Why No One Liked Skins

Skins Cast
MTV

Despite debuting to decent ratings, the U.S. remake of popular British television series, Skins was panned by critics and fans, declaring the scandalous series as being simply lost in translation. The show’s chilly reception meant a couple of important things:

  1. There has been a restored faith in humanity
  2. MTV should finally stop producing scripted shows
  3. Viewers no longer give a shit about people who don’t give a shit

In the ’80s and ’90s, youth apathy was popularized primarily by writer, Bret Easton Ellis, and filmmaker Larry Clark. The two tastemakers capitalized on the fears of suburban mothers everywhere by claiming to offer an authentic look into the lives of teenagers today. Collectively, they answered the famous question, “It’s 11.00. Do you know where your children are?” with the response, “Doing drugs, having sex, and not giving a fuck about anything. Ever.” Kids and Less Than Zero were undoubtedly sensationalistic but they were also terrifying to those who weren’t in the know. After watching Kids with my mom, I saw her pained expression and had to assure her I didn’t know anyone who was spreading AIDS and engaging in hate crimes. At the end of the day though, it didn’t matter how honest these depictions actually were because people still found them interesting enough to watch.

Apathetic about apathetic teens
2011 is the year of feeling

But that was then and this is now. MTV’s marketing campaign for Skins promised lots of teenagers behaving badly, but they missed the memo that we, as a culture, have moved on from that. 2011 is the year of feeling and sociopathic teenagers are so yesterday. These days, a truly shocking move would be producing a show like My So-Called Life again—something that explores the subtle nuances and heartbreak of adolescence rather than exaggerating them.

So that might’ve been the reason why no one liked Skins. That, or the horrible acting, awkward dialogue and uninspired casting. Either/or. TC mark

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

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  • krust

    Let my so called life go bb, let. It. Go.

    • Ryan O'Connell

      OMG beb, no. + i know you hated this Skins shit. Don't lie. Smooch. Call me.

      • Zoë

        hahaha yeah TOTALLY RYAN, gots to let it gooooo! i mean i youtubed it and was addicted for like a month but there's only one season. wait, no one loves it like you love it…

      • laurenw

        Never let it go.

  • Krust

    And this show sucked. I remember my first time driving a car off a ledge into water and ~totally~ not caring….those were the days.

    • yeah

      pretty sure they 'totally' didn't care because the car was stolen. well, not sure about the American version. seemed really lame.

  • http://twitter.com/JosephErnest Joseph Ernest Harper

    Why do you think the British one is/was so popular. Seems like 80% of New Zealand are obsessed with Skins or something. Is there major differences in the characters/plots/dialogue? Maybe just needs a guy with real beast eyebrows.

    • jacob

      it could have been the better acting, better dialogue and inspired (or 'professional') casting. I know the British cast were actually pretty committed t0 their roles/acting in general. from what I've seen of the MTV cast, they were just like 'yeah, I've always thought about acting, so I just signed up for this.'

  • Erin pea

    dear USA, you need to stop producing shows that already exist in english from britain. also, give up remakes of swedish and japanese film. your remakes always suck. love, erin.

  • ruthlezz

    It was incredible the way they tried to just change around a few words from the UK version to create an authentic American teen dialogue. I might be a decade out of high school, but I'm pretty sure American kids call em 'papers' not 'skins', they never say 'spliffed up' and they generally don't listen to drum and bass on purpose. Porn magazines on Sid's bed? Really? Magazines? Is this 1993? Kids related to Beavis and Butthead because they were horn dogs who never scored but lit shit on fire, went to 7-11 alot and made fun of music videos. They probably should have made this show about updating twitter feeds from an iphone, dance dance revolution and taking adderall or something.

  • boyslikeus

    I completely agree with this. I roll my eyes every time I see trailers for this thing. The show is supposed to shock you but it just left me saying, “Who cares”. Call me desensitized but a show about teenagers behaving badly is nothing new or exciting to me. But then I'm not a 15 year old teenager so maybe I should just stay away and let the target audience have their fun.

  • killakam

    Actually I think people didn't like Skins because it was a cheap, less edgy remake. The UK version is good. drugs, sex, nudity…that shit never get old. but remaking it with less nudity, no cursing and the same story lines? come on now US i thought we were better than that

    • Nytu_princess

      agree …the U.k version was the bestest one … :)

    • Frecklepancake

      no swearing?? seriously? – a Brit

  • Alex

    Agreed. In fact, can Hollywood and syndication overall stop the following:
    – Remakes
    – Sequels
    – Anything based on a book/true story

    Either we accept the death of original material (which I refuse to) or flesh out some new, good material (I have faith lyk dat).

    • Yes

      holler!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bee-Goode/100001676566533 Bee Goode

    i don't think my Mom would have enjoyed watching “Kids” when it came out.

  • Giles
  • an american teenager

    I think the US Skins tried to hard to be UK skins and so it never worked out

    there are some similarities between Britain and America but being a teenager in both places are totally different.

    I think the US Skins needed to focus on being a teenager in AMERICA than trying to recreate a british show with british-y problems.

    I like the UK Skins but actually now it has become less appealing because of the exaggeration. I watched the season 5 finale (generation 3) and i was like “how many drugs can you do before you overdose?” because they were taking ALOT of drugs…and i was like “this can't be real”

    I wish there were more scripted shows that were based on truth

  • notimpressed

    omg this why does the us feel the need to totally copy uk shows!? Can’t they just air the british versions there!!?? the uk skins (well seasons 1 and 2) were freaking AMAZING!! Yet the us feels the need to completely copy it and do a really terrible job. ARGH WHY WHY WHY, the same thing with shameless and countless other shows. PISSES ME OFF 

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