The thought of an American version of Skins was bad enough, but now we’re faced with something much worse – a complete remake. With the change of a few names and a homosexual boy being swapped for a lesbian, the US Skins is exactly the same as the UK’s first series.
You may have cringed at this already, but here it is in all its disappointment, the trailer for the US series of Skins:
This will not work for many reasons. Mainly that the Skins they are remaking is a portrayal of British teenagers, not American. The reason for Skins being so successful in the UK was that it was realistic and related to its audience.
When researching my audience research essay for part of my course last year, we came across a few things to highlight this point:
“An interesting topic that arose in our project was from a YouTube video that we found by an American teenager discussing the difference between UK and USA teen programming. He commented that you would never see this portrayal of teenagers, based in Skins, on American programmes. He related to American teen programmes such as 90210 and Gossip Girl, who all live “soap opera lives,” are all rich and beautiful and “live lives we will never have.” He contrasts this against Skins and says, “It’s just what teenagers do,” commenting on its realism. He made a remarkable point that if drugs were involved in an American TV programme, the producers would have to fit in some kind of moral reasoning to make up for it. He uses the example that if somebody took drugs in an American programme, they would then have to die in a car crash in the producers attempt of screaming “DON’T TAKE DRUGS” as a moral message.
In relation to this, we also found the website ‘parentstv.org’ showing the controversial and negative views from an adult based community in America. The group was called the Parents Television Council whose purpose was to encourage responsible behaviour through the entertainment industry and to protect children from violence/sex/bad language. They described Skins as a “foul teenage soap opera” with “rancid content” that “glorifies teens drinking, smoking marijuana and having sex.” The article focuses on the contrast we have recognised between adult and teenage viewers. Although we didn’t receive any survey results from anybody aged over 25 years old, I think it’s fair to say that older generations see the programme as something unrealistic because of how extreme it is, whereas teenagers see more than just a group of teenagers taking drugs and having sex.”
The parentstv.org is sure to crash from the complaints it’s going to receive when this hits the screens!
American TV, get your own ideas!