prof. e.

Mass Communication, [multi]media, methodology and much, much more!

Skins Skating on Thin Ice

Posted by prof e on January 26, 2011

I hesitated to write about the new MTV series Skins, a remake of a BBC series by the same name. By pushing the envelope MTV knew that it would generate plenty of buzz–and contributing to that buzz, even in a very small way, makes me an accomplice in their marketing scheme.  I’m going ahead with this post because I believe that the debate over Skins is one that must be joined if you’re going to engage modern popular culture and the role of media in shaping that culture. Recent accusations that the program may actually cross the line into child pornography is another reason why this is not just another Jersey Shore. Several of the actors on Skins are as young as 15 and that raises serious questions about the appropriateness of the acts they’re portraying on the small screen.

Skins premiered on MTV to strong ratings (3.26 million viewers 18-49) but fell to less than half this in its second episode. The premiere was likely boosted by two things: 1) people checking out the show to see what all the fuss was about and, 2) a new episode of Jersey Shore as a lead-in. Jersey Shore has been a ratings powerhouse and last week’s special episode (featuring the much publicized arrest of Snooki) drew 7.7 million viewers.

Despite the TV-MA ratings, Nielsen estimates that more than one-third of the Skins premiere audience were under the age of 18. That shouldn’t be surprising since MTV has claimed to own the teen demographic for some time.

Now, on to the controversy. David Carr, writing in the New York Times, makes an interesting point when he observed that Skins does not exist in a vacuum. While critics argue that these kinds of media portrayals are glamorized depictions far from reality, there’s also a bit of truth to MTV’s claim that much of the behavior we see in shows like Skins happens with or without media depictions. According to Carr,

Now that MTV is back on its heels, you will hear arguments that “Skins” merely describes the world that we already live in. There’s something to that. MTV didn’t invent “friends with benefits,” oral sex as the new kiss or stripper chic as a teenage fashion aspiration.

“Skins” is nothing new, only a corporate effort to clone a provocative drama that will make MTV less dependent on reality shows and add to the bottom line. True, MTV is not alone. Abercrombie & Fitch built a brand out of writhing, half-naked teenagers, as Calvin Klein once did.

But the critics of Skins also have justification to claim that media depictions of bad behavior are educational lessons, especially for young viewers. Once again Carr explains the difference between Jersey Shore and Skins in this regard.

Even in the most scripted reality programming, the waterfall of poor personal choices is interrupted by comeuppance. People get painful hangovers, the heartbreaks are real if overly dramatic and the cast members have to live with their decisions.

Not so on “Skins,” where a girl who overdoses and is rushed to the hospital wakes up to laughter when the stolen S.U.V. taking her there slams to a halt. Teenagers show children how to roll blunts, bottles of vodka are traded on merry go-rounds, and youngsters shrug off being molested and threatened by a drug dealer. And when the driver of the stolen S.U.V. gets distracted and half a dozen adolescents go rolling into a river, the car is lost but everyone bobs to the surface with a smile at the wonder of it all.

Leading the charge against Skins is Parents Television Council, a conservative media watchdog group, or, as their website puts it, “A non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment.” PTC called Skins, “the most dangerous program ever” for children and their website includes an interactive feature that allows visitors to fire off a letter of disapproval to sponsors. And that tactic appears to be working.

MTV has seen important advertisers back away from Skins for fear of associating their brand with content that goes beyond edgy. Taco Bell (you know, the company using meat filling that is–surprise–significantly less than 100% beef), Gillette, Wrigley, Foot Locker, L’Oreal , Schick, and Subway have pulled spots. The movie studios and assorted products targeting the Skins demographic remained on the air in episode two. One of the spots on Monday night was for stretch mark cream. One commentator joked that it might have been a direct response ad! Oh, and you might not be surprised to learn that one of the advertisers of this week’s episode was the video game Dead Space 2 (see post below).

What do you think? Does the lifestyle presented by Skins and similar programs resonate with your personal experience? Are parents making too much of a fuss about something that will likely self-destruct on its own? Or is there something here that demands a response…something that, if left unchecked, will lead to even more dangerous behavior by even more adolescents?

