The Second Series of Skins originally aired on E4 from February 11, 2008 to April 14, 2008.
Series 2 continues to follow the "first generation" of characters, which are featured in both Series 1 and Series 2. They are replaced in Series 3 by the "second generation".
Further, a new academic school year has begun, with the characters now in their second (and final) year of sixth form (equivalent to senior year of high school in North America).
The second series retained the nine main leads from the first series but added a tenth lead to the main cast.
Nicholas Hoult returns as Tony Stonem, whose character is dealing with significant changes in his life due to his injuries from his horrific accident that took place in "Series Finale" (episode 1.09).
Kaya Scodelario returns as Tony's younger sister Effy Stonem, who still reeling from seeing her brother almost killed, begins to bond with Michelle while also speaking much more, getting out from her almost mute state.
Both Georgina Moffat and Daniel Kaluuya return as major supporting characters Abigail Stock and Posh Kenneth, respectively. Abigail, still in love with Tony, attempts to use his invalid condition as a way to get closer to him. Posh Kenneth returns for another school year and bonds more with the gang.
Series creators Bryan Elsley and Jamie Brittain served as show runners for the second series, however only Elsley served as an executive producer, along with Charles Pattinson and George Faber.
The second series was produced by Company Pictures.
The main staff writers for the second series were Bryan Elsley, Jamie Brittain, Ben Schiffer, Sally Tatchell, Lucy Kirkwood, Daniel Kaluuya, and Jack Thorne.
Chris Clough, Anne Boyd, Chloe Moss, and Daniel Hank served as producers for the second series.
The regular directors for the second series were Aysha Rafaele, Simon Massey, Harry Enfield, and Charles Martin.
The second series' incidental music was composed by Fat Segal, who also composed the show's opening theme.
|#||Title||Featured Character(s)||UK Viewers||Original airdate||Total|
|1||"Tony and Maxxie"||Tony Stonem & Maxxie Oliver||1.312 million[A]||February 11 2008||10|
|Tony is recovering from the massive head injury he sustained at the end of series one. Sid and Michelle are nowhere to be seen, caring for an invalid friend has just been too much for them. So Maxxie is looking after Tony for the day. But Maxxie has his own problems. He desperately wants to leave college and follow his dream to become a dancer, but his Dad Walter is giving him hell about it. Tony wants to go back to college, but his parents won’t agree to that either. Their world has been rocked to its foundations and they just don’t know what to do with their son. So Maxxie wants out and Tony wants in and they’re going to have to help each other. That’s if the gay hating, ASBO boys on Maxxie’s estate don’t get them first. And all the while Maxxie has a strange feeling that someone else nearby is on his case too.|
|2||"Sketch"||Lucy||757,000[B]||February 18 2008||11|
|Maxxie has a creepy feeling that someone is watching him. Someone close by. A hot boy maybe? No such luck. New to the series, Sketch is Maxxie’s stalker. A weird loner, she spends most days shut up in a poky flat looking after her disabled Mum. So her attentions turn to the fit blonde boy who lives on the estate. Soon everything in her life is about Maxxie – If only he would even notice her, if only she wasn’t hopelessly in love with him, if only he wasn’t gay. Meanwhile, the sixth form college production of “Osama: The Musical” is teetering towards disaster under the heavy-handed guidance of lecherous drama teacher Bruce. But Sketch is prepared to do anything to get her leading man Maxxie, and if she can’t have him, she’s going to make sure nobody can – and especially not his current leading lady Michelle. But reality strikes when Sketch finally comes face-to-face with the man she’s set her heart on. So it’s time for plan B; his best friend Anwar?
Note: This is Lucy's first episode.
|3||"Sid"||Sid Jenkins||767,000[B]||February 25 2008||12|
|Sid hasn’t coped at all well with the fact that his best friend Tony is a shadow of the man he was. And his ‘girlfriend’ Cassie moving away to Scotland hasn’t helped either, particularly when he catches her looking like she’s having the time of her life with a pair of tartan-clad boys. So his mood is not improved much when his Grandad, a notorious Glaswegian hard bastard arrives, dying of cancer, to say his final goodbyes. He has never liked his son and he likes his Grandson Sid even less. So his arrival makes Sid’s Dad’s life a misery too. Especially as he’s brought Sid’s Uncle Sandy and his two weird cousins along for good measure too. Multiply all this by ten when Sid’s estranged Mum joins in to play happy families. So it’s Jenkins family meltdown. And when Sid comes down for breakfast he ends up making a discovery that nothing could have prepared him for. Sometimes life is just too sudden, just too cruel. So Sid’s life crisis deepens into a chasm of despair, what he really needs now is his best mate, he needs Tony.
