Review of MTV's 'Skins': Old News with an American Accent

The British teen drama “Skins” is extremely well-liked, both in the U.K. and here in the states.

Tony from 'Skins' | Graphic from Alix Neenan'12

It’s moving, it’s entertaining, and it’s realistic.
Its global popularity across so many teens indicates that it is a well-done television show.
This does not, however, indicate that MTV should create an American remake of the show.
Since the commercials for the American version first aired, students and critics alike have been up in arms about the MTV adaptation, calling it a fraud, a copycat, and in some cases, child pornography.
Directed by Scott Smith, and starring mainly young, amateur actors, the show depicts the lives and exploits of a group of high school friends. Each episode focuses on a particular character.
It’s packed full of party scenes, most of which are screen-shotted and scattered around the Internet, but serve absolutely no purpose for any remote deeper meaning.
Maybe a couple of shots of alcohol here and there have some effect, but the viewer becomes desensitized to it after the first 15 minutes.
The first episode focuses on the character Tony, played by James Newman, and is a word-for-word rendition of its British inspiration.
Subsequent episodes, however, slightly deviate from the British script, with a couple of similarities here and there.
The episodes are decent, but they do tend to drag.
By the end, one is sick of the party scenes and electronic music and seriously just wants to hear people talking.
The characters themselves are interesting, but for those who have watched British “Skins,” they’re actually a little disappointing.
After all, it is weird to see Cassie, the sympathetic pill-popping anorexic, remade into Cadie, a less sweet pill-popping psycho. She’s like a downgraded clone.
While some of the scenes may be touching to first-time viewers, to those who know the plot already it’s old news with an American accent.
Some newer scenes are searching for depth where there is absolutely none.
In general, it just seems like “Skins” is trying too hard to be profound, to be risqué, but not to be too risqué so that it gets banned from American television, which seems to be a current concern.
Granted, there are some huge differences between American censorship and British censorship.
The original “Skins” had almost no limits besides two swear words when it was broadcast in Britain.
Now that it has come overseas, they’re playing on a completely different field — one on which viewers get deeply offended at a “Gossip Girl” poster saying “OMFGG” (Oh My F**king God) with a Gossip-Girl (GG) twist.
On the American screens, there’s limited swearing and little sex. There’s also a need to be politically aware in hypersensitive America, where anything can offend.
This makes the show less realistic, because teens do swear and teens do have sex.
Taco Bell has already pulled its commercials from the show to pledge its support for a cleaner “Skins.”
The Parents Television Council is making allegations that the show constitutes child pornography with some scenes of its underage actors.
Parents and therapists across the nation are complaining.
All in all, it seems like “Skins” can’t please anyone. They should have waited 20 years to do a remake. For now, it’s just too soon.
This “Skinspiration” needs to be shipped back to the U.K.