Saturday, October 23, 2010

Someone Needs to Skin the American Version of Skins

I apologize if you're already sick of me ranting about this on my Twitter, but I need to just get all my feelings out once and for all about the impending American version of the break-out British TV show Skins. The first preview for the show, which is set to debut on MTV in January, premiered yesterday after the Jersey Shore finale and really got my blood a-boiling. I would post it here but I really don't want my precious blog to be soiled by that filth. So, if you need to satisfy your curiosity, take a second and look for it yourself.

All caught up now? Good, let's get started.

My biggest complaint with Skins--Yankee Style, as it shall now be referred to, is that it's an exact carbon copy of the original show. Not only have they taken all of the original characters and simply changed some of their names, but they also copied the pilot episode, from the story to the dialogue and right down to the exact same camera angles (it's like Gus Van Sant's Psycho but without the "experimental" excuse). It's 2010, not 1985. You simply can't take a show from across the pond and only exchange the actors for the American version anymore. And you especially cannot do it when the original British show has been as widely available and watched in the U.S. as the original Skins has. The arrogance that the creators of Skins--Yankee Style have is astounding.

For anyone who has seen the original Skins, you are fully aware that the show graphically depicts teenagers swearing up a storm engaged in sex, drug use and a host of other inappropriate activities, many of which you simply can't show on American television. But that's what made the show great; it pushed the boundaries far beyond what something like Gossip Girl, by far the raciest teen show on American network TV, could even dream of doing. By bringing the show to America, there's no way it can get away with half of the shit the original did. And watching a sanitized Skins is worse than not watching Skins at all.

I really wish MTV luck in trying to peddle this shitty excuse for a TV show to viewers who somehow haven't heard of this amazing show. Even if their show is a hit, it will never be as good as the British original because it won't have the amazing ensemble of the first two seasons. Good luck trying to find actors as individually astounding as Nicholas Hoult, Hannah Murray or Kaya Scodelario (Christ, how horrible is the Effy episode going to be?) or a cast with as amazing chemistry as April Pearson, Joseph Dempsie, Mitch Hewer, Larissa Wilson, etc. had with each other. There are so many insurmountable obstacles toward the American version of Skins that I simply have no idea how on Earth it will work.

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