US “Skins” recap (1.02): Leave The Gun, Take the Cannoli

On the bus, Tea explains to Abbud and Daisy about her dad being a gangster: “He knows people who know people, and sometimes it’s good if I go on a date with a boy, so that people who know people can know more people, and then someone ends up at the bottom of the river. You know, a Tuesday.”

Cadie is feeling the Northen Soul, too, through her can headphones in the school cafeteria. Tony tries to get her attention because she’s the only person in school he hasn’t chatted up about Stanley’s virginity today. (Again: a Tuesday.) When she finally acknowledges his presence, Tony opens up six or seven notebooks on the table, all: “As you can see from the records I’ve been keeping charting the trajectory of Stanley’s penis since the age of 11, he still has not boned a woman. When I was meditating on his virginity this morning — as I do every morning, between the hours of 5:30 and 6:00 a.m., before I do my daily reading of his love horoscope, of course — it occurred to me that, perhaps, you might be interested in easing the social pressure thrust upon him by … well, me, mostly … by telling people you’re having sex with him?” Cadie agrees, because it’s sweet, and she likes that. Then she puts her headphones back on speedy quick so she doesn’t have to hear Tony drone on about how picked up Divination class so he can stare at Stanley’s penis in a crystal ball and read the tea leaves of his future sexual conquests. (That kind of talk always ruins corn dog day.)

Because the only person who loves private jokes more than Tea is Tony, he sidles up to the table where Tea is wiping chocolate off Stanley’s mouth and tells her she’s going to have to bare her breasts at next week’s halftime show because Stanley and Cadie so totally did it. Michelle halts the conversation when she launches her mouth at Tony’s mouth from 50 feet away, landing in his lap, faces stuck together like osmosis. When they pull apart, Betty is staring at Tea from across the cafeteria like corn dog day is the very last thing on her mind.

It’s some real good gazing, all longing and confusion and defiance and hope and resignation, and meanwhile Betty’s boyfriend has his head in her lap and Tea gets it (“You gotta not tell anybody about this”) and Randa and the Soul Kingdom are wailing about I’m not gonna let you / play me for / for the fool / I don’t know how many times I’ve got to tell you / it’s not my way.

This scene could have gone on for another two minutes and it would have been all right with me. Tony & Co. making boob jokes in the background, and maybe even a whole other Randa tune (“I Do What I Do”?) while the camera closed in on Betty and Tea working the whole thing out — from apprehension to aggression — with their eyes.

Instead — oh, hey look! It’s a member of the Parents Television Council! I don’t know why they’ve been so worked up; here’s their message, right in the middle of the second episode of the show: “There is a lot of bad stuff out there … we’re talking serious shenanigans here, like: drugs; alcohol; saying bad stuff; wrongful sex acts; tattoos; piercings below the waist area. Real bad stuff that we’ve got to avoid.”

(That’s another other reason I think the PTC hates Skins. The show makes their approach look stupid because their approach is stupid.)

Mad Mao Le Dong is one of the guest speakers, and he’d like to take this opportunity to explain the pain he’s going to rain down on Stanley if he doesn’t pay for that weed he lost in the harbor at the end of last week’s episode. Stanley is torn out of the frame in the bathroom afterward, and Tony uses it as an excuse tweak those nipples he can’t stop jabbering about. Then everyone bounces to class, talking over each other about how Stanley shouldn’t panic: “It’s not like a Skins authority figure has ever abused his power and beaten a child to death or anything, relax.”

Betty finds Tea swigging some vodka and proclaiming to the hallway at large that real life sucks. Tea says “oh” when Betty touches her shoulder, turns around to face her.

Tea: Betty. We had sex. But I’m not really looking for anything else.
Betty: Why not?
Tea: Did someone mention a boyfriend? What’s that for, show?
Betty: I have to have a boyfriend.
Tea: That sounds like pretending to me, and that’s bad stuff we have to avoid. And I don’t want a relationship.
Betty: Why not?
Tea: ‘Cause not one matches up to me.
Betty: You’re just an arrogant bitch, really, aren’t you?
Tea: [whispering] Sorry!
Betty: [whispering] Scaredy cat!

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