“‘Skins’ is the American adaptation of a UK hit about the sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll lifestyle of a group of teenagers. The PTC (Parents Television Council), a TV watchdog group, thinks the program might actually be child pornography, as many of the actors playing wayward teens are under 18 themselves. The group has persuaded a number of advertisers to pull out of the show, and called for a federal investigation,” according to today’s article by Dr. Harold Koplewicz in the Huffington Post.
Dr. Koplewicz talks about “the apparent lack of consequences,” on the show which portrays extreme behavior involving drinking, sex, and pill-popping. Teens drive under the influence, get involved in drug deals, and generally skirt death, and I can understand why the PTC would declare “Skins” as perhaps, “the most dangerous television show for children that we have ever seen.”
Though I haven’t watched an episode of “Skins,” I agree with Dr. Koplewicz when he mentions, “a world where parents and adults are mostly ineffectual, not to be trusted, or simply absent. This isn’t a good message to send — but it’s sadly accurate for many kids whose parents, well-intentioned though they may be, are out of touch with their teenagers.”
When our son started dating, my husband and I struggled with the complete lack of parental involvement and supervision from the girlfriend’s side. Many of the parents were divorced and looking to date themselves, forgetting to act as parents. Peer pressures and problem teenagers was another reason we chose to uproot our kids and get out of Orange County, California, and start over in Belize in Central America.
The third episode shows the toll that having no available parents takes on one of the characters. “His mother has checked out, leaving only a thousand dollars in cash; his father has a new life and wants nothing to do with him. Hurt and abandoned, he tries to party those feelings away.”
So what does “Skins” offer teenagers? Perhaps a way for those who are struggling to, “see their very real emotions taken seriously,”
What are your thoughts? “Skins”? Comments?
Jill Kemerer says
I'm coming at this from a very biased angle. I'm Christian and raising my kids to respect themselves and choose NOT to get involved with self-damaging behaviours. I think Skins is a disgrace. No, I haven't watched it, but I have seen commercials for it and that was enough to make me wonder just what the producers were thinking??
Our teens have enough negative role models, and there are plenty of teens for whom the party-hard lifestyle does not apply. MTV should be ashamed.
All I can say is I am thrilled to death my kids are grown. I think whoever is producing this garbage needs to be arrested. I'm sure it's not teenagers behind the cameras, so where is the conscience? It's actually frightening.
Not seen Skins…
But it's 'in' to party those feelings away.
That's why in England, U.S….almost everywhere kids are the same – they party their feelings away.
Who are the adults who make this kind of programs?
Miss Sadie says
Well, this is "interesting."
Totally outside my life experience. But then I've never been a fan of the "sex, drugs, and rock & roll" lifestyle.
But when partying is the goal of one's life, I feel very, very sad. It all strikes me a being very de-personalized, even de-humanized.
I haven't seen this program so can't really comment.
On the one hand, I agree that it is sending out wrong messages. On the other, I wonder if it is of some comfort to those in that situation to know that somewhere someone (if only a TV show) knows how they feel.
Does the show glorify drugs and sex, or is it just pointing out how empty these can be?
Many parents let their kids play video games which involve blowing away people, killing and all sorts of violence… Is Skins really worse than the type of violent film and games that are so widespread?
Not an easy question…
Robert the Skeptic says
First, it is very difficult to determine the tenor of any film (or TV show) from the trailer. I have seen many trailers; often the appearance of the contents deviates dramatically from the original core production. Trailers have motivated me to see films I have walked out on.
Secondly, one should actually watch an episode or two before making any claims about what is trying to be conveyed or how.
I recall when attorney general, Janet Reno, condemned the TV show "Law and Order" due to its gratuitous violence. Having been a fan of the show, where it demonstrates how the police and DA build and prosecute a case, from her comment I was left puzzling if Reno had actually ever seen the show? Seldom are weapons ever fired in an episode, for example.
Likewise I was once advised to avoid "The Simpsons" because, as I was told, the "… impudent little boy (Bart) talks back to his parents." But upon seeing the show myself I realized that this person’s opinion revealed that they had no concept of satire… they didn't "get" it!
Recently in the news there has been a push to "sanitize" Mark Twain’s classic Tom Sawyer by changing the N-word to “slave”, believing use of the former term makes the work “racist”. But if one actually reads the book, it is clearly a strong condemnation of slavery and racism written by an author who was both an Atheist and Humanist.
Robert the Skeptic says
This show, possibly if done correctly, could indeed be a mitigating influence on teens, particularly if there are consequences. More importantly, if the show is made “corny”, teens won’t watch it at all, so it needs to have compelling drama and realistic characters and situations.
This was done well with the TV series, ”My So Called Life” where the moody, myopic world of teens was dramatized very realistically and thoughtfully.
We have long grown past the days of ”Leave it to Beaver”. I would reserve judgment until complete episodes can be viewed. After all, the marketing purpose of a trailer is to “hook” you into watching the show. I was hooked by previews into watching ”Sex and the City” and found myself totally bored by the end of the first episode.
Thanks for your opinion. I wanted to hear back from parents with kids at home.
I also am glad my kids have left the nest, although for 4 years we had no TV.
Partying is not something new I'm sure. Program started in UK, not sure who produced it here.
It's sad for the parents who want the best for their teenagers.
So they don't have this show in Sweden?
I agree with you that one should watch the show before judging. The reason I posted this was because of the controversial nature and I was hoping to hear from other parents with teenagers and their opinions on it. Thanks for pointing out how trailers can be deceiving in some cases. I'd love to hear from parents with teenagers at home and what they think.
Madame DeFarge says
Skins over here has created a lot of controversy, and as such, 'good' publicity for the show. It is hardly good viewing, but reflects an stylised view of what young people do. It is no more lifelike than the average soap opera and I refuse to take it seriously. Having said that, I'm rather queasy that adults take such a close interest in child sexuality.
Just another exploitative show with no value, geared to steering our youth into the behavior depicted:
good-looking teens with model-like bodies. The show's developer and producer have no moral code.