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40 Responses to “Skins Skating on Thin Ice”

  1. Ronnie said

    Dr E., thanks for digging in to some really interesting and controversial topics as of late. I haven’t seen this show because I’ve already been a teenager and don’t care to relive the turmoil. But I will say that just from some of the commercial spots I’ve seen for the show, many of the portrayals depicted certainly occurred for my cohorts during high school. In many cases, the reality of high school drama is much more intense and problematic than what MTV will ever portray; however, this show seems blatantly more superficial as its phony attempt to seem deep, and ultimately, I don’t think MTV cares enough about the realistic issues it invokes other than to ensure steady revenue streams resulting from its broadcast. In other words, I don’t think this show will provoke enough meaningful introspection by viewers, as to do so would likely cause viewers to abandon it altogether. It’s just scintillating enough to provide captivation not thoughtfullness, and that’s all that is required of media designed to provide audiences to advertisers. Also, the show’s producers will be sure to walk the fine legal line which borders the government’s ability to regulate its content. So, only if the negative hyperbole surrounding the show reaches a level where enough advertisers back away from it, the show probably won’t disappear until ratings dictate. Moralists are quick to stoke the fires of hyped controversies, and the unfortunate cynical response is that market forces will arguably be more powerful in determining the fate of this show. At best, MTV will merely tone down the provocative content via editing (they already have according to TV news reports). At worst, the self-fulfilling prophecy which gave you pause to even present this headline to this forum comes true, and MTV’s audience share grows.
    But my question is: does this type of reoccurring debate about the harmful consequences of media underscore the futility of the debate itself? A scientist named Paul Lutus breaks the argument about media impact into two sides (substitute the word violence for sex):

    One side of the most common media issue (portrayals of violence) might say:
    1. Violence in the media harms young, impressionable minds, and even though this can’t really be demonstrated scientifically, “everyone knows it’s true”.
    2. Society has a responsibility to guard the welfare of the young and innocent, thus the state has a mandate to act with respect to this issue. State regulation is both appropriate and necessary.
    The other side might say:
    1. People must accept responsibility for personal actions. They should not be allowed to blame others for personal choices and/or crimes, and to try to blame the media is to throw open the door to declaring everyone a victim and absolving people of anything resembling personal responsibility.
    2. To try to control the media is to meddle in very basic constitutional issues, dabble in censorship, and if such a program were to begin, it would only drive certain kinds of media portrayals underground, where they might thrive in a more insidious and dangerous form (as in the example of illegal drugs).

    Lutus describes the two sides accurately in my opinion. So does this mean that the overall debate is a wash?

  2. It never ceases to amaze me how much more predictable the American TV viewing audience that the millenial (and younger) generation(s) continues to become. They almost always tune into destruction attentively and yawn at creation or real quality. They’re obsessed with all that is edgy but don’t seem interested in balancing that edginess with any substance.

    I don’t blame MTV as much as I blame my peers for allowing themselves into being duped by this obvious formula; shock and awe mixed with tween angst = ratings. MTV along with a gazillion other major corporations know how to get the kids to seek out brainless programming these days and it isn’t with their rebellious, anti-establishment themes of yesteryear.

    Nope, now all they have to do is make a play for the worst in these children, set it to some blithe indy rock, hire some hack to write simplistic, almost nihilistic plotlines, get another hack who some big time paper pays by the word to give it a quasi-arty farty review and boom, there’s your buzz show of the year…until something even more moronic or depraved comes along.

  3. Forty minutes of utter trash is the best way I can describe “Skins”. Though I would have rather not seen that, I decided to view the pilot episode to make an informed decision about the show. While I was watching it, I had to keep reminding myself that I was indeed watching a television show, and not an R rated film. Perhaps the biggest tragedy is that the show will be viewed by hundreds of thousands of extremely persuadable teens. MTV’s target audience is those who are beginning to discover the evils of this world. When that audience is exposed to a show like “Skins”, which presents mindless, harmful activities as light fun with no consequences, that audience receives an extremely skewed perception of reality. We would be doing our nation’s youth, which in fact is our future, a total injustice by allowing this show to be broadcast. MTV would be irresponsible not to cancel this show immediately.

  4. Joel Archuleta said

    I have not personally seen the MTV edition of “Skins” but I have watched the BBC version. I honestly liked the show so even though it was very disturbing and racy. I will make an effort watch the American version just to see if the push the sexuality even more here. From watching the BBC show, I would definitely agree that this show is definitely dangerous to families and kids. It glorifies underage drinking, promiscuous sex, and prolific drug use. I will watch it, but if I had kids there would be no way in hell that I would let them watch it. That would be as irresponsible as giving a toddler some lighter fluid and matches.

