Wednesday 26 January 2011

SKINS


There is a show in the States that has recently hit the airwaves called Skins. It’s an import of a British show and it’s chock full of teenagers having sex, fighting, and doing drugs all with a backdrop that resembles an Abercrombie and Fitch ad. So in truth it depicts - like it or not - what is going on out there in today’s society in some pockets of America - actually, a lot of pockets...come to think of it, when I hear about what goes on in some high schools nowadays, it makes my hair turn white; and I was no shrinking violet in my teens.

The response to this show from the viewing public has been tumultuous at best. Parent groups are up in arms calling it child porn; television watchdog groups are demanding MTV tone it down or cancel it, and advertisers are pulling out in droves. So in short, your typical overreaction by the American public (actually, I'm sure the kids love this show). Fine, I can understand that glorifying teen sex and debauched behavior may somehow condone it. But the notion that teenagers are not getting up to what we know they are getting up to is a bit delusional really. And as always, just because it is on television does not mean your children are going to a) be able to watch it – last time I checked one being the parent can actually turn the TV off, and b) your children if parented correctly, may not be drug fueled sex crazed maniacs. That's the aim anyway.

Here’s the thing about America I can never understand (well there are a few things actually). We glorify violence in such a way that it is downright dizzying. Violence is pervasive across our TV, film, books, & overall media. We’re a gun country that isn’t shy about saying that we LOVE guns and that has significant repercussions that we seem to embrace. But when it comes to sex or depicting the human body, well then we go downright prude. In fact, we're utterly horrified.

For example, there is a show on TV in the States called Criminal Minds. It’s a procedural show about a unit of profilers within the FBI. This show is so dark and violent sometimes I can’t watch it before bed. In one episode a serial killer was murdering children; another episode had a murderer stealing people’s body parts and cutting out their brains; there are brutal rapes, kidnappings, molestations, you name it this show has it. And of course it’s TV, so they have to show all the gory details. So I'm wondering how is a show like this any worse than teenagers being provocative, and well, being teenagers? Are death, mutilation and extreme violence more appropriate to be on television than teenagers drinking beer and taking off their clothes? And keep in mind, Skins is on a channel you must pay for, a channel you can control access to, the murder festival is on regular television accessible to absolutely anyone. 

I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather have the King be exposed to sex rather than gratuitous violence. I can already tell, he’s a lover not a fighter.



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