MTV's Skins Sees Teens as 'Monsters'

Critics: New drama is heavy on sex and drugs, little else
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2011 3:03 PM CST

(Newser) – MTV debuted its new series Skins last night, an American version of a British teen drama rife with sex and drugs. Not everybody's a fan:

  • Richard Lawson, Gawker: It goes even further than the Brit version in pushing the idea that teens are "messy jumbles of extremes with very little shading in between, lacking in kindness, decorum, and any sense of responsibility or consequence. It's a pretty bleak and unfair characterization. Teenagers are dumb, yes, but they're not monsters (not all of them at least). I wish television and movies would stop trying to tell us they are."

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  • Hank Stuever, Washington Post: It feels "fake," he writes. It's "so determined to relate to hardened kids—without sermon, theme or context—that it accidentally discovers a new frontier in phoniness and filth. Even if I could warp time and watch it as my teenaged self, I'm pretty sure I would have been bored by it back then, too—even with all the sex."
  • James Poniewozik, Time: "What may be most shocking to an American audience is how insouciantly it defies teen TV's unwritten mandate of consequences. On US teen dramas, you can titillate the audience with bad behavior so long as, at some point, there's a pregnancy scare or a cautionary drug overdose." Not so here. Still, he adds, "for all its cheekiness and raunch, Skins has more sweetness than snarky teen soaps like Gossip Girl."
(Read more MTV stories.)

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