These last few weeks have not been kind to MTV’s version of Skins, but if you really want to know what all the negative hoopla concerning the PTC is about, then you will have to tune into tonight’s episode titled “Chris”.
The episode depicts actor Jesse Carere having an erection for half of the hour due to an over-ingestion of Viagra like pills and one scene shows his backside as he walks down the street. These are some (if not top) offenses the PTC are crying foul over, because Carere was 17 at the time of filming, which makes him a minor in the eyes of the law. While it is understandable for parents to be upset, they should actually look at the episode as a whole before coming to hasty conclusions.
For the Skins purists, “Chris” is a shot-for-shot remake with minor changes of the original episode featuring the same character, portrayed by Joseph Dempsie in the original. For the newly initiated, the episode starts off with Chris waking up with an erection, which is in plain sight for most of the episode. He eventually goes downstairs to see that his mom has left town, leaving behind $1000 for Chris to live off of. Instead of doing the suitable thing, Chris throws an elaborate party, but finds out the next day that his mother is actually gone out of his life and he’s now completely broke with nowhere to go.
On the flip side of things, Daisy tries to help Chris work through his predicament, but ends up seeing Chris as more than just a horny, decadent teen. She instead finds him to be a highly neglected, lonely individual.
Bottom line, Chris (like Skins itself) is like a book, judged from a distance before his true contents are even revealed. When Daisy drags a reluctant Chris to his father’s house, she is shocked and amazed of how nice a life Chris’s father has, and even more shocked when Chris’s father doesn’t want Chris to be a part of it. As you look at the episode as a whole, the fact that Chris’s erection and heavy drug use is put on the back burner when you see the kid’s predicament at home, which is more troubling in my opinion, because it shows the lack of parenting and the neglect of a lonely child. Could that be what the PTC doesn’t want the audiences to see?
In Skins, the parents just don’t get it. Worse, some of the parents don’t want to get it, which is a problem facing a lot of teenagers today. Parents are either too wrapped up in their own drama or too deep in denial to listen to the plight of their children and, to me, that’s more sickening than anything Skins displays on TV. It’s like the line Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy) utters in “The Breakfast Club” about not wanting to grow up, because your heart dies in the process. I can’t help but agree with that classic quote when I see the controversy surrounding Skins USA, or Skins in general; and that’s a sad truth.
So, let’s see where this episode leads us, because it might actually be the ‘do or die’ moment for MTV’s Skins. I pray that it is not.