On the recommendation of the great Hua Hsu, I’ve been watching Skins). It is brilliant. I insist that you watch it, provided you’re not an impressionable youth — the show is racy, perhaps racier than it has to be. And it’s not flawless: I’m not sure I’m disappointed in how some of the female characters are rendered, as the boys tend to be broadly drawn as well. At least one of the core characters in Series 1 and 2 is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, but she is also a pretty skilled comic actor, so I guess it’s okay.

Honestly, watching the show really, really made me want to write for it, though I doubt I have the chops.

On an unrelated note, please enjoy the following excerpt from Nathan Rabin’s review of the new Young Jeezy album:

His third solo album, The Recession, picks up where his previous discs left off, with Jeezy rapping over big, dramatic synthesizer beats and acting as his own endlessly supportive hypeman. Jeezy double-tracks ad-libs and hyper-caffeinated overdubs so he can laugh at his own punchlines, cheer himself on, and act altogether impressed with metaphors like “Like a crippled mayne / you can catch me with that ‘caine.” Yes, Jeezy is his own biggest fan, but his outsized swagger is addictive. He’s found a style that works, and he’s riding it as far as it’ll go. The few curveballs come from guests: Kanye West gets crazy with the Auto-Tune crooning on “Put On” (et tu, Kanyeezy?), and Nas shows up to propose putting Barack Obama on the $5,000 bill on the uncharacteristically political “My President.” Recession is silly, repetitive, and wildly unoriginal. Yet thanks to Jeezy’s razor-blade rasp and goofy charisma, it’s also strangely infectious.

I listen to a lot less hip-hop music than I did as a kid (I was almost an authority on the subject as an undergrad), but boy, I always look forward to Young Jeezy albums. I do wish this album had been labeled “Thug Motivation 103,” but I’ll take what I can get. We can all use a little thug motivation from time to time.