“Skins” isn’t just any teen drama. While he launched the careers of Joe Dempsie, Dev Patel and Nicholas Hoult, “Skins” is also an intimate and sometimes excruciating look at teenage life in England. An unflinching depiction of growing up, the series includes the heavy topics of child neglect and mental illness. Many characters go through the gauntlet, but the story of Chris Miles (Dempsie) is by far the most touching, albeit tragic.
First introduced as a more tertiary character, his definitive traits are of doing drugs with his friends and not caring about life. Chris is struggling because his parents effectively wrote him off after the untimely death of his brother Peter. Everything changes when he falls in love with Jal (Larissa Wilson). His parents think he’s a bad influence, but the two are good for each other. They both grow and change over the course of their relationship, which makes Chris’ death so heartbreaking at the end of Season 2.
Both Peter and Chris die of a brain hemorrhage, adding a startling realism to the series. Teenagers are growing up before our eyes and feeling the ramifications of real-life tragedy. Chris’ death is one of the saddest moments in the series, but it’s not in vain. In the end, Chris’ friends celebrate him by living life to the fullest as he would have liked.