Sources and references

The entire seven seasons of Skins can be viewed on Channel 4’s E4 website, but with large amounts of advertising that cannot be skipped through. They are also currently available on Netflix and on DVD.


There is very little critical writing about youth TV. Much of the academic analysis has focused on US programming, on which the following are useful collections:

Davis, Glyn and Dickinson, Kay (eds.) (2004) Teen TV: Genre, Consumption and Identity London: British Film Institute

Ross, Sharon Marie and Stein, Louisa Ellen (eds.) (2008) Teen Television: Essays on Programming and Fandom Jefferson, NC: McFarland

In addition, Valerie Wee’s Teen Media: Hollywood and the Youth Market in the Digital Age (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2010) focuses more on the industry.

Bill Osgerby’s Youth Media (London: Routledge, 2004) remains a useful overview, with a broader global scope.


Specifically on UK television, Karen Lury’s British Youth Television: Cynicism and Enchantment (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001) provides a useful look at the non-fictional youth programming of the 1980s and 1990s.

However, when it comes to fiction, the definitive account is Faye Woods’s British Youth Television: Transnational Teens, Industry, Genre (Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 2016). This is very well-written and comprehensive, although like many academic books these days, it is prohibitively expensive.

In writing this essay, I have drawn on two chapters in Woods’s book specifically focusing on Skins, and on some other essays by her:

‘My generations(s): cycles, branding and renewal in E4’s Skins’, in Klein, A. A. and Palmer, R. B. (eds.) Cycles, Sequels, Remakes and Reboots: Multiplicities in Film & Television (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2016)

‘Teen TV meets T4: assimilating The O.C. into British youth television’, Critical Studies in Television 8(1): 14-35


I have also drawn on the following:

Andrejevic, Mark (2008) ‘Watching television without pity: the productivity of online fans’, Television and New Media 9(1): 24-46

Berridge, S. (2013) ‘Doing it for the kids?’ The discursive construction of the teenager and teenage sexuality in Skins’, Journal of British Film and Television, 10(4), 785-801

Clarke, Kyra (2017) Affective Sexual Pedagogies in Film and Television (London: Routledge): Chapter Six, ‘Uncomfortable feelings: grief, hospitality and belonging in Skins

Daggett, Chelsea (2013) ‘UK youth television: moral panic and the process of US adaptation in Skins’, MFA dissertation, Boston University

Del Mar Grandío, M. & Bonaut, J. (2012) ‘Transmedia audiences and television fiction’, Participations 9(2), 558–574

Edwards, Natalie (2009) ‘From minority to mainstream: Channel 4’s queer television’, Journal of e-Media Studies 2(1)

Hunn, Deborah (2012) ‘”The dark side of Naomily”: Skins, fan texts and contested genres’, Continuum 26(1): 89-100

Masanet, Maria-Jose and Buckingham, David (2015) ‘Advice on life? Online fan forums as a space for peer-to-peer sex and relationships education’, Sex Education 15(5): 486-499

Monaghan, Whitney (2016) Queer Girls, Temporality and Screen Media (Basingstoke: MacMillan): Chapter Three, ‘Serialising the Queer Girl in Sugar Rush and Skins’

O’Neill, Michael (2015) ‘”We put the media in (anti)social media”: Channel 4’s youth audiences, unofficial archives and the promotion of second-screen viewing’, in Lincoln Geraghty (ed.) Popular Media Cultures: Fans, Audiences and Paratexts Houndmills, Palgrave Macmillan

Patard, R. (2012). ‘Skins’ really surreal idealism’. Paper presented at the 1st Global Conference ‘Teenagers and contemporary visual culture’. Mansfield College, Oxford.


More journalistic (and very detailed) reviews of Skins can be found in the online magazine ‘Den of Geek’:

Hannah Ewens’ account of Skins parties can be found in Vice:

Other information on Skins fan culture can be found via links in Wikipedia, Vice and YouTube.


The quotes from Bryan Elsley and Jamie Brittain are taken from:

Armstrong, S. (2009, 11 May) ‘Loyalty points’, The Guardian

Elsley, B. (2007, 14 September), ‘Introduction to Skins’, Skins Online

Vary, Adam B. (2011, 24 January) ‘Skins Creator on Controversy: “Skins is in fact rather Old Fashioned”, Entertainment Weekly


My introduction also refers to:

Holland, Patricia (1992) What is a Child? Popular Images of Childhood London: Virago

Ofcom (2007) The Future of Children’s Television Programming: Research Report London: Ofcom

Rose, Jacqueline (1984) The Case of Peter Pan: Or the Impossibility of Children’s Fiction London: Macmillan



David Buckingham

August 2019