Observations: In line for the Skins revolution
Friday 20 November 2009
It's 10 o'clock on a damp Sunday morning in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and the area, formerly home to bums and punks and most recently colonised by young professionals, hipsters and the odd celebrity, has today been taken over by a long line of chattering teenagers.
The reason these kids have forsaken their sacred weekend lie-in? It's the New York casting call for MTV's US remake of Skins, which will start filming early next year.
Teenagers have come from all over, both semi-professional – one girl from the La Guardia School for the Performing Arts admits with a giggle that "our entire class has turned out" – to those who have never acted at all. "I've never auditioned for anything, but the show means a lot to me," says 17-year-old Jackie Wharton, who has travelled down from Maryland with her mother for today's event. "The US version's going to be set in Baltimore, which is near where I live so maybe that'll help me stand out."
Also hoping to stand out are savvy quartet Nick, 16, Conor, 15, Skye, 15 and Rebecca, 15, who have travelled an hour and a half to the city from upstate New York. "We're just going to talk and talk, let it flow and see if they think we're right," says Nick with a grin. "It says 'no experience necessary', so I thought I'd mention A Clockwork Orange, talk about the Pixies and, you know, see what they think."
Audition tactics apart, most of the teens queuing down the street are sure about one thing: even though the US remake is being executive produced by original creator Bryan Elsley and will follow the original's blueprint by hiring young, largely unknown writers to keep the dialogue fresh, a US version of the show will still struggle to compete with the original. "It won't be as edgy as the UK version," says Jackie. "The thing about Skins is that it's more realistic than other teen shows; US shows don't depict what teenage life is like at all." Nick agrees: "The American version probably won't be as good. It's on MTV for a start. They can't show the nudity on US TV and they'll probably have to tone down the swearing."
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Doctor Who film will definitely happen, leaked Sony emails reveal
Glastonbury 2015 tickets: How to make sure you’re successful in Sunday's re-sale
The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer has leaked – watch
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling