A parent’s guide to MTV’s ‘Skins:’ How bad is it?

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Skins, MTV Shows

I have been hearing and reading a lot about the controversial new MTV show “Skins” and I finally watched it for myself – late last night after the kids went to bed. (They can’t hear any of that!)

I’ll give you a plot summary and my thoughts on it but first a primer on the show and the furor that surrounds it. (Skip the bottom for plot summary if you want that first.)

What’s the gist of the show:

“Skins” is a completely scripted drama. (I say completely scripted because there was a lot of debate about how scripted “The Hills” and similar shows on the network are.) It is supposed to depict what is really going on with teens – drugs, sex, rock n roll, oh yeah and lesbianism.  Unlike many shows about teens, teens actually play the roles, which has caused MTV some problems. (More on that below.)  The show currently airs Mondays at 10 p.m.

So what’s the big deal?

MTV says the content “addresses real-world issues confronting teens in a frank way.” The Parents Television Council, a TV watchdog group, says “Skins” may well be the most dangerous television show for children that we have ever seen.” And then last week came the notion that “Skins” may be trafficking in child pornography since many of the actors are 17 or younger.

With that news many advertisers pulled out.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

“MTV’s Skins has already endured an advertiser exodus that has seen Taco Bell, Subway, Wrigley, General Motors, Schick Hydro and H&R Block come out against the show. And that defection was evident during the commercial breaks for the second episode of the show on Monday night, which featured heavy rotation of promos for MTV reality series including Teen Mom 2, the upcoming second season of My Life as Liz and I Used to Be Fat.”

“The episode, which centered on the lesbian identity of Tea (played by Sofia Black D’Elia), also featured MTV’s public service campaign against digital bullying. But the most prevalent advertisers by a wide margin were movie studios. There were multiple spots for Columbia Pictures’ Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston comedy Just Go With It, the Leighton Meester thriller The Roommate, DreamWorks SKG’s I Am Number Four, Anthony Hopkins’ horror film The Rite, the Liam Neeson thriller Unknown, Millennium Films’ The Mechanic and James Cameron’s 3D pic Sanctum.”

“The second episode also featured multiple spots for hyper-caffeinated beverage Red Bull and acne treatment Zeno. Gaming companies, known for following young audiences in spite of controversial programming, were represented by a single spot for PlayStation’s Dead Space 2. But there was a telltale sign of the well-documented advertiser defection from Skins: multiple direct-response ads for Celtrixia, a topical cream that purports to banish stretch marks.”

As of week 2, According to The Hollywood Reporter:

“The show attracted only about half the total viewers it did from its premiere last week.”

“Skins‘ second episode Monday scored 1.6 million viewers, compared to 3.3 million the previous week, one of MTV’s biggest series debuts ever.”

“Among viewers in MTV’s key 12 to 34 demo, it drew a 1.6 rating. For its premiere last week, Skins had a 3.4.”

So did parents intercept their teens and not let them watch or did the teens simply not think it was that good?

The Chicago Sun-Times reports:

“MTV usually loves controversy to swirl around its programming, but with the new show “Skins,” some network honchos are worried they may have gone too far….”

“Officially, the network is sticking to a statement that it has ‘confidence [‘Skins’] will continue to connect with the audience it was created for and that advertisers will take advantage of the opportunity to reach them.’ ”

“However, a source inside MTV said Wednesday, ‘It would have been far simpler if we had found older actors who look like young teens, just to avoid some of the legal problems we may face.’ ”

“Already, upcoming ‘Skins’ episodes have been somewhat toned down, with hopes of both keeping its target audience of 12- to 34-year-olds while luring back those lost advertisers.”

So what actually happens in an episode of “Skins?” Well I watched it last night so you wouldn’t have to and here’s what I saw that might concern a parent (I’m leaving out less important parts of the storyline.):

First, I would like to point out that although the show airs on TV at 10p.m., I had to fill in my birth year to watch it on the computer. (Because kids would never make up a fake year, and how old do you have to be to access the show? And why do you have to be a certain age on the computer if anybody who’s awake at 10 can watch it on TV?)

3 mins 36 sec in: We see girl strip down, girl take mysterious blue pill, girl leave house in very large winter coat, girl go to bar with fake ID, girl brings home girl and seemingly have sex in her bed. (Where is the parental supervision? They showed the parents yelling at her coming in and saying good-by to her when she left. Hey parents here’s a tip, always ask to see the outfit under the big winter coat.)

