Friday, October 22, 2010

I Really, Really Don't Like It (At All): MTV's Skins

In August of 2009, I posted the news that MTV would be adapting the UK teen melodrama Skins for American consumption.  At the time, I was not pleased.   Now, after seeing the teaser promo for our very own version of Skins, I'm still really, really, insanely displeased.   The clip is, quite literally, a virtual showcasing of scene for scene the UK pilot, know, with absolutely none of the snarky heart that makes the original the wholly addicting product it is.  Also, as previously mentioned, TV regulations dictate that a basic cable station like MTV cannot do Skins the way it's done on the original.  The original is, frankly, raw.  It doesn't shy away from verbal crudity, depictions of nudity, sex, and a hearty dosage of drugs.  MTV can only do a handful of these things without resorting to blurry obstructions, over editing, and bleeping; which means, essentially, that they likely won't do them at all in a scripted program.  Basically, MTV got the trailer wrong and is going to get the actual show even more wrong.  Way wrong.  The first two seasons of Skins are an insane, dizzying trip that effortlessly mixes real emotional risk and melancholy with colorful, campy devil may care attitude.  They're funny, even as they're devastating.  MTV would be better off stripping down the originals and rebroadcasting them since (with a cast that includes Nicholas Hoult and Dev Patel) this is one instance of something that should really only be done once.

Sigh.  The one thing they managed, apparently, was to cast actors who actually look like teenagers.  Other than that?  No.  No.  No.  Ugh.  They even copied the promo art for the first season.  I'm sorry, this is just not acceptable.  When you have to do that, there's really no excuse not to just go for the real thing.

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