It saddens me that most people watching MTV’s version of Skins don’t know about the far superior original from BBC. If you even liked the pilot that aired last night even a smidge, I recommend you watch Skins on Netflix Instant Watch (don’t watch it on BBC America because they will edit the language). Even you hated this pilot as much as I did and I want to know what possessed MTV to make this show, watch the original.
So where did they go wrong?
- The main actors were bland. Now the original Skins cast wasn’t a murderer’s row of acting talent (despite having a young Dev Patel of Slumdog Millionaire fame) but they were much better than this. The only actress who didn’t sound like they just get the script an hour before filming was Sofia Black D’elia (the lesbian Tea) but I have a problem with her character.
- James Milo Newman as Tony. Tony is an asshole but in the BBC version, Nicholas Hoult gave him just enough charisma that you could see why his friends put up with his shit. At the end of the MTV one, I wouldn’t have been surprised if his friends conspired to let him drown in the truck.
- The script. I don’t think anyone has ever successfully taken a British script for a TV show, just changed a few words around to make it more American and made a great episode (Examples: The Office, Couplings, Men Behaving Badly). Skins continues this trend. The words don’t sound right coming out of the characters’ mouths. Certain words/phrase common in England (spilff, skins, “I reckon”) somehow made it to the U.S. version and just sound awkward.
- No Maxxie. One of the best characters in the BBC version is a male gay dancer is Maxxie played by Mitch Hewer. In the MTV version, he’s been replaced by the aforementioned Tea. Even though she was the best actor of the bunch, this really bugged me. I wonder if the fact that (BBC spoiler alert) Maxxie and Tony hooked up on one episode with Tony giving Maxxie a BJ (End Spoiler) had anything to do with the change.
- All the adults are caricatures. This has a tendency to happen in teen shows but I feel like the casting agent barely tried when picking the parents and teachers.
I’m probably going to keep watching out of morbid curiosity but if you missed the pilot and were considering watching, don’t.