SKINS: A Teenage Pornography??

by Erin Countee

MTV’s new show Skins, which is based on the British TV show of the same name, has stirred up a lot of controversy. This show supposedly depicts the lives of American teenagers.

Apparently teenage life is full of drugs, sex, and alcohol abuse.

The premiere of the show was seen by 3.3 million viewers according to the Channel 69 News. 1.2 million viewers were under the age of 18. After the first episode the number of people who viewed the show went down to 1.6 million.

At the start of the first episode there was a scene with an older lady standing in her window naked, entertaining a boy named Tony who was obviously in high school. You could see her breast but the wood in between the glass covered up her nipples.  This episode was about Tony trying to get his friend Stanley “laid” by his sixteenth birthday and about a party that would include selling and using drugs and alcohol.

The show also included a more serious scene where a girl named Cadie overdoses on pills. Tony and his friends steal a car from the party to rush her to the hospital. She regains consciousness right when they pull up to the emergency entrance. Now that they see she’s okay they just go to a park and attempt to smoke weed. Being that Tony doesn’t know how to drive he doesn’t park the car correctly and it rolls into a lake and they somehow escape the car and start laughing.

Clearly this does not seem like an appropriate show for viewers under the age of eighteen yet there were 1.2 million viewers who were underage.

There has also been some concern about this show breaking child pornography laws. When MTV was asked about this show they replied

“We review all of our shows and work with all of our producers on an ongoing basis to ensure our shows comply with laws and community standards.”

Since then the producers have been told to “tone down the show” but in the second episode there was a sexual encounter with two lesbians, Tea and her one-night stand. The sex scene was at least two to three minutes long.

I found this disturbing because this was on national TV and not in an R rated film and these are young kids no older than seventeen. Also it was late at night in Tea’s parents’ house. Are teenagers that bold nowadays to bring back their boyfriend or girlfriend at night and have sex next to their parent’s room?  The next day they just came down the stairs, ran into the Tea’s father and the father seemed oblivious to the whole situation.

So my question to all of you is what makes good TV? Is it wild sex, out of control alcohol abuse and drug abuse?  Are channels like MTV just a channel to kill time with negativity?  Children and teenagers are very impressionable, how would you feel about your child or brother and sister viewing this show?

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