If you haven’t seen Skins yet, surely you’ve heard the faux outrage over the new MTV teen soap opera pilfered from England. It’s kids! Doing drugs! Having sex! Oh my!
I’ve watched the first three episodes, and my takeaway: the show just isn’t very good. Sure, it’s supposed to be edgy and shocking and ‘real’, but once you get past the first swear word and veiled glimpse of nudity, there’s really not much there. Weak storytelling, shallow characters, no sense of place, poor writing and tired plots. Most critics have agreed that the American version pales in comparison to the English original. (Don’t they always? The bigger question might be why we continue to steal British shows and water them down for domestic audiences.) Sponsors have made news by pulling spots off of the show. Claims of child pornography have been thrown around. It’s been great publicity for the show, all but nullifying the point of protesting the show.
It’s very simple. If you want Skins to go away, stop talking about it. Don’t watch it. Bad ratings kill shows faster that controversy.
Three episodes have aired. We get it. All sizzle, no steak. When stuff like this goes down, it only reaffirms my belief that the majority of people in this country are just dumb. In the big picture of life, who gives a shit about Skins? It’s a TV show, and a fundamentally bad one, not so much for it’s content, but for it’s failure of concept. MTV’s previous attempt at an original teen comedy–The Hard Times of RJ Berger–was far more successful and enjoyable.
If people are naive enough to believe that the characters in Skins are an accurate representation of today’s youth, then good for them. Ignorance must truly be bliss. Of course teens get laid and experiment with drugs and use foul language, but they also have parents, go to school, study, play sports and care about their future. Skins is entertainment–escapism for teens who know what real life is like. If adults can’t tell the difference between TV and reality, well then they’re the ones who are fucked.