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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

How Much Is Too Much Skin?

Rachel Thevenard portrays Michelle, left, and Camille Cresencia-Mills portrays Daisy in a scene from MTV's controversial adolescent drama "Skins." (AP)

A new show on MTV shows a lot of skin, and that skin belongs to teenagers. The Parents Television Council calls the teen drama, “Skins,” the most dangerous show on television for kids. The New York Times reports that MTV executives fear an upcoming episode could violate child pornography laws, since most of the actors are teenagers themselves.

Our guest is Bob Thompson, founding director of Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University.

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  • listener

    you failed to mention that this is an American remake of a brilliant BBC show, which was MUCH grittier, less contrived, and actually like real life.

  • Chandra Dickson

    I am the parent of a 16 year old son who watched the British version of this show, which was well written, albeit at times, very mature for some viewers who may be shielded from such things by their parents. I take the other view and allow my son to watch all sorts of things other parents would gasp at, but what is so unnatural about sex? So many kids watch horror movies but no one blinks an eye at that though murder is not a natural experience for most. And what kid today doesn’t know about drugs and rock-n-roll? I took this as an opportunity to talk to me son about the issues bought up in this series and to discuss with him my views on things since the British show dealt with everything from teenage pregnancy to raves. We enjoyed the show, but will not be watching the American version since we do not have cable.

  • Kramer

    I’ve had an issue with MTV for roughly the past 12 years. Their acronym stands for Music Television: when Music is the thing they display and stream least of. In fact, what MTV has turned into is a way to show the youth of whomever watch it how to act. They have a show about dating, a show about teenage girls, a show where group of peoples go around to extravagant places only to flirt and fool around with hundreds of people, and so on and so forth.

    This broadcasting network has taken a topic of high interest to teens and young adults (music) and transformed it into a “this-is-how-’cool’-people-act-and-this-is-how-you-should-act-too” media bomb. If a network is going to only display teeneybopper reality tv junk, fine, just don’t disguise yourself as a music network and do completely the opposite and force feed viewers a bunch of sexual drama.

  • Gjtalsky

    I hope people realize that Bob Thompson is not an unbiased commentator on the TV show, “Skins.” Can you imagine anyone keeping their position with a popular culture title at a university who would caution restraint?
    I myself think the show is just one more instance of adults exploiting adolescents.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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