The ratings for Skins US have declined so rapidly since it started just a few weeks ago. You’d have thought that the hoo-ha the American media have created about it being exploitative and sexually explicit would make more people want to watch, but the opposite has happened.
TOO MUCH SEX
The U S Media have been banging on and on about how there is too much promiscuous sex in Skins, and how it’s pornography, and won’t somebody please think of the children? The thing is, I didn’t initially watch British Skins because judging by the promotion that was done for the first series, it seemed to be all about house parties so not really interesting. Even if I did have the same skirt that Michelle was wearing in one of the promo adverts! But the reason why I finally did get into Skins because once I got past the partying, and the driving a car into a river, and buying drugs, there was some genuinely great storylines that pulled me in. I wanted to know what was going to happen with Cassie and Sid, and I cared about Chris and Jal. The acting by the kids in the US series just isn’t as good, so there’s nothing to really fall back on. I’m not sure if it’s because they haven’t been given better scripts to work on, or if they just plain suck. Plus, there’s hardly any sex anyway. I don’t know what the fuss is. By third episode of the last series of British Skins, I’d seen at least four sex scenes. But I think that’s because by that series, they had run out of ideas on what to do with the characters. Especially Effy and Freddie. What w ank!
CADDIE, DON’T BE BATTY. EMOTIONS AREN’T REAL*
Okay, so the fact that Skins doesn’t portray teenage life realistically is not the reason why it’s not doing well. Gossip Girl is wildly successful and all the kids on that show act like they’re 35. They have their own companies, their own drivers and they’re not self-conscious or shy at all. Portraying teenagers in a realistic light on TV has probably never happened – apart from maybe the Inbetweeners (at least, that’s what my friends who are boys tell me!) So, the script writing sucks. Example? In one scene in US Skins, Betty kisses Tea in the school cafeteria, to prove that she’s not scared about being an out and proud lesbian. A cute, yet cliché scene. But when some boys start yelling at them, Michelle shouts at them ‘Why don’t you guys go screw each other in the ass? It looks like you want to, the way you’re all touching each other and everything.’ Calling people gay like it’s a bad thing in order to stick up for your gay friend really doesn’t work. Or when Caddie is talking to a girl at the clinic who is putting on a cycle helmet. ‘Are you cycling home?’ she asks. ‘No’, the girl in the helmet responds, holding up a pill. ‘I’m flying home!’ JFC.
* Caddie’s Mum says this to her in one episode.
Because nothing says the end of the world like the -gasp!- human body, US Tony and his best friend Stanley (who was called Sidney in the British version) lie in a bed with spiders on the covers. I guess it’s not a big deal, but it really bothers me anyway. If they are going to use the same characters, and storylines, then why not use the same bedcovers?
THIS IS HOW EFFY LOOKS IN US SKINS
Ha ha ha ha haaaaaa.
When Effy was coming home from a ‘wild night out’ in the first episode of British Skins, she had some smudged eyeliner and was wearing some pretty ridiculous clothes. But she didn’t look like a thirty-something stop out who had been up to all sorts with tons of men. Good grief. I’m sure the actor who plays Effy is really sweet, and I feel bad for her since she’s only fifteen IRL, because they made her look unacceptably bad here.
YOU CAN’T HELP COMPARING BECAUSE THE CHARACTERS AND STORYLINES ARE THE SAME!
I reckon that if Skins US was about a bunch of teenagers living the Skins lifestyle in Canada or wherever the fuck they’re meant to be, it really wouldn’t be as bad. The problem is, some genius decided to have the same characters, with the same names, and the same storylines. This means that the actors have to not only match their UK counterparts, but outshine them. This has not happened. Joe Dempsie who played British Chris, was a really outstanding actor who made you feel so much empathy for Chris – the American actor hardly has a chance. When I watched the US Skins episode ‘Chris’, it was more or less frame by frame the same scenes. Maybe because I’d seen it before, it wasn’t as shocking, or as emotional, but I know really that it sucked because it didn’t have enough heart. A lot of the US actors are lackluster and just can’t act as well as the British kids did. And I’m including Cassie in this so you know I’m srs!
The character of Tea (pictured above), who replaced Maxxie – who for some reason wasn’t deemed good enough for MTV – is not half as bad. Her episode, apart from the appallingly bad dialogue, was the most watchable of the lot so far. It verged into really corny a few times, like when she had a heart to heart with her Nana, who was the only person who really understood her problems. It was eye rollingly saccharine. But she had her own storyline and this made her much, much less annoying.
“MISCAST OF THE CENTURY”
The poor guy who is playing Tony was never going to be as good as Nicholas Hoult, who somehow managed to dance along the fine line of sleazy and sweetly vulnerable.
Here is what people online are saying about MTV’s Tony –
“I think I would like the show 10x more if Tony’s character was played by a redwood log. He’s so terrible and stoical and he seems pretty static. I don’t believe anything coming from him.”
“I’ve said before that the actor portraying Tony is atrocious. He totally brings the entire show down.”
“The whole mean girls like story they’ve got going in the (fabulous) UK season atm is something they could’ve used easily in the US series and probably would’ve felt way more natural than the group of friends they’re trying to throw together here, especially since they’re built around Tonys character who is the miscast of the century.”
MAYBE THEY’LL REDEEM THEMSELVES AND SING ‘WILD WORLD’
Bet it won’t be better than the OG version, tho!
Am I being way harsh, Tai? If so, tell me in the comments.