  5. Ronnie said

    Alright, so I did my part to help fulfill the prophecy. I watched a partial episode of this wholly unoriginal show just to better understand what the moralists are raging about, and it was as I expected — nothing. There is nothing new about what MTV has packaged in this format. One can easily name a thousand movies and TV shows that contained these same plotlines. What’s more, today’s teenagers can probably share real life stories that would put MTV’s cast of selectively attractive actors to shame.

    Here’s the idea of the show: Let’s cast a carefully selected group of really attractive young actors to play-out things that are really happening in the lives of teens today. We’ll make the characters more glamorous so we don’t threaten the egos of viewers but we’ll also destroy the characters every now and again and cut to commercial so we can sell our emotionally frail viewers some more consumer garbage to fill the void.

  6. Jasmine Landrum-Jones said

    I have seen the television show skins once. It portrays the lives of how some pre-teens and teens actually live and act. I do not see a problem with teens watching the program because all issues brought up are relevent to everyday teen issues. It definitely does advertise sex and underage drinking but then again people should moniter what their children watch and education begins at home first and foremost, so parents should educate their children on these topics.

  7. Alan Wergedal said

    So the fuss is about showing what happens every day? Hmmmm that may be the dumbest problem we have in America is that we are afraid to speak out loud about the problems people go through every day! Growing up i had different video games than kids today do but i can tell you that if they made a new version of Lesuire Suit Larry it would be alot more graphic today than it was then. So the times change and the “Moral Correct Patrol” keep deciding whats best for every one. Instead of worrying about a show that depicts real life in some places why not worry about the people who decide to control what we watch and see. Lets see a reality show like say a San Quinten cell block that you can watch 24 hours a day that is reality, not anything that is seen today on some censored television show. Want reality take a vacation Detroit and stay in the places even the cops dont want to go for a week.

  8. Jose Cos said

    I dont really see a problem with the new tv show skins. The tv show portrays the secret lives of teenagers. Although they seem to take it a little far, a lot of teenagers can relate to or have been through some of the same things on this show. Even though the show will never accurately portray the real drama that goes on in high school, it is somewhat interesting to watch. Yes it promotes drinking,smoking and having sex but thats what a lot of teenagers do, and if parents don’t like it they should monitor what there kids watch more.

  9. Brittny Balderston said

    I haven’t seen Skins nor Jersey Shore, but what I have heard makes me question what people think these days. When I was a kid, everything was about what a wonderful like people on TV had, definitely not what was the real thing. These shows show the real deal, whether scripted or not. The only thing is, I definitely wouldn’t want this life. I believe I heard on the Today Show a few weeks ago when Skins first came out, that producers wanted to show parents the real thing. I believe that if they want the real thing, they should take a look in their own teens life, and not MTV. Not all teens fool around, smoke, and do things that make society question their behavior. The problem is they don’t show teens doing something good. I’m a fan of Degrassi, and have been since its first season. It had a collection of good, bad, questioning behavior, and proud moments. That show has a little bit of everything, and if producers want to show parents about what their teens might be going through, they should try the Degrassi approach, because guaranteed every teen would be able to connect to one of the cast.

  10. Jordan Gregory said

    As a high school senior watching this show, which depicts the “real life” of a normal 18 year old I had to laugh. honestly i know not a single student in my school or in any other school who lives the life that this show leads the public to believe. i believe that MTV attempted to try and push the envelope and gain viewers through shock value. As a normal high school student, I’m used to seeing things that many older people may find alarming and thinking it of normal or of no big deal. But even I think Skins to be a little over the top, and whenever it is on MTV, I turn the channel

  11. McKenzie said

    I have not yet been able to sit through an entire episode of Skins from start to finish. Quite frankly, I find it boring and weird. Maybe I do need to sit through full episodes to criticize it, but I think a big reason I lack such interest is because it is so far from anything I’ve ever experienced. The show holds zero revelance to my high school experience. I really think Skins is nothing for parents to be worried about. Yes, it is inappropriate for younger audiences, but not one of these character is portrayed as “cool”. I highly doubt many teens are going to idolize any of the characters being played in the show. I predict that Skins will not be around for much longer, and MTV wasted their time and mine by airing this show.

