Anyone who’ve watched the original British teen drama would know it does not lend itself well to an American adaptation. There are just too many cultural and sociological differences between British and American teens to accurately capture the essence of the original show.
The biggest difference, of course, is the FCC. What’s so attractive about Skins is that its teenage characters behave and think in very realistic and genuine ways. The dialogue in the original British series is raw and uncensored, with explicit drug and sex references casually peppered throughout. From what I can gather of the MTV remake, all of the snappy chatter is replaced with pseudo-explicit innuendo to sidestep FCC regulation. The original Skins also features sex heavily, as an authentic slice of teenage life ought. American censors, however, blanch at even slight nudity—even when it’s on a bedsheet!—let alone on-screen sex. This sheepish submission to censorship destroys the integrity of the show and removes any impact it may have had.
Unfortunately, this is the best we can currently do in this country unless we somehow shed our uptight Puritan attitude towards sex, drugs, and strong language. Needless to say, I now have a newfound respect for NBC’s adaptation of The Office, which successfully translated its quirky, awkward British humor to American tastes without losing its effectiveness.