Thursday, January 27, 2011

Things That Keep Parents Up At Night: MTV's Newest Shocker, SKINS

In evaluating the value of media, some critics find it helpful to ask whether the media is prescriptive or descriptive. In other words, does it describe reality - even tough reality - or is it trying to "prescribe" what we (and our children) should think or do?

While many Christians would hope to shelter their children from difficult subjects, most of us agree that addressing tough topics can be important. We want our kids to make right choices, but we don't want them to be completely naive and unaware of this difficult and sinful world that they must exist in. We want them to engage in descriptive television shows and books that teach them about tough subjects. That is why we have them read books about the Holocaust or think through tough ethical issues like the death penalty and racial inequality.

What we fear, as parents, is that some of these tough shows about tough subjects will actually educate and indoctrinate our kids with the depravity of their generation. They will make it look good and appealing. We don't want MTV to introduce our kids to drugs and sex. Shows like Jersey Shore and Gossip Girl scare us with their views of teens and bad choices.

This week I have been hearing a great deal about the new MTV dramatic teen series, Skins. This is hard core material and scares parents with its take on what teens today are like. These teens, and even preteens, are into sex and drugs in a graphic and shocking way. Is this what our teenagers are actually involved in? Or, is this MTV's prescribed view of teenage life?

No matter your view, parents need to be aware of this new show as it will certainly attract the attention of a young audience. I have not yet viewed it, but I intend to. This article by TIME magazine gives a helpful introduction:,9171,2042346,00.html,
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