Tonight at 10 p.m., the U.S. adaptation of the popular British show, Skins, will premiere on MTV. To say that I am skeptical is putting it very nicely; I am expecting pure and utter failure. At about 10:59, the U.K. will be proudly sticking their middle fingers at us and we will have fully deserved it.
I briefly touched on the censorship differences between the U.K. and the U.S. during my review of Misfits, but it needs some reiterating here. Even though MTV is more lenient than most networks and the show has a less-prude timeslot, it’s still going to be seriously watered down. If the Parents Television Council thinks that Gossip Girl is corrupting the children of America, they are going to shit bricks after watching Skins.
There are so many things that I love about Skins U.K. It’s racy, drama-filled and has tortured but truly likeable characters that you can’t help but root for. Casting was dead on and it’s going to be hard to recreate that. Skins U.S. needs to deliver BIG TIME if it expects to convert Skins U.K. loyalists. MTV has said that the series will deviate away from storylines depicted in Skins U.K. following the pilot, but will still include some pivotal storylines such as Chris’ mother leaving, Tony’s accident and the death of Sid’s father.
There is one arc in Generation One that I cannot imagine being redone without some serious kickass-ness being required, I’m talking about the relationship with Sid and Cassie (Stanley and Cadie in the U.S. version). These two made the most adorable couple and were hands down my favorite part of Generation One. Sid reminded me of a geeky Ron Weasley and Cassie was a dead-ringer for Luna Lovegood…and I have no idea why I just made those Harry Potter references. The point is, they were perfect in their adorableness. Cassie saw past Sid’s loserdom and Sid was the only one who truly cared about her recovery from anorexia. Dear MTV, if Stanley and Cadie’s relationship (if it happens) cannot exceed the epicness of the original, do not attempt to recreate. I repeat, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RECREATE.
I think both the U.S. and the U.K. need to accept the fact that some shows cannot be made into successful adaptations across the pond. The U.K. cannot pull off a High School Musical and the U.S. will probably not be able to successfully recreate Skins. What’s wrong with just showcasing the great television both places have to offer? There’s no reason Skins couldn’t be shown in its original glory on MTV just like popular U.S. shows like Glee and Friends are on Channel 4 in the U.K. That being said, I will try my best to reserve my full judgment until after I’ve seen the pilot in just a few short hours.