Vulture

Skip to content, or skip to search.

hopping the pond

The 30 Differences Between the American and British Skins

Last night, MTV debuted its adaptation of the U.K.'s much loved and very risqué teen soap Skins. We wondered what to expect from the Americanized version: In the past decade, Hollywood producers who have brought over shows from England (The Office and Shameless, for example) have tended to make virtual Xeroxes of their original's pilot script, stopping only to swap out "loo" for "toilet." The Skins pilot was an odder mixture: While the outlines of the original characters were replicated, and certain scenes were complete reproductions, there were also prudish tweaks, more cartoony character traits, and the Americanized references, clothing, and weather: It all felt overly familiar and disconcertingly "off" to fans of their beloved original. Here is a list of the 30 differences between the original and the American versions. But to get in the mood first, we've juxtaposed a key scene from both versions to see just how similar and different they are; watch it after the jump.

And now, the 30 differences:

1. BRITISH: Leading man Tony has a naked man and woman illustrated on his duvet.
AMERICAN: Leading man Tony has spiders and other creepy crawlies illustrated on his duvet.

2. BRITISH: It’s overcast.
AMERICAN: It’s snowing.

3. BRITISH: Tony’s brunette sister Effy sneaks into her house wearing club gear and mussed makeup to the musical stylings of Chingy’s “Right Thurr.” Her father swears mightily at Tony.
AMERICAN: Tony’s blonde sister Eura stumbles home barefoot, to the tune of Animal Collective’s “My Girls.” Her father seems to be swearing at Tony, but we can't hear him.

4. BRITISH: Tony reads John Paul Sartre’s Nausea on the loo.
AMERICAN: Tony reads Know Your Rodent, a book that aims to change the philosophy of rat fear.

5. BRITISH: Embarrassed virgin Sid lives in a hovel full of aquariums, old food, and porn magazines. He wears glasses and a beanie.
AMERICAN: Embarrassed virgin Stanley lives in a hovel full of old food and porn magazines. He has long, mousy surfer hair.

6. BRITISH: Resident badass Jal plays clarinet and has braces.
AMERICAN: Resident badass Daisy plays trumpet and doesn’t have braces.

7. BRITISH: Troublemaker Chris is “busy busy” with a girl named Overbite.
AMERICAN: Troublemaker Chris is "busy busy," which is complicated because he sounds like he hasn't gone through puberty yet. This Overbite is even more overbite-y: Her teeth need a billing of their own.

8. BRITISH: Sweetheart Anwar wants to go to Maxxie’s “Big Gay Night Out.”
AMERICAN: Sweetheart Abbud wants to go to Tea’s “Lesbian Night Out.”

9. BRITISH: Dancing fool Maxxie is rehearsing a tap routine while talking to Tony.
AMERICAN: Cheerleading fool Tea is rehearsing a cheer number while talking to Tony.

10. BRITISH: Tony meets his girlfriend Michelle (brunette, curly haired) and Sid at a diner to plot the loss of Sid’s V-card.
AMERICAN: Tony meets his girlfriend Michelle (strawberry blonde, wavy haired) and Stanley at the school cafeteria to plot the loss of Stanley’s V-card.

11. BRITISH: Sid: “I’m going to dock the ferry with Michelle?”
AMERICAN: Staney: “I’m going to park my Chevy in Michelle’s garage?”

12. BRITISH: Sid’s pot dealer is called the Mad Twatter.
AMERICAN: Stanley's pot dealer is called Mad Mao Le Dong.

13. BRITISH: Crazy Cassie is a mostly sunny blonde who says “Oh, wow” a lot.
AMERICAN: Crazy Cadie is a hybrid of Helena Bonham Carter’s creepiest roles and Evanescence; she talks about embalming her dead pet hamster while lovingly caressing a knife.