Next morning, girls make lots of jokes about “eating.”

9 mins in: Guy asks girl to tell classmates she’s having sex with his friend because he’s embarrassed he’s a virgin.

(I gave up on noting the time.) Then pressuring the lesbian girl to show her boobs at the football game.

School counselor/teacher made out to be a loser.

Drinking airline bottles of booze at school in the hallway.

Parents not listening. Girl talks to senile grandmother. Girl masturbating. (Grandma watches her.)

Creepy other Dad checking out the girl.

Smoking and drinking (looks like vodka! not beer or wine coolers!) on a merry go round in a playground.

Girl tries out what appears to be painful, and quick sex with a guy.

Grandma tells her about her lesbian love.

Best I can tell a scary drug dealer looking for his drugs that were stolen approaches girl at her house.

At end of show girl hangs up on both boy and girl she had sex with that week and dances to some music.

The best thing I can say about the show is they have some great music and what I think is shag dancing – but I can’t imagine kids across America are doing the shag. The acting is great but I wouldn’t want my kids watching it, and I wouldn’t watch it because it would only depress me about what my kids may face in the future.

It was definitely explicit about what was going on even if you didn’t see boobs or genitals per se. You knew what they were doing.

So that’s the skinny on “Skins.” Have your teens watched it? Have you watched it? What did you think? Should they have used actors over 18? Should they tone it down? Does it promote those types of behaviors? Will it influence teens to do these things or is just reflecting what they are already doing?

140 comments Add your comment

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ASHLEY

January 27th, 2011
2:49 am

I am a mom of a sixteen year girl and seventeen year old boy.Yes.They did watch SKINS.But with all the contraversy just before the first episode I confonted them about SKINS they both were looking forward and excited the show was premiring within an hour.I asked are alot of yall friends watching they replied” yeah”.But after hearing about the PTC stuff I decided to watch the premire in my room as they both watched it in theirs.my thoughts on the first episode was it was ok.my kids thought the same thing.Now as for this past monday episode…..I STRONGLY URGE THAT NO ONE UNDER THE AGE OF 15 WATCH SKINS. My opinon of monday night episode was that it was emotional,and compelling I think it was worth watching.As for my kids one said Tea is awesome and cnt wait til next weeks episode,the other said “stunning,incredible,and attractive.We did address issues in the show and talked about SKINS together. In my opinon as a parent of as a parent of a 16&17 year old I do advise that fellow parents let there TEENS watch SKINS. because it really gets in depth look at teen life today and the issues teens face day in and day out. “MTV THANK YOU FOR MAKING A SHOW LIKE THIS”. Skins really drew me in.

Reality

January 27th, 2011
3:56 am

Hello every American parent out there, this is reality just checking in with you…….I am an 18 year old freshman in college who happens to DESPISE the american version of skins, as i have watched the United Kingdom version of the show. Skins U.K. is MUCH more graphic than the U.S. version, depicting drug use, using profane language openly (not bleeped out), depicting sex scenes (not nudity downright, but you see them engaging), heavy alcohol use, and other things that people in America deem to be taboo. That being said, I am not some abomination for watching the show and to be used as an example of a bad kid. I’m quite the opposite. I work 2 jobs, one as a licensed nurses assistant, and also at a sports shop. I am a nursing student, and was just placed on my college’s deans list for fall semester for having straight A’s. Now to the real point. In the U.S., we have an attitude that seems to exclude from our thought process the real facts of life. The things that teens go through every day and are interested in, parents try to censor. Alcohol, drugs, sex, and self-harm are every day facts of life for us, and it is what we are interested in because it is what we are surrounded by. By you trying to stop your kids from watching this show, if you do, you will be making them feel alienated by not allowing them to identify with their peers on the show and in real life. This sheltering that we do to kids in America is truly the root of MANY problems. We condemn drinking below age 21, only for kids to binge drink the second they hit college. We condemn sex for teens, only to turn around and have one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the world, as evidenced by this scholarly article by Guttmacher Institute (http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/tgr/05/1/gr050107.html). Our condemnation of “taboos” in the United States does not help us solve problems, it in fact creates them. American teens are much less obedient and much more rebellious than any other society, and this is due to the stranglehold that is placed on us by government and parents. It is time to wake up and realize that all that is done to shelter us, in the end is what leads to our issues like binge drinking, something that we identify with, and can see on the show. Now I’m sure anyone who is reading this far has been saying things like “No, my kids do not binge drink, they do not even drink at all.” That could be true, but I challenge you to search closets in their entirety, under beds, behind furniture in your teens’ room, I’m almost certain you’ll find something, somewhere, that points to drinking. Maybe your teen will say they are holding it for a friend, that they shared a large amount of it, or that they have had it for a very long time. I assure you, they’re only trying to lessen your anger. The next time your teen is spending the night at Suzy’s, you might want to check for yourself. Or maybe they are in your basement right now drinking, and yes, we teens do have the audacity to sneak alcohol into your house, even when you’re awake right up the stairs. Basically what I am getting at, is that this is real life. Drugs, sex, and alcohol are real life problems in America, and they are dramatic ones. Everything is dramatized because the fact that we are sheltered from it. The show skins is not some show that is trying to drag your teen down a dirty path, it is simply the real life situation that they go through every day. It is surely not meant for an audience younger than 15, and I would say some 15 year old are not ready to watch it, but certainly 16 and over is acceptable and mature enough to handle these issues. In essence, parents need to realize that they are living in denial to believe that their teen is not experiencing these issues, and to deny them the right to identify, is to deny them the right to make decisions in a responsible manner, and we perpetuate the identity crisis in America, as well as our binge drinking, and teen pregnancy epidemic. And oh yeah, lets just say again, Skins U.K. is 10x more graphic, and they have 10x fewer social problems….