  12. Kristin Moe said

    I know many individuals watched the season premiere of Jersey Shore. I watched the season premiere with many of my friends. When it came to watching the show Skins after Jersey Shore was over, one of the ten people that I watched Jersey Shore with was even interested in watching the show. I have watched a couple of episodes of the British version of Skins and the episodes are identical. The only difference is the characters names. I found the show to dramatic and boring. Most of all I found the show extremely over done. I may be the only one, but I can promise you I wasn’t partying every weekend and doing drugs in high school, nor when I was 15 years old. I feel like the media feeds off teens and teens feed off the media. By creating this show about 15 year olds doing all the things they do on the show, could this cause young teens to do the same thing? I honestly couldn’t tell you the answer. All I can say is that although I have not seen a full episode of the American Skins series on MTV, I have not met a single person that has watched the show and enjoyed it. To be honest I think the only reason people watched it is because it came on after Jersey Shore, and I think Skins will be old news by the summer.

  13. Meagan Chapman said

    I haven’t seen the show but that is by choice. I have plenty of other things to do than to watch more people (teenagers or adults) do nothing but embarass themselves by doing things that they think are cool.
    Under age drinking, sex at a young age, these things shouldn’t be something we make movies or tv shows about unless they are about the lives they have ruined. The behavior in shows like Jersey Shore or Skins isn’t helping to solve anything. The only thing that it’s doing is showing teens that if they do what they see on tv they might be able to get on tv as well.

  14. Ken V said

    “So the fuss is about showing what happens every day? Hmmmm that may be the dumbest problem we have in America is that we are afraid to speak out loud about the problems people go through every day!” @Alan: I don’t necessarily believe the issue is “showing what happens every day”, rather glorifying it. A lot of the youth look to these forms of media and decide they want to recreate and live the same lifestyle. Having said that, I believe this shouldn’t be the “number one” issue we’re complaining about considering everything else going on – i.e. Egypt. But this does influence how our youth is raised and what they tend to value and look up to. I think it’s interesting how many of the sponsors have pulled their ads during the skins time frame.

  15. Vanessa Rodriguez said

    I’ve seen the show and personally I like it. It is a modern day,young, and edgy soap opera. Yes, the fact that the actors are portraying high school students seems a bit far fetched but in reality this is happening. I have a younger brother who is currently a high school junior and the stories he tells me are beyond astonishing. I don’t remember partaking in those type of activities and i just graduated three years ago.

    I believe this show is designed to show America what their children are doing. Maybe this will be the eye opener those naive youngsters and too trusting parents need. They have no idea what they are doing to themselves or the people around them.

    So you might ask, why do I like the show? I think it’s entertaining. It’s very dramatic and dark…two qualities that I do not possess. For entertainment purposes Skins is good.

  16. Janae Deas said

    I havent seen the MTV series “Skins” personally, but i feel like it is good show and a bad show based on idea. I feel that now days we live in a world of follwers and everybody just want to be in the shoe of a star, but I’m wondering what we consider fame now. The show shows how teens are actually acting now and it’s mocking the behaviors of our younger generations, and i think this is a good thing because its somewhat more realistic. But I can see this show as being a bad thing because once someone see something such as sex,drugs, drinking etc they think it is becoming socially accepted when it’s really not. I see how the younger generation is experiencing sex, drugs and alcohol at younger ages, and putting on a show is going to strongly further the bad example for the younger generation.

  17. daniel Bashian said

    i think skins is targeting all of the extremes in which teen are engaging in but i dont feel it’s a true picture of teens today. this show is not portraying the “average” or “normal” everyday life of highschool/ teenager. it may be a good show to some but overall i think mtv shouldnt be showing shows which amplify foul and outrageous behavior, skins is a show that would fit more likely on hbo or showtime.

  18. Kyle LaMar said

    This show is one of the worste shows that I have ever seen. MTV did this country wrong. They tried to bring a show that was developed else where and where the characters were developed. One of my good friends has watched every single episode and has said that the MTV version was wrong. Instead of developing the characters like you would in a normal show, the American version would be better. When I first watched the American version of Skins, I thought that every character was extremely out of line and were also offensive. My friend who has watched the show since the begining said that if you watched “the real skins” the way they develope that characters into what they are currently, the show probably would be a lot better. MTV shoud have thought about the person who has not seen the original skins would not be offended on how it was played out. I think that MTV needs to cancel the show because the uproar that it has caused is now reflecting the company and teenagers as a whole.

