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December 18, 2014

Bryan Elsley is bringing the amazing Skins stateside

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 25th 2009 9:03AM
Skins - Generation 2I was a huge fan of Skins long before it came to the US. When you follow television like I do, you sometimes become aware of shows from other countries that the U.S. isn't keen to yet. Which is how I found Skins when it was first making waves in the U.K. Immediately, I was drawn to it as something I'd never seen before in a teen show.

The show worked so well because of its authenticity, achieved by having a group of real teens write the stories. All the actors were little known real teens, as well. No young-looking 35-year-olds faking it here. To keep it fresh, they rotate out virtually the entire cast every two years.

Now co-creator Bryan Elsley is looking to apply that same formula to an all new U.S.-based Skins, and after a tense bidding war, MTV has secured the rights. I am glad it's on cable, as the original has some racy content. I just hope MTV doesn't get tempted to turn it into The Real World: Scripted. Even the fake kids of Skins are more real than those bozos.

The original format also rotates out its entire cast every two years, save a few exceptions. This, again, is to stay true to its focus. The point of Skins is to look at the tumultuous years between childhood and adulthood. Once the kids graduate college (similar to a community college here) and get ready to either go on to University or a trade school, it's time to enter the adult world, which is when it's time for us to let them go.

It's also time for Skins to look at the new incoming class of college kids. You can currently see the second generation of Skins kids on BBC America, Thursdays at 9 PM. Hopefully, the U.S. version will also rotate casts regularly. Maybe an equivalent would be to look at juniors and seniors in high school.

Since this is the U.S., though, if there's as much sex and drugs as in the U.K. version, I expect a public outcry, as well. Especially if the cast is made up of true teens. It'll be interesting to see if Elsley can push as aggressively for the seedier sides of young life at MTV as he's been able to achieve in the U.K.

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BC McKinney

"All the actors were little known real teens, as well"

Except for the one who had 17 roles on his CV prior to 'Skins', including a little movie playing opposite Hugh Grant.

August 25 2009 at 3:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to BC McKinney's comment
dkaarma

Yeah it's not like they referenced it when Sid was trying to last longer in the bedroom by taking his mind off things and listing Hugh Grant movies... he could never get past 'About a Boy'...

August 26 2009 at 10:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dkaarma

I hope they put Cassie (Hannah Murray) in a scene in the US version (even if she's just in the background)

August 25 2009 at 11:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
litehousebeacon

I like the show, but I have a problem with all this "it's so real" talk. Because it focuses solely on the kids who do drugs and have illicit sex. With some characters who may save sex for valid relationships, but none of the standout characters do.

But in reality there are kids who don't do drugs, and don't have that much sex. There are even some who still hold onto the idea of waiting, whether for marriage or for just the right person. And this show doesn't show that.

August 25 2009 at 9:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to litehousebeacon's comment
eric f

How fun would it be to watch that? I think ABC family and Disney are handling that demographic already.

August 25 2009 at 9:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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