So another "Gossip Girl" season has wrapped -- sad news not only for fans but for the American blog economy, half of which seems to be fueled by page views generated by commenters commenting on other commenters' comments about the latest "Gossip Girl" episode summary. Feeling bereft? May I suggest "Skins,"
which airs in the U.S. on BBC America (God, how I love BBC America
), and the second season of which has just been released on DVD? A sensation in its homeland -- the British media, for instance, made a lot of noise about real-world kids holding druggy "Skins parties" (supposedly life imitating art but actually art imitating life) -- it's perhaps the best-ever teen TV drama. It not only uses actual teens (not baby-faced 20-somethings) as actors (including Nicholas Hoult, the kid from "About a Boy" all grown up, and Dev Patel, star of "Slumdog Millionaire") but has authentically youthful writers (average age: 22). It somehow always feels incredibly real, even when the plots strain credulity -- and it's funny and charming and messy, not to mention surprisingly moving. I'm randomly giving away seasons one and two of "Skins."
To be eligible, send me an e-mail
with "Skins" in the subject line on or before June 25.