  19. LaKiah J. said

    I feel that skins is an “ok” t.v. show its one of those shows you can watch when your bored. On the other hand I feel they display too much in the t.v. show if the wrong kid watches this they might feel like this is how they should be living or try and get into as much trouble as these actors do. To be honest I really dont know where mtv was going with this show. Most times they have a plot a message or something to go along with the show but this is just a random show about drugs and porn for minors.

  20. Myranda Cate said

    I really don’t watch Skins but I have seen parts of different episodes and first of all it really doesnt surprise me that MTV would make this a show. I used to love watching MTV because of all the music videos and MTV cribs but now it’s all about teen pragnancy, and shows trying to define the life of a teen. I think Skins is far from what high school life was really like, yeah there was teen drinking and people trying to get high but nothing like how they portray it. I went to high school in California and my high school was a mix of the rich kids who lived up in the hills of Yorba Linda and less fortunate kids who lived in Placentia but everyone got along, it wasnt segregated and high school parties were far from what they show on Skins. I think this show is putting down everyone who is a teenager and in high school and making it seem like that’s how your suposed to live and that’s how you should be viewed. I wouldnt waste my time trying to watch this show, if it comes on after Jersey Shore then I will take the time to change the channel to something more interesting.

  21. Labrittany Coleman said

    I have viewed the show skins, and I honestly I think that it portrays the life of young high school teens. Teens are going to watch this show and think that it’s okay to do these certain things like go out and party, get drunk, smoke weed and have sex. The show skins does advertise certain aspects that teens shouldn’t be doing like having sex and underage drinking. I believe that’s when parenting comes in, and when they have to talk and discuss with their child that these things are not okay to do. I was a teenager once in high school and sex and underage drinking wasn’t around or greatly influenced by television shows as they are today. Society has changed and younger teens I think are being strongly influenced by their environment as in where they grow up and their surroundings. MTV broadcast a lot of reality TV shows like Jersey shore, Teen mom because they know that young teens will watch these shows and be interested. When being a parent I believe they should monitor what their kid watches on TV.

  22. Darci Powers said

    I think that it’s ridiculous that they are airing a show like this on tv. I personally have not seen this show, but I can only imagine (just by hearing the feeback that I have) how promiscuous and very risque the show is. I will not watch it and I would definitely not let teenagers watch it. I do believe that this show is very dangerous to the younger generation and can even be dangerous to other age groups. The availability of this type of show is a little bit outrageous to me, I don’t think that it should be okay for anyone to watch.

  23. Melissa Gomez said

    Watching the show is not something I’m interested in, but all of my friends say they love to watch it. I have seen episodes here and there but never really enjoyed it. The show itself is based on teens love life (party,drinking,sex). I get why the show is so popular, because teens and young adults can relate to the problems set up on the show and the times are changing and the local TV shows are becoming outrageous. Even the nickteen shows are including sexually content (jokes, phrases) I think no matter what the issue is, all of the TV shows are going to get worse before they get better. They seem to be running out of ways to please the intended audience.

  24. Chelsi Jackson said

    The show “Skins” gives people a look at the real world of teenagers in todays society. Skins is racey, daring, and true. This show breaks the sterotypical boundaries of how teenagers act. This show is the closest thing to real. Teens in today’s society feel like there aren’t any boundaries, they live in the moment as if they’re going to die tomorrow. That’s what this show brings to the table a har hitting drama about teens who have NO boundaries and deal with the trials of high school, partying, drugs, friendships, relationships, and sex. The show is a hit because it’s what people want to see. Skins is takes television drama to another level.

  25. Alex Miller said

    I think that things portrayed on the media have a significant effect on its’ audiences perspectives. Watching these increasingly popular television shows can influence the way people think to a certain point. I think that young minds are more vulnerable to these subliminal messages because of their maturity. If young adolescents watch television and see these kids engaging in “risk taking behavior” than there might be a chance that the children have been subliminaly influenced to engage in this risk taking behavior as well. People believe what they see on television, especially children.

