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TV Controversy Is So Overrated

By  Justin Carreiro     9:40 PM    Labels:,,,,, 
Television shows are always trying to be fresh and edgy; coming up with the next latest and greatest scandal to hit the small screen and cause buzz. Others just reuse and rework ideas that have been taken from other shows whether they're from the same network, same country, same genre, or even the same show! Being innovative is so rare, the watchword for 2011 (and let's be real, TV in general) is imitation. It's the greatest form of flattery and a self-produced formula for success....well, most of the time.

The new US adaptation of the British hit Skins is a great example of this. Most people have heard of the original, one way or another, but who isn't really familiar with the show well enough to watch the new adaptation on MTV. Creators thought that bringing a show about teen sex and drug use to the United States would be pushing the envelope and create the buzz they need to have a smash hit on their hands. For all the promotion of being an edgy and controversial show, not that many people watched it; reports have shown that the latest episode has scored below less than a million in viewers. Nobody I know watches the show or even knows about it, those that do know it is for completely different reasons.

The last time that I saw blatant ads for an "edgy, sexy and inappropriate" show was for the second season of Gossip Girl. Granted, I did watch the show and all the episodes in the season...but to be fair, I would have watched the show regardless because I really loved the series. I think that in this stage of the game for viewers, we've all become desensitized towards the shocking and inappropriate drama on television. We've gone through the sexy drama that is primetime soaps/dramas, drug use from movies and crazy antics from Jackass to name a few. The majority of "hooks" now are been-there-and-done-that and what really interests us are developed characters, well written story lines, good quality shows....oh, and a sweeps worthy twist that changes the game for our favourite characters. The teasers are a great lead-in for the premiere episode but there needs to be more substance to get you through a 13 to 22 episode season run and story arc.

Skins could have had the making to be a good show but there were a lot of things working against it. For one, all their advertisers backed out for it being an inappropriate show. The series didn't really get any traction or promotion except for some billboards here and there. I'm in Canada and the show doesn't even air here on MTV - Skins is an MTV show! I've seen the episodes recently and I didn't really see anything that set it apart. Showing a bunch of shirtless teens who look like they should be back in early 90's ads for heroin-chic pictorials doesn't mean you have everything for a hit show. It means you have the attention, positive and negative, that you can use for your advantage but it doesn't seem like the show is going to last long. Sometimes the original version is best and you can't really change perfection. If the show does get a second season then some reworking is in order but if its the end...its over. If people do remember the show then it may be a footnote in television marketing and the ups and downs of what you can do with a well established brand on television.

About Justin Carreiro

Justin is a longtime TV buff and gamer. He loves chatting about shows, playing video and board games, and his not-so-secret love for reality tv. He is also a fan of horror movies, music and a bookworm at heart. He spends his time in Toronto working in PR and Social Media.


  1. Skins isnt that great of a show IMHO

  2. GossipGrrrrrrrrrrl2.0February 24, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    I really <3 Gossip Girl. I just wished that it got more exciting!

  3. The show isn't as bad as ppl make it out to be. I think it's gonna get cancelled and I get that. Next time I hope good shows are thought out be4 theyre promoted