The Inbetweeners, Freaks and Geeks and five shows about being a teenager that suck less than MTV’s Skins

By Ian Nyquist

The awkwardness of adolescence is a mine for comedy gold. But MTV’s new scripted drama, Skins, can’t make up its mind whether it’s an acne-cream soap opera or a comedy. It ends up as neither and has to resort to grasping for as much edginess as it can get away with — in the form of drug use and underage sex — to make up for a lack of substance and humor. To put it simply: The show sucks. (Which is why the viewership of this refashioned British show dropped by half in its second week.)

Take out the weed, token lesbianism, wasted speed pills and juvenile nudity, and Skins is just an excuse for MTV to flash — surprise! — young skin. Here are five coming-of-age TV shows that really capture what it’s like to be a teen.

Categories: Music