Moms & Dads

South Florida parents share their stories and advice

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What South Florida teens are saying about MTV's "Skins"

As criticism of the ill-conceived MTV series "Skins" reaches a fever pitch, we asked the student reporters of Teen Link to share their thoughts. We figure the powers that be on MTV are not particularly interested in what the Moms & Dads page and TV critic Tom Jicha have to say about the raunchy program, but they should care very much about what their target audience thinks.

Anika Reed, Everglades High School, Miramar:

The pilot episode focuses on Tony, the lead character of the show and alpha dog within his group of friends, and his attempts to help his friend Stanley lose his virginity. The episode features lackluster acting by a few unknowns who are sure to become popular in the future because of their looks rather than their talent (or lack thereof).
The show creates no real excitement, and it certainly does not help to improve the image of the younger generation. At least the characters have room for growth and change as the show evolves.
Skins2.jpgI'm not that innocent. The cast of "Skins"
Personally, my group of friends and I do not participate in any of the activities that the characters in the show do. Maybe I'm just sheltered in my views, but I do not think that this show accurately portrays the majority of the youth of America.
However, many teenagers do engage in drugs and sex, and the issue should not be as delicate as parental groups are making it seem... People should realize that the show is just that-- a show. It does emphasize aspects of teenage culture that have always been shoved under the rug. Although I am not the biggest fan of the new MTV version, I believe that it does what MTV has always done-- it pushes the envelope and "goes there."
I shall continue to watch and see if the show gets better.

Lauren Kandell, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland
"Sex, drugs, and rock & roll" are the typical themes of any angsty teenage drama. Not unlike "Degrassi: The Next Generation," MTV's new series "Skins" shows an exaggerated glimpse into the lives of high school students. The pilot episode, which delves directly into the story of a few too many characters and their wild escapades, does not clearly differentiate between each personality, forming a hodgepodge of overly dramatic youths.
"Skins" utilizes an almost identical script to its British counterpart by the same title, sparking the question of why it was remade at all. Though the incessant party lifestyles of the characters provide can't-look-away entertainment, MTV would be better off following the path of Teen Nick and Canadian "Degrassi" by simply airing the original version.

For what it's worth, I asked my 18-year-old stepdaughter what she thinks of the show. She said it was, and I quote, "Whatever."


Keep reading for more teen input:

Shannen Mitchell, Coral Glades High School, Coral Springs

This is a show that America has been waiting for, a show that displays real things that happen to teens. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Skins USA is an exact remake of the original UK Skins. The plot is the same and characters are the same except for one character in which the writers changed from a gay boy to a lesbian girl.

This show is promoted as being real. But it is not real; it's showing the lives of British teens. I feel that if America truly wanted to have a show that represented teens' lives they could have used the idea of Skins, not the writting and plot. I understand [series creator] Bryan Elsley has helped to write the script for Skins USA and is also the writer of the original Skins. I just wished he had used his talents to help write a completely new script for America. Or MTV could have saved a lot of money and just broadcasted the UK Skins.

I have heard a lot of comments from my fellow peers who state this show is nothing like our lives, and I say back to them, no it's not. It's British teens' lives. I am happy Skins is on TV because now I don't have to watch the UK Skins on youtube. But I would have enjoyed it a lot better if the plot was different and not American actors portraying British people. I'm such a huge fan of Skins since two years ago when I came upon it, and I know I should be more supportive. I just wish the original Skins would be credited more.

Anthony Cave, Krop Senior High School, North Miami:
MTV is no stranger to controversy, from their production of the 2004 wardrobe malfunction, or rather Super Bowl Halftime show to award show interruptions (Kanye West) and punches (Snookie in “Jersey Shore.”). Skins takes it a step further.

Like most news, I found about ‘Skins’ through a website link and immediately scoffed at the idea. Teen Nickelodeon’s “Degrassi” already paints an unrealistic picture of teenage America and Skins is no different. Maybe their intent is to stir up controversy, but the idea of a streaking 17 year old is not funny, that’s child pornography.

While the issues of sex, drugs and the in-betweens are present in our society, there should be a limit to how far MTV can go. The show already has a “TV-MA” rating, but that will not stop those younger than 18 from watching.

The exposure factor needs to be wrapped up; fast. Skins is just another stereotypical teenage show that fosters the answer “well everyone’s doing it.” That mindset leads those who do not engage in those activities to be the minority and eventually give in.

There's hope yet.

Keep up with Sun Sentinel writer Rafael Olmeda on Facebook and Twitter.

Categories: Entertainment (114), Rafael Olmeda 2011 (10), Teen (158)


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About the authors
Gretchen Day-Bryant has a son in high school and a daughter in middle school. She’s lived to tell about the struggles of juggling little kids and work.
Joy Oglesby has a preschooler...
Cindy Kent Fort Lauderdale mother of three. Her kids span in ages from teenager to 20s.
Rafael Olmeda and his wife welcomed their first son in Feb. 2009, and he's helping raise two teenage stepdaughters.
Lois Solomonlives with her husband and three daughters.
Georgia East is the parent of a five-year-old girl, who came into the world weighing 1 pound, 13 ounces.
Brittany Wallman is the mother of Creed, 15, and Lily, 7, and is married to a journalist, Bob Norman. She covers Broward County government, which is filled with almost as much drama as the Norman household. Almost.
Chris Tiedje is the Social Media Coordinator and the father of a 7-year-old girl, and two boys ages 4 and 3.
Kyara Lomer Camarena has a 2-year-old son, Copelan, and a brand new baby.

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