Note: This is Abigail's final episode.
|4||"Michelle"||Michelle Richardson||742,000[B]||March 3 2008||13|
|So Michelle’s Mum Anna has gone and done it again. Married another new husband. And worse, Michelle has to move in with them into their poncey new house. But even worse, this time Michelle has to contend with a new big-titted, emotionally-manipulative step sister called Scarlett. Before she knows what’s happening, Scarlett is invading her life, co-opting her friends and offering unwanted advice about what to do about her still incapacitated ex-boyfriend Tony. So when Scarlett inveigles herself onto Michelle’s birthday camping trip to the Gower and starts to move in on the emotionally fragile Sid, Michelle’s got to do something. Sid needs Michelle, he’s her friend, and he’s always had a thing for her anyway, so she does the only thing she knows. And it’s fantastic, and...hang on. How are they going to tell Tony? And who’s that arriving back from Scotland and full of hope for Sid? Now that is bad timing.|
|5||"Chris"||Chris Miles||987,000[A]||March 10 2008||14|
|Chris’ college career has been a long road full of tribulations; drugs, petty theft, non attendance and resounding failure. So when the CCTV cameras catch him shagging Buck Tooth in the Science corridor, the College Director calls time. Chris is out. And out of his college accommodation as well. Homeless, family-less, Chris is going down hill fast, until Jal steps in with a challenge. She’ll try to unwind a little so long as he gets his act together and gets some focus. So Chris gets a job, several jobs, in fact every time he’s fired he gets another one, and he moves into the smallest bed-sit in Bristol. So Jal’s got to chill out, and wow when she does she’s pretty gorgeous, and talented, and cool, and...Could Chris have had his eyes opened wider than any drug could do?|
|6||"Tony"||Tony Stonem||751,000[B]||March 17 2008||15|
|Tony’s world is a strange one. Isolated, alone, he is desperate to find the way back to himself. Since the accident he lives in a world of half understood dreams. He tries to act normal, but bumping into Sid and Michelle at a club sends him spiralling again. Nobody understands how the world looks to him, nobody except the strange beautiful girl he meets when trying to escape from his so-called best friend and ex-girlfriend. The next day Tony heads off to a University open day and runs into her again. Who is she? His head tells him that she is an angel. But can he ever trust his head again?|
|7||"Effy"||Effy Stonem||686,000[B]||March 24 2008||16|
|What is it about Effy? The mystery girl has had a lot to deal with. The Stonem family home is in disarray, while Dad Jim is working abroad, Mum Anthea is also away, with the fairies; and Tony is moping after Michelle. On top of this, Effy has her GCSE art coursework deadline looming. So solving all her family’s problems, planning her academic future, as well as sorting out the ‘Tony and Michelle’, ‘Sid and Cassie’ dilemma is all she needs right now. And then on top of this, whilst also trying to maintain her reputation for being the wildest kid on the block, she’s lumbered with the new girl, spoddy Pandora. So how weird when suddenly Pandora turns out to be best friend material. Maybe the future’s bright afterall; Effy and Pandora’s future anyway.|
|8||"Jal"||Jal Fazer||686,000[B]||March 31 2008||17|
|Jal’s got a secret so big she can’t tell anyone until she works out what the hell she’s going to do about it. But Spanish A-level revision, music school auditions, and needy best friends are pressing down on her, all while the ‘secret’ is starting to leak out. What’s more, Chris has asked her to move in with him into his pokey love nest. Jal needs someone, but will a visit from her estranged Mum make everything better? What Jal doesn’t know is that Chris has been hiding a secret all of his own.|
|9||"Cassie"||Cassie Ainsworth||997,000[A]||April 7 2008||18|
|What's the matter with Cassie? She's back together with Sid, Chris is on the mend, Michelle and Tony are back with each other, A-level exams are finally over. And to celebrate, Sid has organised a dinner party where everyone can try to get along. But how can they? Jal is lying to Chris, Chris is lying to everyone, including himself. And when it finally gets too much, Cassie runs. She runs and runs and keeps on going - until she arrives at a totally magical place, where the people are friendly and she can get along. But can she be happy?|
|10||"Final Goodbyes"||Everyone||1.095 million[A]||April 14 2008||19|
It's the day of A-level results, and also of Chris's funeral. The gang have made a pact not to look at their grades til after they've said goodbye to Chris. But Jal can't face getting out of bed and Cassie's half way across the world. Then, to cap it off, Chris's Dad appears and gives Sid a problem. So who does Sid go to? Tony, even though they're not really friends anymore. And Tony comes up with an enterprising solution. So in the end our friends get to say their goodbyes to Chris, and to each other. Tony and Sid's friendship is set in stone once more. And who's that coming up behind ready to take the lead? It's Effy of course.
