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MTV brings 'Skins' to the States: Will it be well safe or minging?

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Image Credit: E4/BBCConfused by that headline? Then you obviously haven’t been watching Skins, the boundary-pushing British teen soap aired stateside by BBC America. (In Skins‘ exaggerated brit-speak, “safe” = cool, and “minging” = disgusting.) Thanks to its frank, unvarnished look at teen life — not to mention beyond-graphic scenes of sex and drug use that make the Gossip Girl set look like a bunch of teetotaling prudes — the series has earned a cult following on both sides of the pond. And now MTV is reportedly moving forward with an American remake, Variety reports.

As a huge fan of the show, I can’t wait. It’s been too long since MTV’s had a scripted show with some substance, and it’ll be good for the network to put a spotlight on teens who fall in the middle ground between The Hills and True Life: I’m Addicted to Orange Flavored Children’s Cough Medicine.

But I’ve got a few worries, too. Skins breaks with a lot of the traditions of American TV: Much of the show’s cast and writing crew are actual teenagers with little-to-no TV experience; the cast is mercilessly rebooted every two seasons with an entirely new crop of fresh faces; each episode of the show focuses on a different character; and there aren’t neat moral repercussions for bad behavior. Suffice to say, it won’t be easy to just transport it to the States intact. And on top of that, the show’s British-ness (or more specifically, Bristol-ness) was a huge part of its character. The setting for the new series in America — Will it be a rundown Midwestern suburb? A gritty East Coast city? Orange County, yet again? — will definitely have a lot to do with the show’s success or failure. Or, as they say in England, its puddles and crumps.*

Are any of you Skins fans? What do you think will make or break the show when it comes to MTV?

*They don’t actually say that. But “safe” and “minging” are real, I swear.

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