Realize the Value of Skins

January 27th, 2011
4:09 am

ASHLEY!!! I commend you as a parent for realizing that the value of the show lies in its ability to relate to the teens in an in-depth way, and if discussed with a parent can be tremendously beneficial. You are the type of person who clearly has a very open and honest line of communication with her kids, and that is awesome. Many parents would just forbid the show, and that is just ignorance leading to a teens further interest in the topic. The more it is covered up, the more they dig at it, it is just the way teens are.

Jeff

January 27th, 2011
6:58 am

By the time your child hits middle school, your ability to influence their morals is over. At that point, there are too many other influences pulling them and, at that point, you have to trust the morals you have instilled in them to pull them through. You can imagine what your influence is like by the time they reach high school.

How come...

January 27th, 2011
7:55 am

…when I was in high school girls didn’t act that way…

Enemas for Christmas

January 27th, 2011
8:03 am

Really? TV? Try reading a book. I still can’t believe people get their jockeys in a wad over what is on TV when they have the ultimate power….The off switch.

Sandra

January 27th, 2011
8:03 am

Reality,

I’m a US parent married to a UK parent and we currently live in the UK …….. We don’t know what in the world you are going on and on and on about. There is a lot of teen pregnancy over here. As for binge drinking, obviously you have never visited here. One of the main problems in this country is binge drinking by teens through to the mid twenties. During the weekends people are falling all over the town centres, vomiting in the streets, clogging up the A&E and engaging in fights. I can also guarantee that my teen son is NOT drinking, taking drugs, engaging in sex or self harming. I have been through his room, his ENTIRE room, because he seems to feel that cleaning it is a form of punishment. The worst I have found is a rotten banana, pile of chocolate powder (school cooking ingredients that escaped and was too much of a bother to clean up) and something in a plastic bag that was green, slimy and slushy and that to be honest I didn’t want to identify

Georgia Mom of 5

January 27th, 2011
8:27 am

Thank you Sandra. That was refreshing perspective. I do not by the excuse “everyone else is doing it” or “you have no influence so just get over it.” Being a parent is tough. But its fun and rewarding and I love it. This show is gross, just like many of MTV’s shows. Its vulgar for the sake of vulgarity. I don’t think it was educational. I think there is a value to the dialog with your teen regarding this show. There isn’t anything they haven’t seen on there. But I think there are more valuable things to do with your time that watch trash T–and this is trash. There is NO breaking story here. So I subscribe to the same solution another poster mention: the off switch.

Techmom

January 27th, 2011
8:44 am

I actually looked up the show yesterday online to watch it since I missed it on live TV. My son is 15 and did not watch it but a bunch of his friends posted comments on FB about being excited it was on. My husband and I also work with the youth at our church so we try to stay aware of pop culture stuff simply so we know what’s going on, what kids are watching, what they’re talking about, etc.

