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New ‘Skins’ less edgy but still racy

By: - Writing Editor
/ 06:24 PM June 12, 2011

The new American remake of the acclaimed British teen drama “Skins” duplicates its themes and controversial content—about a group of sexually active and weed-smoking teens. But this new MTV series is less edgy, although its depictions of sex, drug use and bad behavior are still racy, and it tackles subjects too touchy for regular US network shows.

Those already familiar with the original series may find the re-imagined version a toned-down déjà vu, as it has virtually the same characters and storylines but sans the excessive use of expletives and with less nudity. MTV Asia blurs out certain intimate scenes as well.

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The Americanized characters are still believable, thanks to their core traits. Tony (James Newman) is the manipulative alpha male; Michelle (Rachel Thevenard) is the hot but insecure girl; Stanley (Daniel Flaherty) is the awkward virgin smitten with Michelle.

There are major changes: The pill-popping and depressed Cadie (Britne Oldford) doesn’t have an eating disorder, which was exceptionally portrayed in the original show. And instead of a gay guy, this version has a lesbian, Tea (Sofia Black-D’Elia), a cheerleader easily bored by overly dramatic and confused partners.

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The Tea-centric episode exemplifies the potential of the show, creatively utilizing elements exclusive to the American setting. She discovers her senile grandmother’s sexual identity during the latter’s sad recollection of the homophobic “Lavender Scare” in the 1950s.

Tea also has a one-time tryst with Tony, but it makes sense because she likes challenges and considers him an equal. Interestingly, British Tony had a brief affair with the gay guy, so this is a different rapport altogether.

Its more insightful changes make “Skins” interesting and may still impress diehard fans of the predecessor, even if they find the interpretation uneven. But the uninitiated viewer will nonetheless be stunned by the interwoven tales of teen pain, over-indulgence and rebellion.

“Skins” airs Sundays, 11 p.m. on MTV Asia.

Cartoon Network’s ‘Generator Rex’

Cartoon Network is giving kids a chance to check if their bodies are hosting “nanites,” or microscopic machines, via a new augmented reality (AR) application created for its new series, “Generator Rex.”

Log on to the Cartoon Network website or through the Cartoon Network Facebook page to start the scan. Either way, kids can then load the resulting videos on to YouTube or Facebook to share with their friends.

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Augmented reality is the term for a camera-enhanced view of a physical real-world environment, where virtual elements are merged with the real-life scene. Users of Cartoon Network’s application will need a computer,
webcam and speakers.

“Generator Rex” airs on Cartoon Network on weekends at 6 p.m.

New series on Nick

Nickelodeon’s newest series, “The Fresh Beat Band,” is set in a music school. Best friends Marina, Kiki, Twist and Shout address problems preschoolers encounter every day. Sing, dance and help the band solve everyday challenges while learning about the importance of friendship, working together in a positive way and respecting each other’s differences.

“The Fresh Beat Band” airs Mondays to Wednesdays at 7:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. starting June 20.

New reality contest

“Shedding for the Wedding” is an all-new reality competition that gathers nine overweight and engaged couples in the same house, where they vow to lose the most weight in three months to win the wedding of their dreams. Each week, the couple that loses the least amount of weight is sent packing and the last pair standing will get their wedding paid for. The series is hosted by actress Sara Rue.

Premieres June 29 at 8:10 p.m. with succeeding episodes airing Wednesdays at 7:20 p.m on AXN Beyond.

‘Rachel Zoe Project’ returns

“The Rachel Zoe Project” returns for a third season. As Rachel Zoe’s business continues to expand—from a thriving clothing line with QVC shopping channel and an affordable jewelry collection, to a massive social media following on her website and Twitter account—Zoe’s dream of becoming a household name has turned into a reality. Catch the star power behind Zoe’s styling business, with appearances from Gwen Stefani, Demi Moore, Molly Sims and Johnny Weir, among others.

Premieres on June 23 and airs Thursdays at 8:10 p.m. on AXN Beyond.

Season finales

The season finale of “Camelot” airs Monday night at 9, while the last episode of “Supernatural” telecasts on June 21—both on AXN Beyond.

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TAGS: AXN Beyond, Entertainment, shows, Skins, teen drama, Television, television series
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