Are shows like Skins and Euphoria appropriate for teens?

Older teens do not need sheltering from mature topics

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Courtesy of Creative Commons

Real-life through television? Here we have the billboard for the premiere of the British show Skins, from left to right is Tony (Nicholas Hoult), Michelle (April Pearson), and Chris (Joe Dempsie.) Skins later went on for another 7 seasons. “It’s an extremely dramatic show, there’s a lot happening all at once,” senior Abby Doleshel said.

In the film industry there are many shows that portray mature content. Teens doing hard drugs, partying, drinking, and having unsafe sex. Some examples of these shows include Euphoria, Skins, and Grand Army. It is important to have complex and provocative subjects like these in shows and movies, but are shows like these good exposure for teens?

Euphoria, an HBO show that premiered on June 16, 2019, focuses on a teenager named Rue Bennett, who had just gotten back from rehab after overdosing. Euphoria depicts Rue dealing with judgement from peers at school, her struggling with addiction, trouble at home, and the hardships of high school in general. In the show, Rue meets her best friend, Jules, and they make lots of memories together. The show also takes us on the journey of all the other drama to do with other high schoolers, dealing with affairs, hard drugs, drinking, partying and cheating.

Another show that has a similar plotline is Skins. This show is about a group of British teenagers, who cope with their suffering by partying constantly, having unsafe sex, and partaking in a lot of questionable activites. The show also includes people with mental health disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, psychotic depression, and narcissistic personality disorder.

Considering the content of these shows, it is valuable for teens to watch difficult content like this with touchy subjects because it allows for young people to see some hardships that people go through when they are young and also learning. There are teens that go out and partake in things like doing drugs, drinking or partying, and they end up getting hurt or getting into trouble. It could bring awareness to teens who aren’t aware of others that do things like that and teach them that it isn’t smart to do.

Although it may be good for teens to watch shows and movies like Skins and Euphoria, it may be too much exposure for younger teens. Depending on the parent, the appropriate ages to watch TV like this would be 16-18.

“Because it actually does happen in real life where teenagers are doing those things out of their home and it’s just accurate sometimes in TV shows like that,” senior Amanda Hibbs said.

Viewers need to remember that shows don’t necessarily depict the exact experience of the average teenager and the teenage life is a bit skewed.

“I think if a teenager wrote a TV show for teenagers it would definitely include a lot more fighting and would show the differences between high school cliques and groups of people. It would be more accurate and just better,” senior Abby Doleshel said.

Despite the fact that some teenagers participate in partying, unsafe sex and drinking, some younger teens probably are not mature enough to watch content like this because it might encourage them to want to participate in those types of activites. Some might not realize the severity of these activities and could make memories that they would later on regret.

There are so many struggles that young people can’t really be sheltered from, and that may be beneficial. Allowing teens to watch shows with mature content allows them to learn more about life and even be more aware of their surroundings. It really depends on the teenager, and a lot of what their parents think, but it is smart for younger people to be exposed to shows like this because it allows them to learn about issues that they need to be aware of. A lot of intense occurrences may happen at a young age, and it is beneficial for teens to know what some of them may be through television.