Going to try and watch it before I make additional comments…

Ω

January 27th, 2011
8:50 am

“I still can’t believe people get their jockeys in a wad over what is on TV when they have the ultimate power….The off switch.”

+1

I ♥ Cereal

January 27th, 2011
8:51 am

Meh.

Sounds a little bit exaggerated.

ajaylove

January 27th, 2011
8:54 am

I had never even heard of the program before all the hub-bub recently. I watched the clip you had up and all I can say is YUCK. Why anyone would want to watch it is beyond me. My DD is only 7 so there is no way I want her exposed to this. For older kids (16+) I guess it would be okay as long as some time is spent dealing with the potential physical and emotional outcomes of engaging in these behaviors at such a young age. I guess the bigger concern is for the highly impressionable “tweeners” and middle schoolers, that may try to act out some of this stuff b/c they think it is cool when they really have no clue about what they are opening themselves up to.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AJCHealthcare, accessAtlanta. accessAtlanta said: If you are a parent or teenager, weight in on the #Skins tv show debate w/Momania: http://bit.ly/g9utTp [...]

mom2alex&max

January 27th, 2011
9:01 am

I haven’t watched the show, but I have a question: I used to watch Beverly Hills 90210 when I was in school (the “kids” were the same age as me in the show and I though that was the coolest thing EVER!). Is this show much worse than 90210? I remember kids having sex (although not openly, you knew they were), they dealt with a pregnancy scare, with cheating, suicide, etc. Is skins worse?

DB

January 27th, 2011
9:04 am

I do not understand the fascination with filth. I was reading a blog yesterday on liberalism vs. conservatism in today’s science fiction and fantasy writing, and ran across an amazing turn of phrase regarding the Hollywood entertainment machine: “The hell of it is that the film industry appears to be run by cocaine-addled, malignantly narcissistic popinjays.” They produce sensationalist crap like this and try to pass it off as “real life.” It may be real life for Hollywood, but I can’t help but have the feeling that it’s not “real life” for the majority of kids who are decent kids — they go to school, they might have a job, they don’t smoke, they don’t drink and they generally come home when it’s curfew time. I do not live in Lake Woebegone, but I know my kids — we talked constantly when they were in high school and talk quite a bit even though they are in college, and I know that they did not have sex, drink or smoke or use drugs in high school, and they weren’t at a “party” every weekend. Don’t tell my I’m naive — you don’t know my kids, and you don’t know me or my family. I know this with a sure certainty. We talked constantly — at family dinner, over breakfast, at night before bed. I knew my kids and what they were doing. That was my job as a parent.

Kinda like “Secret Life of the American Teenager” (apparently, no one in that show actually goes to class in high school, they stand around the halls talking about who is having sex). — my daughter and I were watching it one night, and I asked her, “So, do you guys go around school all day long talking about who is having sex with who?” She rolled her eyes and started laughing. “As if anyone would actually admit they were ‘doing it’!”

Just because something is on TV doesn’t mean it is “worthy of dialogue,” any more than a bag of rotten garbage needs to be discussed ad nauseum. Trash is trash, garbage is garbage, and to dignify some soft-porn show on MTV as something that reflects the “reality” of today’s teenager is about as accurate as calling the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” typical Atlanta housewives. The danger in all this is that when kids, especially, are told that this is “reality”, they start to not question the sly, “everyone is doing it” — because, by golly, it sure does SEEM like everyone is doing it, at least on TV!

Phooey!

justmy2cents

January 27th, 2011
9:08 am

@mom2 It is a little more “in your face” than 90210 was, but of course that was “racy” back in the day.

I agree the show is trash, but there are some elements of reality in it. Working in the school district is a huge eye opener, especially in the middle schools. Yes, they are having sex in middle school. Yes, they are drinking, and some are doing drugs as well. Yes, they are having sex IN SCHOOL in the bathrooms. They have foul language and pretty much act like animals in the hallway. I realize it is not ALL kids, but there is a LARGE percentage that act this way.

Regarding the lesbian factor…whether you are aware of it or not, being bisexual is all the rage for girls these days. Why? I have no idea, but it is very prevalent.

My kids are too young for this show, so no they will not be allowed to watch it. You don’t have to turn the tv off, but one would hope you are responsible enough as a parent to block channels like MTV.

