Dear MTV,

16 Jan

A letter to MTV, media conglomerate and television programming station.

To whom it may concern at MTV:

I am a 23-year-old female living in 21st century America, and though I am currently too poor to have a cable service provider, I have been aware of your programming for quite some time.

I’ve given you chances MTV. I remember the days of yore when you, and your counterpart VH1, actually lived up to your purpose.

See that ‘M’ in your name, MTV? The one that’s the first letter of your acronym? It stands for MUSIC. You know, music? That thing people often make videos for? Those videos that you used to show on your channel, before The Real World?

MTV, you disappoint me often. It’s sad but true. I’ve all but given up on your ability to provide me with quality entertainment, especially after Jersey Shore.

And then I found out about Skins.

I watched the UK version of Skins this summer on Netflix. As far as teenage comedy dramas went, I found it to be extremely original, witty and intelligent, especially for a show about teenagers who like to get high and blow off school.

Then I found out you were taking this show and creating an ‘American’ version.

I knew you were lacking in originality MTV, but upon some research I discovered that was just the tip of the iceberg.

See, not only are you remaking Skins using the exact same plot, but you’re using virtually identical character names and advertising campaigns:

Promo for Skins, UK version

Promo for Skins, US version.

But that’s not my biggest beef with you, MTV, and it’s a beef that goes above and beyond unoriginality.

It’s the fact that you took this character from the original Skins:

Maxxie, known for being openly gay and an incredible dancer

And turned him into this:

Tea, hard-partying out and proud lesbian.

Now, I don’t really understand what you’re trying to do here MTV. You’ve taken an openly gay male character and changed him into an openly gay female character.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing I guess. I mean, at least you aren’t completely removing these themes of homosexuality in your show, right? You’re demonstrating a roughly accurate depiction of American youth by including a lesbian character, right?

So why make a gay guy into a gay chick? That homosexual population quotient is already perfectly represented by Skin’s UK’s character of Maxxie. You haven’t been afraid to keep other characters virtually identical down to name and appearance :

Tony from Skins UK vs. Tony from Skins US. See the resemblance?

So what’s the deal MTV? Are you telling us that Lesbians are more acceptable in American society? Are you adhering to a comfortable double-standard?

And should I really be surprised.

The sad fact of the matter is that to some extent, this aspect of culture in America is true. While the homosexual population is out and proud on both ends of the gender spectrum, there’s a certain higher amount of acceptance for Lesbian girls over gay men.

Am I pulling facts out of my ass here? Sure. But go ask a straight dude how he feels about two girls making out. Then ask him how he feels about two guys making out. It’s that mentality that’s driving your adjustment here MTV, and it’s further evidence that even though America is slowly squeaking forward in the gay rights movement, we still have a long way to go.

I’m not saying Lesbians have an easier time of it, or that their relationships are accepted in society overall. I’m saying that you’re promoting this idea that being a gay male is so unacceptable in American culture that you had the need to replace him with a lesbian female in mainstream television.

Can you explain this to me MTV? Because none of this makes any sense to me, and it thoroughly depresses me.

Congratulations on assisting in the decline of American creativity MTV. I’ll probably watch the new Skins and complain about it, because that’s the way of the internet (I mean, come on, I’m ranting about this on my blog. How’s that for mature reaction?). Thanks for nothing.

With love and small amounts of bile,

Lora.

 

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2 Responses to “Dear MTV,”

  1. heideelahree January 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    Excellent post. It truly is a strange decision. Overall, gay male characters do very well in television. People want to like them – then they’re cool and accepting. Gay women do very well on television when they’re hot and making out with other chicks for guys to look at. I can’t help but wonder if this girl is partially there to bring male appeal to the show. I have no idea. I haven’t seen the original.

    MTV is clearly run by unoriginal scum who have realized that plenty of things sell, but sex sells and sex is easy to manufacture. Again, good post.

  2. Pikachu July 27, 2011 at 8:42 am #

    I miss the days when MTV was about music

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