A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
There are few immediate consequences to the endless limit-testing behavior featured here, including drinking, drug use, dishonesty, and theft, which are presented as normal parts of teen life. Issues like family relationships, divorce, peer pressure, anorexia, and child abandonment are also discussed in complex, realistic ways. The group clearly cares about each other and are true friends.
Positive Role Models
Teens on this show regularly engage in risky and/or negative behavior, including lying to parents and using alcohol and drugs to excess in the name of fun. On the positive side, they're a diverse bunch of close friends who are loyal to each other.
Violence & Scariness
Face slapping, pinching, and male nipple twisting, cat fighting, and other aggressive acts. Strong references to the Italian mafia.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Teens are seen groping each other, removing their clothes, in their underwear, and partially nude (bare buttocks; the side of a woman's breasts). Scenes of sex acts are frequent (but no nudity is shown). Pornographic magazines are visible. Strong references to losing virginity, genitalia, and other sex-related topics. Some characters are in same-sex relationships. Some of the teen characters have intimate relationships with adults.
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Words like "bitch," "bastard," "ass," "p---y," and "s--t" are audible. "F--k" is bleeped.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking (beer, hard liquor) is frequent, cigarette smoking is visible, and drug use is prominent. Pot, prescription drugs, and other substances are used; kids are frequently shown in drug-induced states. On occasion, young kids are shown rolling joints or handling drugs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that although MTV has been promoting this show as very sexy and flamboyant, in many respects, the show takes the opposite approach, portraying a gritty and (at least for some) realistic picture of teen life. An adaptation of the popular British teen drama, it's as edgy and boundary-pushing as the original and is likely to make parents very uncomfortable. Both teens and adults drink excessively, smoke, deal and use drugs, and engage in various sexual acts. These and other risky behaviors are met with limited consequences and portrayed, to an extent, as normal behavior. Expect plentiful sex acts (between teens, adults and teens, and same-sex partners), some nudity (bare buttocks), and lots of profanity (words "ass" and "s--t" are audible, while "f--k" is bleeped). The series also touches on some serious subjects, like divorce, eating disorders, and relationships. Due to the extreme behavior in the show, Common Sense Media recommends parents preview the show, if possible, before allowing teens to watch. If teens do watch, parents might find the show a good jumping-off point for some important discussions.
Is It Any Good?
The stateside version of the popular British series recreates the edgy show's original cast of characters and some of the its storylines in a way that successfully combines humor and irreverence with serious topics like child abandonment, peer pressure, divorce, eating disorders, and relationships.
Like its U.K. counterpart, Skins has a lot of heart and attempts to tell an honest story about today's teens. It also presents things like promiscuity, underage drinking, drug abuse, and other inappropriate behavior as normal and, to an extent, acceptable ways of having fun without having to face any real consequences. As a result, it's a show that's best left to older teens who are mature enough to look past the wild antics and sexed-up images presented here and can appreciate the show's deeper messages surrounding friendship, self-image, facing challenges, and the path toward maturity.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.