With the first official season under its belt, SKAM Austin has come to a conclusion on Facebook Watch. If you aren’t familiar, SKAM Austin is the US version of the wildly popular Norwegian television series, SKAM, or translated into English as Shame. It swept the country and then the world with its realistic look at teenage life, utilizing both social media and social issues as a platform for its storytelling.
While previously, international fans of the original Norwegian series had to watch the series through less-than-legal means, with the conclusion of the original series comes reboots in multiple different iterations. To date, there is a German version, an Italian version, a French version, and a US version. While the other international versions can be found from searching on Youtube, the US version had its official release on Facebook Watch.
So what sets SKAM apart from shows like Skins? While the base premise of the shows are similar, with SKAM focusing on an individual character every season rather than every episode like Skins, the delivery is entirely modern. SKAM is essentially the future of digital storytelling. It creates social media accounts for its characters, releases clips daily in short bursts via social media, continues the storytelling in a radial manner through the assorted character accounts. It’s naturally interactive, allowing fans to follow characters on Instagram and see a whole new side to a story that essentially has already been told.
So what do you need to know, if you’re a newcomer to SKAM as a whole?
The first thing is the platform. SKAM Austin airs from their Facebook page, where you can find individual clips or full week episodes (which simply compile all the clips from the week into one long episode). If you’re watching for the first time, now that the season is completed, you can simply watch the Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 etc. episodes.
The second thing is the accounts. The US Facebook page makes it pretty easy to follow characters like Megan, Grace, Marlon, and Kelsey. These are the characters accounts and therefore also part of the fictional telling of the story. It’s not vital, but it adds a dimension of character development that you might not get within the clips of the episodes. Similarly, the Facebook page posts things like conversations between characters through text and messenger that add more depth. Like the teenagers the story revolves around, the tale is layered.
The third and final thing is SPOILERS. Honestly, this should probably be the first thing. If this is your first time watching the show with no understanding of the concept, avoid the comments. For many people, SKAM Austin is the fifth reincarnation of a story they already know and love. While the characters have been changed and altered in every retelling, the core elements of the plot are still there and there are still a lot of spoilers. If you want to stick in for the long haul without giving anything away, don’t read the comments at all.
While SKAM Austin isn’t exactly inventing the wheel with their story, each recreation includes the nuances of teenage life within that specific culture. It’s an intriguing study into how teenagers interact across spectrum. For those who can’t get enough after watching the whole first season of SKAM Austin there are more than enough ways to watch the other versions of the shows, especially the original series, that will give you more insight on the characters and their motivations. For now, start with the first episode and buckle in for the ride.