Family Strife
New York magazine|August 3 - 16, 2020
In My Skin veers between coming-of-age comedy and serious drama.
By Jen Chaney

BETHAN GWYNDAF, the teenage protagonist of In My Skin, is a spectacular liar.

She lies to her best friends, her teachers, and the girl she develops a crush on, spinning tales of a better-than-normal home life that sound credible. Her mother works in human resources, and her father is a tax officer, she says. She gets in trouble with them when she comes home too late, and they want to watch TV with her when she’s actually there. If Bethan backs out of plans with a friend, it’s because her parents want to do something special with her, like go to the ballet.

But none of that is true. As displayed throughout the five episodes of In My Skin, a BBC series that has been released in the U.S. on Hulu, Bethan’s mother is bipolar and constantly in and out of the hospital. Her father is a raging alcoholic who takes zero responsibility for anything. The only functioning, compassionate adult in Bethan’s household is Bethan, even though, at 16, she’s technically still a child whose biggest fear is that, at some point, everyone will find out her blessed home life is actually her curse.

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