Is “Skins” too much for American TV?

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By Tressa Eckermann, Senior Staff Writer

A few months ago, when commercials for MTV’s new show “Skins” started airing, no one really paid any attention.

It looked like standard MTV fare: Guy Ritchie’s seizure-inducing camera shots, hyper-sexualized images styled to appeal to MTV’s core demographic, and obnoxious techno music.

Then, the show actually premiered, and people absolutely lost their minds. It was too scandalous, featuring sexed-up teens parading around, lavishing in debauchery. The Parents Council even got involved (don’t they always, though?), saying that the show is basically child porn, because it shows actors, some underage, in sexualized situations involving drugs and alcohol.

“Skins” is based on a British show that caused a pretty big uproar when it premiered. The difference between the two versions is some people in England looked at the show as a way of showing the changing face of the generation.

I’ve only seen the premiere episode, and what I saw wasn’t great, especially in terms of quality.

I’m not easily offended. One of my favorite shows is “Rescue Me” – which has gotten pretty risqué at times – and I’m a regular viewer of HBO shows like “True Blood,” “Boardwalk Empire” and “Big Love.” Images of sex, violence and drug use don’t bother me.

The difference between “Skins” and programs on HBO or FX and is that those shows are actually good. They’re well-made, acted, written and directed and the cutting edge of TV. “Skins” is not.

It seems cheap and underwhelming. It’s poorly done, the writing is bad and the actors are young and inexperienced. It’s trying to be gritty, but it just comes off as lame.

MTV doesn’t exactly represent the pinnacle of American TV standards or quality. I think the real reason all those sponsors have pulled out of the show is because it’s just not very good.

Some parents are afraid of their kids watching “Skins.” The show airs at 9 p.m. on Mondays. If people are worried about their kids watching the show, I have to ask, why is your 10-year-old watching it in the first place?

The situation is not that complicated. If you’re offended by it, don’t watch. I certainly won’t.

We’re not exactly dealing with “Breaking Bad” here. So just live with it, because really, in the end, isn’t “Skins” just another bad TV show waiting patiently in line to go to that TV graveyard in the sky?

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