MTV’s Skins criticized for racy teen sex and Canadianness
For teens tired of the Prada-sporting, beach house–dwelling Gossip Girl set, MTV’s upcoming Skins—a spinoff of the controversial BBC program of the same name—may offer some much-needed realism and relief. The North American version was shot here in Toronto, and though it debuts tonight, many American parenting groups are already crying foul.
In “the most urgent alert the PTC has ever sent to parents,” the American Parents Television Council doesn’t pull any punches:
Skins is filled with graphic content involving high-school children, including depictions of teens drinking, smoking marijuana, and using massive quantities of drugs, engaging in violent acts, and having irresponsible sex with each other, with their schoolteachers, and with other adults.
Hmm, when you put it that way… Though an executive producer of the American version claims it is considerably tamer than its British inspiration, the show has received a rating of TV-MA, which is reserved for the most objectionable television.
MTV’s Skins been getting mixed reviews from the critics, as well, both for its explicit content and its dystopian storyline, but Hank Stuever from the Washington Post found fault with another of the show’s qualities:
You would think a show such as Skins, which brags about its realism, wouldn’t feel so fake and . . . Canadian. Originally set for Baltimore, “Skins” was instead filmed in urban Toronto, using mostly Canadian kids, and the producers seem to think Americans won’t notice. So much of our cheap and limitless programming now, seen everywhere from NBC to MTV to HGTV, has a telltale and even aggravating Canadianness about it; the only way Skins could possibly feel more Ottawan is if Alanis Morissette popped up wearing a Mountie uniform and sang a new song called “Oot ‘n’ Aboot” while helping some “Property Virgins” find a renovated two-bedroom condo.
Wow. We had no idea that “Canadianness” was as deeply offensive as rampant teenage sex and drug use. In the future, we’ll try to tone it down with our talented film industry, our favourable economic policies and our infamously lovely manners. Yeesh.
Skins premieres tonight at 10 p.m. on the Movie Network.
• Under the Skins, it’s Toronto [Toronto Star]
• In ‘Skins,’ teens’ good times are a grown-up’s nightmare [Washington Post]
• Kids Inc.: Degrassi’s Raymond Ablack and Skins’ Camille Cresencia-Mills discuss post-millennial TV teenagedom [Toronto Life]
10 thoughts on “MTV’s Skins criticized for racy teen sex and Canadianness”
This is a movie network show, not MTV.
It’s MTV’s show that the Movie Network is airing, actually.
Actually in the States it IS playing on MTV and it was created for American MTV.
“Skins is filled with…high-school children…having irresponsible sex…with their schoolteachers, and other adults”
Did I just read that correctly? What the heck is this show!?! Has our society’s moral values diminished this much that we actually accept pedophilia now, in addition to all the premarital sex, promiscuity, and crude behaviour?!
Society needs an intervention.
Actually, Ben, if you watch the original UK version it’s quite brash. Yet the story is more realistic than any Gossip Girl or Degrassi episode. It’s not a moral devaluation, it’s an explanation of how screwed up people can be, yet still keep their friends by their sides. You won’t really get the true awesome story out of this version. I suggest you watch the UK version before you pass judgement. Oh, and stop mis-quoting things like a journalist, it’s pathetically overdone.
who ever comes and comments about a show they never seen your a wanker,gtfo,uk version ftw. sorry not everyone lives in the mtv world of drama fake musicians and stuff,not ll goody goods fucking wanker,go wank yourself
“Has our society’s moral values diminished this much that we actually accept pedophilia now, in addition to all the premarital sex, promiscuity, and crude behaviour?!”
No, our society is finally moving away entirely from christianity and towards a much more natural and nature-given form.
I’m sorry that you disapprove of premarital sex. Even if it’s with the same partner. You’re missing out.
The original is from Channel 4, not the BBC.
I saw part of the show when it aired (I’m in the states) on MTV and for the network to say that it is for an adult audience baffles me? At late twenty-something do I really want to watch a bunch of 15-19 year olds run around having sex and whatnot? Besides it came off as unrealistic anyway.
The original UK series had it’s good and bad moments but it’s acting was quite good and great cast of adults playing parents including Bill Bailey and Peter Capaldi. It isn’t meant to be realistic I think but I think the writing was pretty good for the original. The second one for the UK was awful and went off the rails on the writing scale and was quite boring I think. So what would I think of a Canadian rip-off not much I think as you would have to get a UK writer in from the original series for a start. Also not sure it should be on MTV either but MTV themselves have gone off the rails dissing all good programming like ‘The City’ yes ok it isn’t reality but it was interesting and popular and also ‘Downtown Girls was great but again MTV execs on on something recreational as they think ‘Jersey Shore’ is great programming I think it is ridiculous and boring. Reality tv is on it’s way out and with MTV alienating itself by turning into a porn channel instead of having smart sensible programming if that is the way they want to go then by all means. I would hope they would have come up with something more original than copying a british show. But I guess they are hoping the shock value of this ‘Skins’ will save them but it won’t which is a shame as Canada has a lot of young acting talent and screenplay writing talent you just need channels willing to take a risk not a fast buck.
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