US “Skins” recap (1.01): Big Gay Night Out

Over at the Edith Damp Collegiate for Young Ladies, Tony is auditioning for the choir with that erotic Cole Poter classic “Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall In Love).” And it’s like pollen in springtime up in there, Rachel Berrys just blooming all over the place. Want to know a fun fact about this one? When Paris opened in Atlantic City in ’28, this song wasn’t even a thing. It was “Let’s Misbehave,” but Porter replaced it pretty swiftly with “Let’s Do It” because, according to his biography, “there was infinitely more humor in a provocatively insinuating proposal than a direct proposition.” American show; British sentiment: One of the best showtunes ever. How about that?

After the rehearsal, Tabitha from Edith Damp Collegiate crawls all over Tony about coming to her house for a party. He thinks it’s a perfect place to dump Stanley’s weed, but when he gets back to school, all his mates are in the bathroom smoking up. Some college kids rolled through Eastern Seaboard American City and everyone’s all set. They discuss Stanley’s sex situation some more, and Tony gets frantic for the first time all day, calling Stanley and bellowing at him not to buy the weed.

Guess what? Stanley didn’t get the voicemails. Also, he didn’t buy an ounce of weed. He bought four ounces of weed. Also, he didn’t buy it. He borrowed it. (Are you still drinking? You should be well and truly blinkered by now if you’re still drinking.) Cadie’s munching on some cheese puffs, and it’s a cute touch. I dig the cheese puffs. (Maybe you should eat some cheese puffs if you’re drinking as much as I’m telling you to.) (Probably the Parents Television Council is going to try to shut down my recaps next week.)

At her party, Tabitha introduces her friends thus: “Tony, meet Shannon, Zeek, Zach, Chad, Summer, Shannon, Summer, Chad, Brad, Randy, Candy, Brandy, Sandy, Mandy, Summer, Zach and Chad.” I don’t know who this actress is, but she’s masterful. The party is already better than Gossip Girl and no one has even gotten murdered or framed for murder or returned from the dead or had a parent return from the dead, and not one single social-climber has shown up as a doppelganger trying to impersonate Serena van der Woodsen. Tabitha’s friends aren’t feeling the weed. I mean, look at the ragamuffins trying to sell it to them. For all they know, it could be laced with poverty.

Tony and Michelle get their grind on, much to the chagrin of Stanley, much to the chagrin of Cadie. She pops a pill in a flash cut and wanders out into the snow. Stanley follows her, almost on accident.

Abbud was none too pleased with Tea’s Lezzorama: The girls were all into other girls. None of them wanted to be converted, or put on a show for him. It’s like Katy Perry never even happened. “Maybe they got real lesbians here,” he suggests hopefully. “Real rich lesbians,” Tea says, equally as hopefully.

Outside, Cadie bounces on the trampoline in the snow to the tune of Blood Orange‘s “Sutphin Boulevard,” which is my favorite song in the whole episode. It’s almost ethereal. She calls Stanley up on the trampoline. They bounce, they fall, they kiss, and she tells him he’s in love with Michelle. She says she’s willing to shag him anyway, but he’ll have to make it quick because she took “a busload of pills.”

Inside, Chris starts a bourgeoisie/proletariat scuffle when he takes off his pants. (Oh, naked Marxism.) He reaches for Tabitha, so Tabitha’s croquet-playing boyfriend reaches for him, so Tea just reaches over and blanks the dude. And it’s on: Tea’s got the crazy eyes.

The most hilarious line of the episode is Tabitha screaming at Tony “too urban! too urban!” while his friends beat the hell out of her friends.

Stanley hauls in Cadie and everyone makes a break for it. An actual, literal break. Chris has gone Robin Hood and stolen the keys to an Escalade. There’s a whole lot of hullabaloo on the way to the hospital, which turns out to be totally unnecessary when Cadie wakes up in the ER parking lot asking to take a whiz.

They drive her to Eastern Seaboard American City Lake and decide to light up while they wait for her to take the longest pee ever. There’s a scuffle over skins, and then the car is in neutral and Tony’s foot is off the break and the stolen Cadillac is careening into the water.

And then every American Skins character dies.

Just kidding. They bob up out of the water, one-by-one, and did you hear Tea laugh? Let me tell you how many times Tea laughs in this episode: Four. Listen to it. Once you notice it, you’ll never be able to unhear it, and you’re welcome. It’s only the most endearing thing on MTV.

Stanley wakes up in Tony’s bed, still a virigin. Tony says it’s embarassing. Stanley agrees.

There’s a thing you have to do as a writer to discover the depth of your characters’ love. You have to wrap them up in each other and nearly drown them. Or blow them up. Or set them on fire. Or force them to face down something bigger and stronger and scarier than themselves, together. There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking one another, JK Rowling told us, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them. So is driving a stolen car into a river — and living to face down a dealer after you absconded with his drugs.

Welcome to Eastern Seaboard American City.

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