David Carr blasts Skins in the New York Times, proving he’s no fun at all.
But when you hear talk about how innovative and daring “Skins” is — and you will —that argument is no more credible than the one made by the stoned teenager out after curfew. “Skins” is pretty much a frame-by-frame capture of a British hit. “Kids,” the film by director Larry Clark, plowed the same seamy ground back in 1995. (And films, at least, are more regulated: “Kids” initially received an NC-17 rating.)
Some interesting notes:
1. Carr says he’s seen the first three episodes, but only references stuff from episode one and that bit with Chris in episode three that’s been referenced everywhere. Conspiracy theory!
2. He knows it’s a “frame-by-frame” capture of the British version, but clearly hasn’t watched that, either.
3. Fimoculous spotted a funny error in the correction of all places.
4. I still don’t know what the big deal is about Skins. Though all this talk did push me to start watching seasons three and four of the British series with the second cast. It might be better than the first two seasons/first cast. Though I miss Cassie.
We proceed from the idea, not that teenagers are inherently likely to misbehave, but rather that they are intensely moral and disposed to make judgments on their own and others’ behaviour. Sometimes, but not always, they get things wrong. In this teenagers are remarkably similar to adults. Their morals may not be the same as those of their parents and teachers, but they are nevertheless, highly developed and active in their world.
When viewers have taken the time to watch the show in a little more depth, they are less concerned about the behavior of the characters. Teenagers can be loyal, supportive, dedicated, focused, and capable of making informed value judgments about their lives. In the pilot episode of Skins, it’s possibly easy to overlook the story wherein a young boy sets off to a party to sell drugs and have sex, but in fact, does neither of these things, because, he senses that he has been manipulated by friends and does not feel ready to have sex with someone he does not know properly.
The points about the whole Skins thing that are still most amusing to me are: (1) This show is FOUR years old. And people are surprised at the content? (2) The original has been airing in a slightly edited form on BBC America. (3) The remake (or at least the pilot — I still haven’t watched the second episode) was terrible when compared to the original series. Don’t hate Skins because it’s “dangerous.” Hate Skins because it isn’t Skins.
Something called the Parents Television Council has asked the US government to investigate Skins. And Taco Bell has pulled their ad support from the show. Hilariously, the entertainment value of the discussion around this show now substantially exceeds the entertainment value of the actual show. It also proves the the British are far cooler than Americans. (Even more hilariously, the original version of the show has already been airing on BBC America, although it’s somewhat edited.)