I will admit that when I first heard that MTV was remaking the British teen drama Skins I outwardly expressed my displeasure at this decision. Because let’s face it, hard hitting, realistic teen dramas are not what American television is known for. Whenever a show even remotely touches on real behaviors of the 18 and under set, the show swiftly gets booted from the airwaves while the folks on the Parents Television Council sit back with bated breath hoping that none of America’s children were influenced by what they may have seen. This of course leads me to ask: Does teenage behavior influence what we see on television or does television influence teenage behavior? I am guessing that’s its the first one, but then again what would I know it’s not like I was ever a teenager…oh wait.
So yeah I wasn’t looking forward to the new version. I was even less so after I saw the first trailer. As hard as I tried I could not reconcile that Tony wasn’t being played by Nicholas Hoult or that teenagers who haven’t seen the original would not have the chance to fall in love with Chris and Jal. That was of course until I saw that the PTC had proclaimed that MTV’s Skins “may well be the the most dangerous show for children that we have ever seen.” Well that was all it took for this former teenage rebel to hop on board the re-imagined train. Because hell if the PTC hates it can it really be all that bad?
As it turns out, it really can be that bad. Not in the way the PTC means but bad nonetheless. Luckily thanks to the aforementioned trailer I was prepared for badness. In fact I was so prepared for the show to suck more than words that I ended up being pleasantly surprised that I didn’t despise it’s very existence. Because if truth be told although to this day I heart the “first” generation kids more than anything the “second” generation never really caught on with me.
It’s unfortunate that the writers took the pilot episode of the original and repeated it for this version’s outing. I believe this tactic will work for shows such as Showtime’s Shameless and SyFy’s Being Human because of the fact that a good majority of the American audience had never heard of either of the original series. That doesn’t seem to be the case with Skins if only due to the fact that teenagers now a days (I can not believe I just used now a days with out a trace of irony..ugh) have more access than ever to entertainment that originated in other countries thanks to social sites such as Facebook and Twitter. If there is a hot new show on in England that all the kids are talking about you better believe the kids here know about it already. It’s because of this that this version really needs to stand on it’s own two feet right out the gate and unfortunately it falls short.
The only character that I felt had a glimpse of a chance at being real was Tea Marvelli, played by Sofia Black D’elia. Which could be due to the fact that in the British version this character was a blonde hair, blue eyed homosexual male named Maxxie and she couldn’t have very well played the character the same way. It also helped that they made her into a cheerleader whose teammates do not realize she is gay. Camille Crescencia-Mills as Daisy Valero shows promise as does Britne Oldford who plays slightly off kilter Cadie Campbell and it will be interesting to see if they are able to make these characters their own. As far as the rest of the cast goes, I could barely see Stanley’s face to garner any type of connection towards him and every time the Chris character was onscreen I could not get the image of the kid who played Stifler’s brother out of my head. And as far as Tony goes, well he was a jackass, but in his defense the original Tony was a jackass as well so maybe this one will grow on me. According to MTV, they have plans on moving the show away from the original and lets hope they do so, fast. My final score is:
Watch it on the internet! Not worth keeping up with but good enough to waste some work time.
Until next time,