MTV ‘Skins’ bares too much

I really, really wanted to like MTV’s new show “Skins.”
After watching, and quickly becoming addicted to the British original, currently in its fifth season, I had high hopes for MTV’s remake.
I wanted to like it so much, in fact, that I willingly ignored the lackluster opening episode and stuck around for a couple more weeks.
But after this week’s episode, “Cadie,” was yet another poorly plotted hour of nonsense, it has to be said: “Skins” sucks. A lot.
Ignore the controversy that the show recently garnered. Contrary to what the Parents Television Council says, “Skins” is neither pornographic nor particularly shocking.
Teenagers smoke weed and have sex?
Hardly breaking news. No, “Skins’” issue is not that it pushes boundaries. It’s just a straight-up bad show.
The fact that the creator and executive producer of the original, Brian Elsley, helmed the entire creation of the MTV version only adds to my disappointment. Elsley hired a team of writers in their teens and early twenties, hoping that they would add a level of realism to the characters and plot. He also cast unknown professionals and non-actors, most of them fresh out of high school, in the main roles.
The problem with this marked attempt at realism is that it misses the entire point of the show.
What “Skins” UK understood was that it wasn’t actually about real teenagers.
It didn’t pretend or try to be anything other than a ridiculous fantasy of British working-class adolescence.
The actors all looked like they weren’t taking it too seriously, just fooling around.
The episodes featured tight plots and quality acting.
MTV “Skins” was probably never going to be as wildly successful as its British counterpart, in part because fans of the original were up in arms about the remake’s existence. That couldn’t be helped.
What the producers, writers and actors do have control over, however, is the quality of their new show.
The acting displayed in the past four episodes has been painfully bad.
The clearly unprepared and purposely inexperienced actors have no variety in their delivery and facial expressions. James Newman, who plays Tony and is one of the cast’s non-actors, keeps his voice at a low, soft monotone, ensuring that his supposedly charismatic quips are inaudible. There seems to be some sort of mumbling epidemic among the cast.
Perhaps it’s a conscious choice to save themselves the embarrassment of reading their lines out loud.
The dialogue feels cribbed from an after-school special about teenage angst.  
What Elsley’s team of teenage writers has come up with so far shows their inexperience.
They consistently rely too heavily on the sex and drugs aspect of the show, mistaking scenes of party pill-popping for plot and character development.
Nothing the characters do or say makes any sense. One character’s mother spent an entire episode parading around in a pink bikini as she told her daughter to dress sexier.
I still don’t know why.

What really is so offensive about MTV “Skins,” though, is that it took an amazing show and sucked the life out of it.
It seems bizarre to say that a show that features a boy running naked through city streets takes itself too seriously.
But everyone involved is so caught up in their own supposed cool-ness that they’ve come off looking desperate and out-of-touch.
Here’s my advice: skip this terrible remake.
Turn on the original “Skins,” sit back and enjoy a few hours of quality teenage fantasy.