14. BRITISH: Sid doesn’t meet Cassie until the night of the party.
AMERICAN: Stanley meets Cadie in the basement of River Mountain High School, where she is in Life Skills class, making sexually suggestive vegetable displays.

15. BRITISH: Tony auditions for choir in the all-girls college across from his school, singing “On the Street Where You Live” to a bunch of giggling girls.
AMERICAN: Tony auditions for choir in the all-girls college across from his school, singing “Let’s Do It! (Let’s Fall in Love)” to a bunch of giggling girls, and doing so with much more innuendo than Cole Porter ever intended.

16. BRITISH: After auditioning, Tony is invited to a party by perky blonde Abby.
AMERICAN: After auditioning, Tony is invited to a party by perky blonde Tabitha.

17. BRITISH: Tony gets a scolding from one of the girls' school's teachers before ambling out to his own school.
AMERICAN: Tony gets a scolding from one of the girls’ school’s teachers, who presses a big red panic button that releases two surly female security guards who subsequently tackle him.

18. BRITISH: Sid goes through photos of a fully clothed Michelle on his phone while riding the bus to get some pot. It’s adorable, in a pathetic sort of way.
AMERICAN: Stanley watches a video of a bikini-clad Michelle on his phone while riding the bus to get some pot. It’s adorable, in a pervy sort of way.

19. BRITISH: The gang smokes joints on their college's front lawn.
AMERICAN: The gang smokes joints while crammed in a bathroom stall.

20. BRITISH: Pot dealer the Mad Twatter is a smarmy, smutzy, post-sixties junkie who could go postal at any second. His apartment is decked out with paintings of topless women and sexually excited men.
AMERICAN: Pot dealer Mad Mao Le Dong is an older man in a tracksuit with a John Wayne accent. His apartment is decked out with paintings of women in bras and women with elephant heads.

21. BRITISH: Tony calls Sid a “dildo” on multiple occasions.
AMERICAN: "Dildo" is still Tony's favorite epithet.

22. BRITISH: Abby’s friends at the party's names are: Sara, Josh, Sara, Sebastian, Hugo, Sara Josh, Sam, and Sara.
AMERICAN: Tabitha’s friends at the party's names are: Shannon, Zeke, Zack, Chaz, Summer, Shannon, Chad, Chandy, Brandy, Candy, Randy, Saturday, Zach, and Chad.

23. BRITISH: Abby tells the gang to take off their shoes because the carpet was imported from Iran.
AMERICAN: Abby tells the gang they can’t smoke pot in the house because the wallpaper was imported from Rome.

24. BRITISH: The party goes well into morning.
AMERICAN: The party happens mostly at night.

25. BRITISH: Cassie is obsessed with going through the kitchen, having struggled with anorexia. She also asks Sid point blank if he’s going to “fuck me later.” She doesn’t want to smoke weed because it “makes you hungry.”
AMERICAN: Non-Anorexic Cadie takes a pill and bops around at the party. There is no proposition for sex.

26. BRITISH: Chris, Anwar, and Maxxie have a lame time at Maxxie’s Big Gay Night Out, which consists of two men dancing and a mostly empty bar.
AMERICAN: We don’t see the lame “lesbian party” at all, just Chris, Abbud, and Tea arriving to Abby’s party drinking from a bottle of vodka.

27. BRITISH: At the party, Chris meets and flirts with a Polish woman, Denuta, who tells him, “We make fuck, then steal car!”
AMERICAN: At the party, Chris steals keys from a communal phone and key jar.

28. BRITISH: They steal a Mercedes sedan to take the unconscious Cassie to the hospital.
AMERICAN: They steal a black Cadillac Escalade to take the unconscious Cadie to the hospital.

29. BRITISH: Cassie wakes up in the car right outside the hospital and says she had the best dream.
AMERICAN: Cadie wakes up in the car right outside the hospital and says she needs to pee.

30. BRITISH: Anwar has to take a leak.
AMERICAN: Cadie hunches over the shrubs to take a very long piss.