Cammi317

January 27th, 2011
9:09 am

We do not have cable, therefore I do not have to be concerned about my 13 y/o watching. The UK version is on Netflix, however she would not dare watch anything on Netflix that she knows I would not want her watching because it would pop up as “recently viewed”. If she goes over a friends house and sees and episode, so be it. That’s not within my power, but what is within my power is what comes into my house and what she is exposed to on a regular basis.

JATL

January 27th, 2011
9:18 am

@TWG -your children aren’t teens so they don’t need to watch it! I am constantly flummoxed over the outrage people feel about what teenagers are watching. Really? They’re TEENAGERS -with parental approval most have been watching violent and often sex-filled movies since they were 9 or 10. If a parent doesn’t like it -don’t let them watch it. Put a block on MTV if you’re that concerned. The show is for TEENS not 9 year olds, and if you think that doesn’t sound like an unfortunately accurate prediction of a gigantic chunk of modern teen life, then you are sadly mistaken.

As far as the Parent’s Television Council -they are a VERY conservative organization, and basically call for the censorship of ANY show depicting homosexuality or masturbation in a positive light. You ask “Where is the parental supervision?” regarding the girl going out naked under a coat -well, the television is in the parent’s own home, so if they don’t like the show – why is it being viewed in their home? We could use a lot more parental supervision in our society, and that’s precisely why shows like this aren’t lying about a lot of kids.

I was reading trashy novels like “Lace” and “Princess Daisy” when I was 12 and 13 -and both contain graphic passages of lesbian love scenes as well as straight sex, rape and a variety of other adult topics. “Lace” was enthralling at the time because it centered on teenage girls at a boarding school who were near my age. It still didn’t make me run out and get drunk and start having lesbian sex or sleeping with every guy I met -that waited until college ;-) Seriously though -I didn’t do a lot of things because of parental supervision. I watched and read MANY things that were honestly not intended for 12 and 13 year olds, but my parents did keep tabs on me. They also started when I was born actually BEING parents and instilling some ethics and morals instead of basically ignoring me while going on with their own precious lives. Bottom line -TV shows aren’t going to do anything to your kid if you are truly being a parent. You can blame “Skins” or whatever on the way your child turns out, but you need to look more closely in the mirror.

mom of 3

January 27th, 2011
9:25 am

All I have to say on this subject is I would hate to be rearing a child in the middle to high school age group right now.
Good luck to all you parents – you do your best and that’s all you can do and pray (if you believe in prayer).

SayWhat

January 27th, 2011
10:03 am

DB, you hit the nail on the head. I agree completely. Not all kids are this out of control. Some actually have morals and self respect.

Dear Sandra, Sincerely Reality

January 27th, 2011
10:04 am

I never said that binge drinking and teen pregnancy were not issues in the UK for I am certain that they are. In the U.S. we have higher rates of teen pregnancy and higher rates of self harm/suicide, while you still hold the title for higher rate of binge drinking, although only by about 4%. The difference between the society’s of the U.S. and pretty much the rest of the world, is that we are far more sheltering of our teens. Parents shelter their children from topics that are “bad” but it has a reverse effect of making their teen more interested in figuring out what they must be protected from. And I am not saying ALL teens engage in these activities, but “justmy2cents” is completely right when s/he says a LARGE percentage act this way. Your son may not be, and that is good for him and your family, but you may also have not caught him yet, I drank for 2 years before I was caught for the first time, granted I rarely drank, and not more than 3 drinks, but still, for two years I was undiscovered. As for the other topics such as drug use and self harm, I have not engaged in these acts personally, but have been exposed through my peers in high school. As as far as the “everyone else is doing it, why not me?” idea, I do not subscribe to that! I make my own personal decisions, and I have turned down many many many things that the majority of the group was engaging in. All in all, I am saying that parents should not try and sensor what their teens watch because it only drives their curiosity further.

fred

January 27th, 2011
10:09 am

OK, Love the UK version of the show, am tivo-ing the MTV version. Dont want to sit through 24 minutes of commercials to watch 36minutes of show. I work in a small school (500 students) and this is what we have encountered so far this year. 5 cases of Marijuana usage (1% of students) 12 drinking at school (2.5% of students) 4 girls pregnant (almost 1%) we have at least 2 active gangs in the school composed of about 20 students (4% of the students). Keep in mind that these are only the students that we have actively caught. Just yesterday we found a large bottle of alcohol in a student bathroom trash. And we are considered a rural middle class school. The kids that have gotten in trouble have come from all socio economic back grounds and races. These are problems across the board. Please do not think that this is not happening in your area. If you only knew what was going on in schools and in your own homes (kids are not afraid to tell us) you would be a little bit less trusting of your own kids. the parents that can not admit that their student was taking part in drinking at school even when th4e student has admitted it are almost comical in their denials. No matter how open your dialogue with your teens I can almost assure you that they do not tell you everything. Did you tell your parents everything that you or your friends were doing? I did not.

