Stonem (“About a Boy’s” Nicholas Hoult) and his clique, season three is all about his beautiful and manipulative sister Effy and her circle of friends.


With no topic off limits in the first two seasons–sexual identity, eating disorders, selling drugs, growing up Muslim, teen pregnancy, overbearing parents, absent parents, dead parents–and no character safe, all indications are pointing to the third series being just as commanding.
This ain’t no soapy “Gossip Girl,” this is realistic, riveting drama with great acting from a young cast–season one featured a then unknown Dev Patel (“Slumdog Millionaire”)–and terrifyingly incisive writing. “Skins” is the type of show that Hollywood producers drool over, but
that would never survive a trans-Atlantic translation to American television. Which means it’s definitely worth your time.
“Skins” airs Thursday nights at 9:00 p.m. on BBC America.

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