There are rumors circulating that the British teen drama Skins is likely to get pulled by MTV executives due to advertiser pressure. This is good news. What little I’ve seen of the show and heard, pro and con, leads me to believe this is likely the raunchiest show to ever air on U.S. TV.
The really sad thing about this whole episode though is that Skins is all people are seeing, or at least all that they’re talking about.
MTV and Skins is not the problem, just an easy target. Anyone who wants to watch Skins can easily do so on the Internet (or BBC America), and many teens in the U.S. have been, long before MTV. Pushing MTV to pull it from its lineup may reduce viewership for those over 40, but will have little impact on anyone younger. If anything, those making all the noise have only increased interest and viewership (and likely of the original British version on the web).
The really stupid thing is that what people have been getting bent over is MTV showing reality. And it’s the reality that we should be concerned about, not that MTV shows it. We should be saying ‘Hey, look at this show. Is this reality? Are there real issues here that we need to address?’
If MTV pulls Skins at least we don’t have to be offended by it anymore. Of course, we’ll strain our necks getting them back in to the sand so deep.
Just comparing our real problems to England, where Skins originates, we have 30% higher use of drugs among teens and a 50% higher abortion rate among teens. A teen in the U.S. is about twice as likely to become an unwed teen mom than a teen in England and is almost three times as likely to be raped. And England is worse on these than all of Western Europe.
Well, Skins and MTV are easier targets after all. And tougher targets are, well, tougher.
We’ve become poor wimpy leaders and poor wimpy parents. We’re afraid to address our problems honestly and openly.
We won’t admit that our wars on vice; drugs, prostitution, gambling, and alcohol, are failures and may actually cause more problems than they solve (it’s debatable if they solve any problems).
We’re afraid to talk to our sons and daughters honestly about drugs and sex and tell them that it’s not un-cool and is OK to say no to both. In fact, a rather good idea to say no.
On the other hand, we say that everyone should wait until marriage to have sex and they should wait to get married. Guess what, not very many are going to be sexless until marriage at 30. It’s simply not going to happen. That’s not the way God made us. Not even Christians.
We’re afraid to teach our children how to drink responsibly, so they do so irresponsibly. Even those at our vaunted Christian high schools and universities are going to drink – with us or without us. Personally, I’d rather they drink with us (and I’ve enjoyed many a pint with my son, including when we traveled to Europe while he was in a Christian high school ).
We treat our teens (and adults?) like kids and then wonder why they act like it.
Well, the good news is that Skins will likely not be on MTV much longer unless some advertisers come along to support it. We’ll be able to go back to our sandy hole and our kids will continue what they’re doing (including watching Skins on the web).
Please note that I resisted numerous bad puns in the writing of this article.