Skins: Encouraging Banality? – UPDATED

There is a headline out there indicating that MTV’s controversial new series, “Skins” may be “in danger” of being canceled:

MTV’s controversial drama “Skins” is losing advertisers faster than some of its characters lose their clothes.

As FOX411 reported, Taco Bell was the first sponsor to withdraw advertising from “Skins,” quickly followed by Wrigley, Subway, Foot Locker, L’Oreal and Shick. General Motors and H&R Block both issued statements explaining that their ads were aired during the premiere by mistake and would have no further association with the show.

Lacking a stable of advertisers to sponsor the show, “Skins” could reportedly lose MTV up to $2 million per episode.

Oh, my. What will the world do without another insipid television program glorifying the culture of youth gone rudderless? Santiago Ramos has a good take on the show and the pathetic mindset it betrays:

There is an undercurrent of boredom and docility in our culture that makes a show like Skins possible. . . . The dreary pilot episode of Skins places a lowlife, ugly kid named Tony on a quest for marijuana and an end to his sexual virginity. It also features a McMansion house where rich kids make fun of slightly richer kids and someone tracks mud onto an expensive European rug. A girl overdoses, but then she’s fine . . .

What if I were to say to MTV: Why can’t your characters discuss Dostoyevsky, or Balzac, or Jonathan Franzen? Why couldn’t a 16-year-old student decry the excesses of his affluent suburban life and begin a Das Kapital afterschool reading group . . . only to have his father lose his job at the law firm, and be forced to work at Walmart, wherein he meets a blue-collar Republican and has a political rebirth? Why couldn’t twin brothers debate the existence of God, one become a Benedictine monk and the other a Buddhist, and start a family feud during the next Thanksgiving . . . only to join forces against the drab materialism of their parents? “But it’s not what teens are doing, it wouldn’t be realistic.”

What if I started demanding—or at least desiring, desiring loudly—more interesting stories?

Well, I suspect for one thing, that might be a challenge for the girls on “The View” who seem to have difficulty processing anything that resides outside their worldviews, or even of making not-subtle distinctions:

Joy Behar wanted to know what the distinction was between “grown-ups,” HBO viewers, and “young people,” MTV viewers, when it comes to certain sexual activities.

“I think it’s because it’s MTV, because on HBO as you pointed out, I believe ‘Oz’ was on there and they’re all doing some crazy stuff … and ‘Sex in the City’ was on HBO,” Behar said. “What’s the difference if you’re watching all these grown-ups talking about all of these — anal sex, etc., or young people? What’s the difference?”

No wonder the SOTU was dumbed down.

UPDATE: A reminder that the medium is the message

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About Elizabeth Scalia