I've never been shy about admitting an addiction to trash teen dramas. You name it, I've watched it: Gossip Girl, Dawson's Creek, Roswell, Beverly Hills 90210, The OC, Degrassi, and everything else in between. And I've loved every gloriously over the top dramatic minute of all of them. But with Skins, something has altered my entire view of the teen drama genre. Perhaps it has something to do with being too old to relate to the objectives of the 14-17 year old set (which, according to Skins, is either losing your virginity or furthering your sexual repertoire) or maybe the absurdity of euphemistic dialogue like, "I get to park my Chevy in her garage?!"
The original U.K. version of the show (what is it with Yanks stealing British TV shows and making them far worse?) was created by Bryan Elsley and Jamie Brittain (a somewhat creepy father-son team considering the content of the show) and has been airing on British channel E4 for a total of four seasons. But why should MTV--or any network for that matter--wait for a show to be over before completely fucking with it? Revamped by MTV's creative duo Liz Gately (the woman behind the pitch for Laguna Beach) and Tony DiSanto (executive producer of The Hills and former president of programming at MTV), the American interpretation of the show is expected to mirror the British one, save for a few name changes here and there (e.g. Tony Stonem is now Tony Snyder, played by James Milo Newman).
But obviously name changes aren't the only element destroying a show that once had enough integrity to count A Single Man's Nicholas Hoult amid its cast members. The writing is nothing short of the description "fucking terrible." It's not even remotely comparable to former MTV trash soaps Undressed (directed by notable Brit Roland Joffe) and Spyder Games, both of which embraced the concept of being awesomely bad--without reverting to total shittiness.
So, basically, if I was someone with psychic tendencies (look for my table at Coney Island this summer), I would tell you that this show could go one of two ways: For the 14 year old who thinks life is actually like this, I would prophesy, "Skins is here to stay" and, for the twenty-something who is somewhat familiar with reality, I would assure, "Don't worry, American audiences simply aren't daft enough to be interested in this." Then again, that twenty-something probably knows better.