  26. Aj Ayala said

    Skins is weird in a way, because it was originally made in Britain where most the behavior that takes place in the show, well is more acceptable in a way. If you watch the BBC version of the show you will see the almost exact story playing out, but with different laws. Here you can’t drink till 21, or there however you can drink at 16 you are already starting college. Here your in high school and shouldn’t ever touch the stuff. The show like skins really is entertaining, but I think in America with the laws, rules, and regulations that the British don’t share with us is what is really hurting the show as a whole.

  27. Jacob Chavez said

    I dont have cable at this time so I have no idea what skins is about. After reading the blob and everyones comments im going to guess its about teenagers doing bad things like sex and drugs and partying. As a teenager everyone still does it you can only stop so many people. Mtv isnt doing a bad thing they are just showing what is happening and like everything else you have a choice to watch it or not if your dont like it then dont watch it. I dont like jersey Shore (which in fact I HATE)so I dont watch it its that easy change the channel.

  28. Amanda Norris MCCM 101 said

    I don’ tthink that skins is really anything new, I mean these issues, specifically teenagers having sex, are everywhere and have been for a while. The only thing I see that’s different about skins is that it’s been called “borderline child pornography”. I think the real issue, whether or not these shows influence teenagers to adopt these sorts of behaviors is a chicken and egg issue. Do we learn these behaviors from media or does the media potray what is already happening and just slap a new coat of paint on it? There are studies to support both claims and I’m not sure if we’ll ever find a conclusion. However I do think the two issues are related.

  29. Shilay Willis said

    Skins takes it to the extreme. However, it is on late at night when most kids should be in bed. If a parent lets their child watch this show then they should probably teach them that they shouldn’t do these things. There will be teens that want to do these things and act this same way, but what the show could be showing is way worse then this. Sex sells. If a show has to produce something like this and opeople watch it so they can be paid. who are we to stop them?

  30. Ken V said

    I really think skins exaggerates the truth of high school life. They make it seem like this “lifestyle” is how all teens live on a day to day basis which is false. I don’t think anyone in Pueblo who attended high school here lived like that. I also don’t think the parents are making a fuss over this series. The youth are watching more television and I do believe it has an influence on how they live their life. I don’t think it completely dictates how they live but I do believe it plays a part. I do believe this is a series that doesn’t need a second season because I don’t see what the first season offered. Having said that, I do feel that if this type of programming continues, it’ll only be a negative influence on the youth and viewers.

  31. Kevin Ortiz said

    I found David Carr’s statement about Skins to be thought provoking. According to him, “Skins merely describes the world that we already live in.” While I cannot disagree that all of the issues shown in MTV’s newest controversial hit do occur with everyday American teens and young adults, I do have to make the point that just because it is happening and is a reality, does not mean a. we have to illustrate it on National Television, or b. we have to glamorize it. In my opinion Skins is almost downgrading serious issues. It is not whether or not we will ever face this, issues on our lifetime because chances are we will. But how we react to them should be natural-not something contrived or forced. An adolescent should not over dramatize a break up just because that is what they have learned to reproduce from watching TV. The same goes for drugs, sex, and violence. These shows are creating a response for us, when the response should come from true human experience and emotion.

  32. Danita Wyatt said

    Skins is a very controversial obviously, but in my opinion it is no better or worse than any other show like jersey shore, real world or reality shows in general. True Skins isn’t a reality show, but it is a show that, sadly, depicts the lives of a lot of the average teenagers. No matter whether this show was created or not, teens would still be having underaged sex, drinking, smoking and any other activity that is or should be prohibited. It’s human nature to try things and to get away with as much as possible, but as parents, its their job to try and regulate the things that their kids are doing. i think that Skins depicts the average american home and the passive way parents are raising their kids which allows them to do almost whatever they want. So in reality, the TV shows aren’t the problems, its the parents who allow their children to be subject to them. Any on who thinks that this or any other show is bad for kids needs to do their part and keep them blocked for their kids to see otherwise do what they want.

  33. This appeals to the Amy Winehouse article that was mentioned earlier and my view point is pretty much the same. Like Danita said Skins isn’t a reality show but it does play out the daily lives of average teenagers. I don’t know why the media believes a show like this will, tame kids into seeing that this type of lifestyle is bad. If anything the show will probably influence them to go out and create their own “Skins” reality adding to the problem that already exists. This show would probably appeal more to the parent demographic, causing them to become stricter and monitor what they allow their kids to do. With stricter guidelines comes increased defiance, and like the quote says “where there’s a will, there’s a way. I don’t believe that the media showing a bad image of a lifestyle and its consequences affects the media in the way that they want it to. While they are thinking that this show will help kids and parents see that this type of lifestyle is out of control, they could really be upsetting parents that think they’re are doing a good job in raising their kids, even if they’re not. Also like mentioned earlier they could also influence kids who weren’t at first interested in this type of lifestyle to get involved.