SuwaneeMommy

January 27th, 2011
10:16 am

I’ve seen both the original British “Skins” and the poor American (actually Canadian) imitation. My impression is that the British version had a lot more focus on the interaction and relationships between the characters. The MTV version seems to be focused on the thrill the viewer will get seeing these “kids” doing all these bad things (drugs, drinking, seduction, decline of morals and anything else you can think of). It reminded me of that movie “Cruel Intentions”… but far more vulgar and explicit. Just focusing on being in-your-face.
The acting is terrible, the situations and dialogue are laughable and it’s like one big teen-age fantasy. If you’re out of high school, it’s probably not going to appeal to you.

april

January 27th, 2011
10:21 am

Sure if a parent is going to watch this once or twice w/ their teen or pre-teen to open up a conversation about what they may be facing in real life…maybe although there are many other avenues to take. My concern is that MTV has responded to this contraversy stating it is actually geared toward an adult audience SO my question is: Why do adults need to watch an on going show with minors (whether the cast be actual minors or adults depicting minors) having sex? It sickens me that shows like this (all in te name of greed fame and fortune) takes away from our continued work to protect our children/teens from child pornography, sexual preditors and the like. It is not just a contraversy about religion or morals but come on do we really need a show like this to be able to open discission w/ our kids or to be more aware as parents? I sure don’t and ask my kids I am probably more open in discission than they’d like me to be yet they know they can come to me with any question or concern and often do!

Fred, thank you! Sandra, this one is for you as well!

January 27th, 2011
10:22 am

In my graduating class of 247 kids, 8 were pregnant, 3 were kicked off of the lacrosse, team, 1/4 of the soccer team was suspended, and countless other instances in which disciplinary action was taken. One party was even busted by the police and around 30 of my peers had to participate in an alcohol education program to avoid a court citation. THIS IS HAPPENING TO YOUR KIDS. No matter how much you talk to your kids, they are not telling you everything because they fear your punishment. You are truly ignorant to think that your kids are not or have not ever drank. I will still say though, I know a couple of my friends that have never drank, so your kid COULD be, but most likely is not. Sandra, you would be frightened to know just where alcohol may be hidden. Check the basement, check outside the house, if you have a shed that is an excellent hiding spot. If your teen has a car check the trunk, smell the inside of water bottles. We even used to go as far as to hide alcohol under the porch of houses in the neighborhood. You’ll probably say that your kid would never go to these lengths, but im sure he is, or will before he graduates. And you would be right to say that I have no right to say these things because I do not know him or your family….but one thing I do no, is that he is a teenager, and we will do almost anything to get what we want.

JJ

January 27th, 2011
10:36 am

Nothing on MTV is worth one minute of my time. That network is trash, pure trash. Way back when, it was something good, showing all the great videos. Then the 90’s hit, and it has been down hill ever since.

I couldn’t even tell you what channel MTV is on on my Charter service.

RJ

January 27th, 2011
10:39 am

@Reality, you sound 18. We parents are not as in the dark as you may think. I talk to my kids constantly. I know I won’t know everything, which is why I go through their twitter and facebook accounts, and even then I won’t know everything. They’ll make as many poor decisions as I did as a child. That’s part of growing up. I didn’t try to stop my 16 year old from watching it. I didn’t watch it the first week but I asked her about it. She said it was just about a bunch of white kids doing drugs and having sex. Big deal. In her words, she sees that at school already.

I also have a 12 year old and I would stop him from watching it. First, he is extremely immature (probably because he’s a boy) and secondly, it’s not age appropriate. The reality is that he may still see it. I can’t control everything that he sees or does, but I CAN control what goes on in my house. There’s a time and place for everything. I don’t believe in sheltering kids about the sex, drugs or alcohol. I believe in having real conversations ALL the time. My parents didn’t. They didn’t know HOW to discuss these things with us. I try to be different. But I’m real…they’re still gonna mess up.