* B^ All ratings are official ratings taken from BARB's database, unless otherwise stated. Total viewers do not include E4+1 ratings, as they were not in the top 10 rated E4 +1 programmes for that week; thus there is no official ratings for viewers watching on E4+1. Viewers on E4+1 typically add 200,000-300,000 to the rating.
- Main article: Unseen Skins#Series 2
Unseen Skins are a series of canonical online-exclusive mini-episodes that fills in a narrative gap somewhere in the timeline from the episode it correlates to. During the course of Series 2, nine "mini-sodes" were released on E4.com the day after each new episode aired.
All the mini-sodes were eventually included as a special feature on the DVD release of Skins: Complete Second Series.
To advertise the second series of Skins, E4 created a trailer of another "Skins House Party". However, it is much darker compared to the first series' trailer, as it reflects the darker tone of the second series. It features the cast among others all in various stages of undress, participating in debauchery, dancing, or seen staring pensively offscreen, all while the house they are in is slowly falling apart and becoming dilapidated. The song used in the trailer is "Nude" by Radiohead.
The second series received generally positive reviews in the UK, with more praise than compared to the first series.
Brooker of BB4's Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe gave the second series a positive review in his Guardian column "Screen Burn", and specifically stated that "the series had [initially] wrong-footed me", as his initial expectation of Skins was that it was a shallow show, however his opinion changed only after he had finished watching the second series.
In his book Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale, Russell T Davies and his co-author, Benjamin Cook, discuss Skins at length, with Davies praising the show's innovation in a genre that was fast becoming tired and out of date. They give high praise to the second series as a whole, highlighting the death of Sid's dad as a superb moment, and calling the finale "perfect". Davies, creator of the award-winning Queer as Folk, also praised the handling of the show's homosexuality-related storylines, saying that he knew a boy very like Maxxie in the 80s.
Reception in Australia was generally positive, with more praise than compared to the first series. The Age called it a "refreshing, entertaining and worthy series" and wrote it was "compulsory viewing for parents of teenagers as much as for teens."
During the promotion for Series 2, The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned one of the posters, featuring Michelle on the edge of a bed with smudged makeup, looking disheveled and wearing only underwear while being surrounded by couples in various states of undress with Sid, naked but for a pillow on his lap.
The ASA stated that the "majority" of the complaints, around 28, challenged whether the "depiction of nudity and sex was offensive and unsuitable to be seen by children" while two complainants said the poster was irresponsible because it could be seen to "condone and/or encourage underage sex".
The ASA said it was banning the poster because it "implied that an orgy was taking place".
Less controversially, the ASA also recieved complaints about another Series 2 poster, which showed an aerial view of a dirty bathroom with Tony lying submerged in the bath staring upwards as if he was dead.
In its defense, Channel 4 said that Skins was an "emotionally charged and vivid portrayal" of a group of young adults in Bristol.
The broadcaster added that while the characters "often embraced a party lifestyle", the series "clearly depicted the consequences of hedonistic and irresponsible behavior".
Channel 4 also said the second series of Skins promoted in the posters was darker than the first, with the characters "facing up to the lifestyle they had previously enjoyed" and the marketing campaign "sought to reflect this".
The second series aired in the United States on BBC America from October 19, 2008 to December 21, 2008.
The second series won the Best Drama prize at the 2008 Rose d'Or ceremony.
Tal Rosner's graphics for Skins won a BAFTA for Best Title Sequence at the British Academy Television Craft Awards in May 2008.
In March 2008 the show was nominated for Best Drama Series in the British Academy Television Awards 2008.
The show's innovative marketing was awarded Best Advertising Campaign at the MediaGuardian Awards for Innovation in 2008. The viral marketing preluding the second series won the Entertainment category at the Interactive Marketing and Advertising Awards 2008.
Home Media Release
- Main article: Skins: DVD Releases#Series 2
- Russell T Davies and Benjamin Cook, Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale (BBC Books, 2008), passim