  34. Karlee Weiler said

    Really? This show depicts the regular, daily life of a teenager? I think this is the biggest joke I have heard since The Secret Life of the American Teenager! Both of these shows show kids that it is okay to be sexually involved with everyone and everything in school and it is hilarious to me. When I was in high school, not one student acted the way the kids in these shows did. Yes, there were some crazy parties that involved alcohol and sometimes even drugs, but its not like it was the norm. I think it is a disgrace and I feel sorry for the upcoming generations that have to deal with these kind of shows on TV. What happened to the good ol Disney shows that everyone watched as a teenager? You know, the ones that showed good morals, respect, and life lessons. Boy Meets World implied sex but it was never centered in their episode, that is until they got married. I know times have evolved, but c’mon, “real” life is nothing like that. If kids start thinking that is how they are supposed to act, then it will eventually be like that, in which I hope I never live in a world where teenagers act that way.
    Karlee Weiler

  35. Savannah Thompson said

    I have seen this MTV TV show and I would say that it is nothing like my High school world. Although I can only speak for myself, I do imagine that other high schools could relate to this show. I find this show a bit controversial though, these kids are way more mature than the average high school teenager. Mature, not in the good way either, when I say mature I refer to how they know so much about sex, drugs and alcohol. I do see the viewpoint in concerned parents who want to take this TV show off, but I also think its a good learning TV show as well, to show teens what NOT to do.

  36. Dom Harris said

    Although I have never seen the show nor have I head anything about it since reading this article I am very confused. There must be some truth in what they are showing on this show. MTV is very well know for pushing the envelope when it comes to things people are not comfortable talking about. Even though school might not have been this way for some or people don’t believe the things that adolescents do for that face but obviously it happening people. Why not show your kids other people lives, the decisions they make, and then let them live and learn for themselves. Parents try and put a shelter around their kids too much. Show them the REAL and they will realize how blessed they truly are.

  37. Vanessa Emerson said

    I believe that this TV series that was discontinued tried to target all the extremities of what a fast paced out of control teen’s life is like. I believe the network tried to use the method of Fear Appeal to get the younger demographic to realize, hey this life is not what is seems, it may appear fun and be fun and popular to do at the time but it does have its consequences. I believe that Skins was also targeted towards the parental demographic, and wanted to send a message that told parents, have more control over what your kids can and cannot due. Get more involved, set restrictions and know what they are up to. Hoping that the message would prevent the young demographic to refrain from that type of lifestyle, when really they may have been upsetting lots of parents who think they are doing a good job raising their children and also influencing teens to pursue the lifestyle that they are trying to get them to avoid.

  38. Missi Netzer said

    I personally watched the whole first and only season of “Skins”. I like many viewers wanted to know what “all the fuss was about”. It was a terribly trashy show that put a group of teenagers through the worst possible experiences, which I’m sure some do experience. However it showed the worst of everything that could possibly happen to adolecents, and made the situations extreme. Some of the conflicts were sexual encounters straight and gay/lesbian, extreme drug and alcohol use, consensual sex between a high schooler and a teacher, one parent abandoning her child. This series had no happy ending for any character or point and was taken to the extreme.

  39. Jade Lopez said

    the hit show “skins” has two different eye catching opinions. It address people mainly the ages of 18, however there are some kids out there viewing it too. i think that if you have already reached the age of 18 you have developed your own mind and can think for your yourself. the tv show should have no effect on you. on the other hand, children watching this around the ages of 12 or 13, i can understand parents becoming angry because at that age, you mind is truely open for anything.

  40. Melissa G. said

    The fuse on MTV is the new show skins. The show focuses on being real without displaying reality TV. MTV is full on reality TV these days and to allow a show like this to broadcast is a risk. The cast is based off 15 year old kids trying to survive high school through sex, drugs, and breaking the rules. The network aired it late in the evening to try to reach the old audience dynamic. No matter when the show is aired, children as young as 10 are going to be watching it. We need to step away from TV and live our lives one day at a time.

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