God knows I love a "teen drama." Call me ageist, but I've got nearly zero tolerance for any show featuring people over the age of 26 having sex. NOT THAT I LIKE TO WATCH ANYONE UNDER 18 HAVING SEX. That, of course, would be pedophilia, and the last thing I need is that Ken doll from NBC's To Catch a Predator waiting for me in my kitchen when I get home. So, to be more specific: I only like to watch sexual coitus between two consenting adults that are in between the ages of 18 and 26. And occasionally, donkeys.

Now, where was I? OH YEAH! I love "teen dramas"! And as you may have noticed, there is nary a single decent teen drama on TV these days. Sure, throw Gossip Girl and The Hills in my face—and I'll throw them right back! Gossip Girl is a freaking joke compared to the awesomeness that was The O.C., and The Hills has the same effect as eating a jelly doughnut covered with Pixy Stix for breakfast—my bowels turn inside out.

But even my beloved O.C. lacked one very important aspect: TEEN NUDITY. (And by "teen nudity," I obviously mean persons over the age of 18, for I am not a pedophile and do not wish to be investigated.) And the reason for this shameful lack of nudism? AMERICA and her stultifying culture of "nude haters." HOWEVER! I'm overjoyed to learn that not only does Britain have a far more lax attitude toward the teen nude... they're even producing shows about them!

Debuting this week: Skins on BBC America (Sun Aug 17, 9 pm). For those unfamiliar with this controversial show, it stars actual teenage actors playing teenagers—that's already controversial!—and is a cross between The O.C., Freaks and Geeks, and a bunch of nude teenagers having sex. OKAY FINE! They're never completely nude. HOWEVER! The kids on Skins have an unnaturally robust sex life (much like my own), curse like potty-mouthed sailors (much like I do), and abuse an extraordinary amount of drugs and booze (as I also occasionally do). In fact, the only difference between Skins and my own life is that these guys are teenagers and I haven't been a teenager since... since... well, that information isn't important right now.

What is important is that Skins has tons of laughs, as well as awkward teenage drama (my favorite kind). During the season, each character is given his or her own episode where we meet people such as the handsome Tony, who manipulates girls (and certain guys) into the sack, and Sid, the smarty-pants nerd who pines for Cassie the bulimic. Then there's Chris, the party animal who gets sexually involved with his psych teacher; Maxxie, who's gay and can't convince his parents to support his dancing career; and Anwar, whose Muslim faith doesn't stop him from enjoying the finer things in life (AKA sex, booze, drugs, and meat).

In short, Skins has all the things one wants in a teen drama—plus all the things that can get you in really big trouble with that buttinski from To Catch a Predator. But it's a risk I'll happily take.

We certify the author of this column is 18 years or older. steve@portlandmercury.com

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