RJ

January 27th, 2011
10:42 am

Oh, after reading my post I feel the need to clarify. My daughter stated it was about white kids, but she sees it all school already with black kids.

Techmom

January 27th, 2011
10:49 am

Just let the first two episodes play through on my other computer while I was working so I didn’t catch everything but enough to form an opinion I suppose… so, the clips, just like with movie trailers, capture the really outrageous segments of the show. Other than the lesbian scene depicted above, most of the scenes are not that graphic. Not excusing it, just stating. Not that you don’t clearly know what’s going on in the other scenes, it’s just not in your face as much. I think this show is taking the most outlandish things that might happen in an entire school and applying the incidents to all of about 6 kids.

I honestly don’t think the show is *that* bad when compared to movies and other shows that most high schoolers are watching now days. Again, not that it’s completely appropriate, I just don’t think it’s that shocking for the average high school student. This show is completely inappropriate for any kid in middle school. I do think that MTV could put a spin for the positive on this show if they did like they do with 16 & Pregnant/ Teen Mom and have commercials and clips regarding how NOT to do these things, how to avoid these situations, who to go to if you are in a situation that is out of control, etc. so that it’s a deterrent and not an advertisement for these behaviors.

Young@heart

January 27th, 2011
10:51 am

I wanted to see what all the news was about…recorded it and was going to watch with my Teen sons….I didn’t even make it through the opening Dialog of what was going to happen in the show and said “oh He!! No” If that is reality even a little bit that is exactly what I am keeping away from my boys….Reality will hit them soon enough and I hope if I shelter them some, they won’t be desensitized and will be shocked by this behavior and run the other way. Possibly able to grow up to be Men who don’t let their children act that way or engage in those activities….this is where helicopter parenting will pay off! Why would I want my teen to think its ok to be friends with people like that?,…..Stay away is what I say and don’t bring em home either.

HB

January 27th, 2011
10:51 am

Haven’t seen this and don’t plan to (don’t pay for MTV at my house), but to me what’s most interesting about this controversy is the age of the actors. Personally, I don’t care if the content offends me or not — if it does, I turn it off and suggest others do the same. I wouldn’t push to have anything taken off the air because of content and don’t feel we need to work hard to protect viewers — they can protect themselves. I do wonder, though, if there should me more regulations/laws to protect child actors. At what age should actors be allowed to portray these acts? Even if 90210 were as racy as this back in the day (doesn’t sound like it was, but just for argument’s sake here), were any of those kids actually kids?

jarvis

January 27th, 2011
10:51 am

It’s a British right of passage to portray themselves as superior to and above all things American. It’s the only disdaining thing about their culture to me.

Also, Europe is the most-racist place on Earth. Their enlightenment ends when it comes to diversity.

Sue from Lima

January 27th, 2011
11:02 am

Please excuse me if I don’t take the advice ASHLEY. She sounds as though she was knocked up as a teenager, having a 17 y/o son & 16 y/o daughter. Her children are probably loving having a best friend rather than a mother. Often times it is either the extremely strict or best friend “parents” that have the problem or morally inept children. I especially love her sophmoric line at the end … “Skins really drew me in”.

Congratulations on your upcoming grandchildren ASHLEY. The numerous compliments you will get regarding what a young & sexy granny you are should do wonders for your large ego!

what's best for kids?

January 27th, 2011
11:05 am

There is no way in H3LL that I would let my kids watch that tripe. Call me overbearing, call me draconian, call me crazy, but there is no chance that my kids would ever watch it. period.

Becky

January 27th, 2011
11:07 am

My two aren’t old enough yet to worry about this..I’m sure that when they do get to be teens, I will have something just as bad to worry about..

@Fred, thank you! and Sandra..You are so right as to where kids will hide drinks..My great neice lived with me and the ex..She was 14 & I received a call from her school to come get her..She had been drinking in the bathroom..Floored me as I didn’t drink and didn’t know where she had gotten it..She had found some liquor in hte very back of the cabinet and had it in a hairspray bottle..??

