Skins Generation Three: Letdown?

It’s always difficult for television show to introduce new cast members. I for one, rarely care as much about new characters than I do for the originals. You start to draw comparisons, “Oh this character is just Jane or John 2.0,” I’m guilty of this. I hardly appreciate the introduction of new characters, even though it’s often a necessary move. Writers can try, but subsequent casts will always be compared to the ones who started it all. Skins is one such show that has semi-mastered the art of introducing fresh faces every two seasons. Sure there are archetypes: The Bad Boy, The Bitch, The Outsider, etc., but each generation of Skins brings something new and different.

Generation One will forever be my favorite. I liked every character and their storylines, Sid and Cassie ruled my world and even assholes like Tony managed to win me over. Things went a little downhill with Generation Two. The only saving grace for me was the Freddie/Effy relationship. Come at me with your torches and pitchforks: I heartily disliked Naomi, but I really wanted the relationship between her and Cook to be explored. I’m all for Naomily, but I thought Cook & Naomi had serious chemistry. And the swan song for Generation Two left the worst cliffhanger I have ever experienced. Seriously, the season four finale rivals Inception. I just want to know, WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED WITH COOK & JOHN FOSTER?!

Generation Three pales considerably in comparison to the former two. Okay, Rich & Grace are adorable together, Nick does makes for some eye-candy and HBIC Mini has easily become one of my favorite characters. But that’s really it. And no, it’s not because this cast is significantly less attractive…well, it might be a minor detriment. Rich and Grace bore me when they’re not together. Liv reminds me too much of Jal (Gen.1) and Jal got a much better storyline and Alo…I’m quite indifferent towards him. I want to like Franky, I do. She’s what I would consider the central character of this Generation, following in the footsteps of Tony and Effy. I just haven’t found her to be a likeable character yet. Maybe it’s because she’s got a thing for Matty and that dude is a molestation charge waiting to happen. And he’s got the creepy ass eyes to boot. I’m also not a fan of the newest version of the Skins theme. It’s a bad blend of the original and techno that’s been barfed on by bagpipes. No me gusta.

Again, what sucks about British television is that we only get eight episodes before the yearlong hiatus. I’m left with an unsatisfactory television experience and that makes for unhappy tv fan. Granted, however horrible this season was, it’s probably miles better than whatever crap MTV threw together. I can only pray for a much-improved season six. Bring it on.

My Ideal Television Family

Parents: Eric & Tami Taylor, Friday Night Lights (Kyle Chandler & Connie Britton)

I can think of no other perfect parental unit than the Taylors of FNL. They occasionally get into arguments but always make up by the episode’s end. They compromise and make decisions with each other’s best interests at heart. The Southern accents would have to go, though.

Siblings: Nathan Young, Misfits (Robert Sheehan) & Quinn Fabray, Glee (Dianna Agron)

Nathan’s got an ASBO and you know, gets tricked into sleeping with 82-year-olds. Quinn can’t stop cheating on her boyfriends and there was that whole got-pregnant-with-boyfriend’s-best-friend thing. No matter what I do I would look great in comparison. To 99.9% of the world, Nathan is an ass. Case in point. But to the few he actually cares about, he’s fiercely loyal. And anyways, it would be killer to have a bro with an Irish accent. Quinn’s got a closet full of Anthropologie and Free People dresses/cardigans and any nice big sister would let me raid said closet every day, right? These two would be perfect older siblings. Quinn’s Queen Bee and thanks to a magical icestorm, Nathan’s immortal! Both of them would kick the crap out of anyone who did me wrong.

Best Friends: Cassie Ainsworth, Skins UK (Hannah Murray) & Seth Cohen, The OC (Adam Brody)

Cassie is a flighty, anorexic airhead who says, “wow” and “lovely” far too much. Pretty much a total trainwreck. She never really had a best friend on Skins and she constantly got screwed over on the show. But you’ve got to admit that would make for an interesting friend. I’m also hoping her accent would rub off on me. [I’m big on accents if you can’t tell] Seth’s a geek, plain and simple. But he’s geek chic. He dresses classy, loves Star Wars and can whip out movie quotes like it’s nobody’s business. I’m thinking we would be those typical television friends who eventually get together. I’d be totally on board with that.

Skins UK > Skins US

Dear E4, I would like to apologize on behalf of my country for our hideous remake of Skins.

Dear MTV, I would like to apologize for actually watching your absolutely horrendous program and giving you the rating you don’t deserve. Glad I got that off my chest, it’s been eating me alive.

If you haven’t guessed already, MTV’s remake of the popular British show Skins was possibly the worst hour of television I have seen since I watched Hellcats last fall. The entire episode was almost a word-for-word copy of the original pilot except with notable edits. There was no profanity, unless you count the two f-bombs that were bleeped out. What was the point of including them if they were just going to be bleeped out? Wow, you’re so bad ass, MTV.  Another note to the writers, I don’t know how many teenagers go around calling drugs “narcotics” these days, but we still use the good old terms like “weed”, “dope”, and “coke.”

These kids cannot act to save their lives, enough said there. My precious Sid has been turned into a stoner look-a-like and spacey Cassie is nowhere near. I also wouldn’t consider myself a shallow person, but if you were going to hire people who just looked pretty versus could actually act, at least make them semi-attractive. There are loads of better looking Americans than the motley crue you herded together. As I previously mentioned, Sid and Cassie’s relationship was the highlight of the U.K. version for me and their story needed to be retold brilliantly. Cadie needs to go. Now. Stanley isn’t geeky cute. I am beyond pissed MTV, beyond pissed.

Another British remake, Being Human, also premiered tonight on SyFy, adding to the list of other remakes such as The Office, Shameless and Doctor Who.

America, I am begging you, please do not continue with the remakes. Turn on your thinking caps, get those brain juices flowing and come up with your own damn shows. Do not even think about touching Misfits, I will protest with all the U.K.ers who are pissed about their shows being disgraced. You have my word on that.

REVIEW: Skins (UK)

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.