Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Mysterious Skins

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Mysterious Skins

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The U.S. version of Skins is a mostly faithful remake of the groundbreaking British series-except-for the gender switch of its gay character. Creator Bryan Elsley reveals what's behind the decision

Skins, the popular, provocative British series about sex, drugs, and friendship, is in its fifth season in the U.K., where it launched the careers of A Single Man's Nicholas Hoult and Slumdog Millionaire's Dev Patel with its realistically vivid depiction of teenagers run amok. To oversee the new U.S. counterpart, which premiered on MTV in January, the network enlisted father-and-son creators Bryan Elsley and Jamie Brittain with an eye to preserving the authenticity of the original series. But a decision to change the gay male character in the original script to a lesbian (Tea, pictured above, played by actress Sofia Black D'Elia) in the Yankee version has generated concern that producers have kowtowed to the notion that American audiences aren't ready to accept sexualized gay male teenagers. Elsley insists the gender switch came about by impulse. …

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