All of the fake controversy over MTV’s scripted series Skins, a format imported from the UK, is really ridiculous if you think about what the network has actually been airing for the last decade or so, ever since The Real World Las Vegas turned the franchise a hard 90 degrees into full-throttle debauchery, violence, and stupidity. Seriously, just tune into a Challenge sometime when people arrive on location, get trashed, and punch each other in the brain immediately for no reason at all.
The show is returning to Las Vegas for its 25th season (its creator told me that they’ve actually run out of cities), and includes an apparently straight gay porn star. And the season looks like it’ll offer more of the same, as the trailer plays up sex and violence.
Will anyone care? Probably not, because we’ve become desensitized to this nonsense. It’s so obnoxious that collectively, we freak out more about a bare ass on Skins than a man acting like he’s about to punch a woman in the face as he slams his fist into a painting on the wall instead.
People magazine ran the preview of the new season in advance of its debut after Jersey Shore last night, and probably because they’re basically acting as MTV’s publicists, says that it “shows all the fun — and drama! — you’d expect from the city: pool parties, nightclubs, gambling, sex, fights, and destroyed hotel rooms.”
It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever seen, but it’s not “fun.” And what it really shows is what happens when a franchise flies off the tracks and disappears into an abyss of violence, over-acting, sexuality, and drunkenness instead of real-life drama and conflict resulting from an entertaining combination of different degrees of ambition, maturity, worldliness, and ideology.