I had heard about “Skins,” a new hit teen show (MTV, Monday night at 9 p.m) that had been accused of bordering on pornographic, and decided to watch it the other night. Your teen may argue that it shows “real” life. My take on it? That may be true IF you take the most ethically challenged, dysfunctional teen behavior, compact it into about 45 minutes, and don’t include a single character who deviates from the moral abyss these teens live in. These high schoolers’ lives revolve around constant sex (gay, bi and heteresexual), drugs, drinking, other risky behaviors, and bad language. So far, there has been rear nudity, but no frontal, and unlike in Britain (where the show originated), the swearing is bleeped out. The adult characters (at least in the episode I watched) are irresponsible buffoons . As I watched, I was filled with sadness at this picture of empty, lost and depressed teens. Life can be SO much better. Even the friendships–some of which are represented as deep–revolve around selfish hedonism. A real friend cares about what happens to you, and would caution against many of the foolish behaviors that are normalized in this show.
I see little worthwhile in this show. If you haven’t drawn the line on TV viewing yet, “Skins” may be a good place to start. To read more, including episode synopses, see this article by Parents Television Council.