Hey RJ

January 27th, 2011
11:07 am

Everything that I’m saying is exactly in-line with what you just said….you have conversations, yet you know you wont know everything, but even still you’re not going to stop her from watching it, and you know that she will make mistakes. And obviously you’re not going to let a 12 year old watch the show, 12 year olds are surely not ready for it.

dawgfan

January 27th, 2011
11:16 am

It doesn’t sound like this show is particularly shocking or in anyway pushing envelopes that haven’t been pushed a million times over before. I don’t think most teens do the things that are done on that show and I don’t think its the end of civilization as we know it because MTV airs the show. Its just a freaking TV show. Good grief. If teens are copying things they see on that show they have horrible parents and would do stupid things anyway. I started listening to gangster rap as young as 11 years old but I have never shot anyone or smacked a hoe. Even at such a young age I knew those things were wrong. All this paranoia about the dangers of popular culture is as old as time itself and the biggest pile of crap in the history of the world.

Thanks.

Contractor

January 27th, 2011
11:18 am

I’m 26 years old, and have had my fair share of partying and such, but this show is beyond stupid. Their comment is something like “the way real teens lives are in America”. I don’t know anyone that did half the stuff this show displays. Parents need to step up and get their kids away from this garbage. It’s one thing if you sit there and watch it with them so you can talk with them about it, but another to just let them sit there each week alone and watch this stuff. Soon, it’ll start to transform their lives to the way these actors are acting, but they don’t know the difference. The same goes for Jersey Shore. I watch it, but to make fun of these morons who do act like this up North. None of these people have a life after this show, and will never contribute to society in a positive way, unless you think orgies, drunk in public, and one night stands is a positive light to society. Parents just need to step up and set forth some authority. Too many kids now a days do as they please and show a ton of disrespect to the parents that get them through daily life. People just need to grab their kids and show them who’s the dang boss, and make them better people instead of druggies and slackers like this show portrays. The future of this country will continue spiral downward if life mimics these shows.

Sue from Lima

January 27th, 2011
11:30 am

ASHLEY says … “My opinon of monday night episode was that it was emotional,and compelling I think it was worth watching.As for my kids one said Tea is awesome and cnt wait til next weeks episode,the other said “stunning,incredible,and attractive.”

ASHLEY you are the coolest mom in the entire trailer park and your kids sound so (street) smart! :)

Phoenix

January 27th, 2011
11:32 am

I have to say this is probably a fairly accurate portrayal of the typical teenage experience. At least of mine anyway. I grew up to be a successful, productive member of society. Let kids be kids.

Sue from Lima

January 27th, 2011
11:33 am

“the way real teens lives are in America”

Well of course! Speaking of reality TV, don’t all toddlers have tiaras and throw temper tantrums?

50+

January 27th, 2011
11:41 am

From an older adult’s perspective. The majority of you parents of teenagers are doing a HORRIBLE job instilling moral values in your CHILDREN. Which coincidentally they are children and NOT adults.

Sue from Lima, you'e ignorant.

January 27th, 2011
11:42 am

No one on here has insulted anyone personally yet, and you just showed truly how ignorant people can be. You cannot even articulate any type of constructive comment, and so you settle for bashing people’s personal opinions. You’re exactly the type of ignorance that is undesirable in a society, you keep progress from happening. And no, this post is not in defense or promotion of the show in any way, it is simply to expose an completely unneeded comment.

Sue from Lima

January 27th, 2011
11:52 am

“you keep progress from happening.”

LMAO to that and the rest of your drivel. Better rush home, your duaghter probably skipped school and is reinacting a part last night’s episode! Bless your heart!

Lady Strange

January 27th, 2011
11:53 am

@Sue from Lima: Not sure about the tiaras but I’m pretty sure most toddlers have the occasional temper tantrum.

lovelyliz

January 27th, 2011
11:54 am

If Skins (US) was okay for teens, would it even be on MTV?

Sue from Lima

January 27th, 2011
11:56 am

“it is simply to expose an completely unneeded comment.”

So no one else saw my comments but you?

Sue from Lima

January 27th, 2011
12:01 pm

“And no, this post is not in defense or promotion of the show in any way”

… “You cannot even articulate any type of constructive comment”

lovelyliz

January 27th, 2011
12:01 pm

Personally, your kids are better off watching less television anyway. I never understood parents who gave their children TV’s with cable in their rooms; smart phones/computers they keep with them 24/7 and then act surprised when the kids are up at all hours of the night doing anything but studying, homework or sleeping.