Episode 39: Dictator Tots

Sheely and Wrather discuss the premiere of MTV’s Skins and begin the 2011 Spring Semester of Gossip Girl.

Update: Please like the new TFT Podcast Facebook Page.

Ryan Sheely and Matthew Wrather discuss the premiere of MTV’s Skins and begin the 2011 Spring Semester of Gossip Girl.

There will be no spoiler warnings and there will be many naughty words. If either of those things bothers you, don’t click!

→ Download TFT Episode 39 (MP3)

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10 Comments on “Episode 39: Dictator Tots”

  1. Amanda #

    YES! Make a FB page! The TFT twitter is too quiet and on Facebook it’s easier to interact with other listeners (as opposed to just the 2 of you).


  2. Pasteur #

    To answer what was almost a question, the hierarchy of Ohio Show Choir tournaments is entirely fictional.


  3. Nat #

    I’m glad someone else shares my disdain about american parents stressing the outrageousness of US Skins when it’s attempts to make it tame both completely undermine the message and make in worse that the UK version.

    As the setup between Dan and Blair is going to nearly complete their habit of just hooking up all the characters in various combinations, what do you think is next? I’m thinking Eric and Nate would be good.


  4. T. #

    WOW, you really think Glee is more worthy of overthinking than UK Skins? To each his own I guess. UK version is definitely flawed, but it’s got a lot more nuance and depth than Glee.


  5. Meghan #

    I thought it was really interesting that you discussed how sentimentality in the US Skins made the sex more intimate or shocking than in the UK version where it’s just a physical thing. Moreover, when you apply this train of logic to Dan & Blair’s relationship, it makes sense that they were embarrassed that people might discover their friendship. In a weird way, the fact that these two characters might be forming a bond of true respect, mutual appreciation and friendship gives them a greater intimacy than say when Vanessa and Chuck boned. It would be less embarrassing for them if they got drunk and had sex because in the world of Gossip Girl that is common and can easily be dismissed. However, if they do start to respect and care about each other, they are put in far more vulnerable political positions. Also, I could write an essay for why I’ve been hungering for a Dan/Blair romance for about two years now. Essentially, Dan and Blair have the most in common–as you said they are pretentious, but also intelligent and ambitious. Moreover, Dan fits the mold of an Audrey Hepburn love interest (think Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday, George Peppard in Breakfast at Tiffany’s or even the intellectual and admonishing Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady) more than Chuck or Nate ever could. Even from a plot and character development perspective, this hookup needs to happen to finally advance Dan’s character so he’s longer a pawn of Serena’s whims or the focus of Vanessa’s angst. Whenever Dan is around Blair, he seems to assert what his own values and ambitions are, and that makes him far more interesting. Likewise, Blair needs to confront her own values and ambitions and what they mean in terms of morality when she’s around Dan.

    I’m blabbering, but those are just some of my thoughts.

    ps Is it any surprise the Thorpes are from Chicago? If African-Americans enter the world of Gossip Girl with any prestige, they clearly must come from the city that’s given us Oprah and the Obamas.

    pps If Rena’s date, Mr. Fuji, is in the film industry–are we supposed to take that as the movie industry or the physical production of film industry? I want the latter.


  6. Timothy J Swann #

    There were Skins, I tuned in…
    A quick thought on the tran-atlantic process – has anyone been watching Showtime/BBC’s Episodes, which deals with just such a story? It’s been criticised by some comedians here as being stereotypical, but praised by TV producers for being spot-on to what happens with shows taken by networks in America. I’ve heard some writing about this and the sentimentality is right. Skins UK depicts underage sex but it doesn’t especially glorify it, as you say, it’s awkward and human and a bit of a mess… and if reactionary organisations watched these shows rather than read their content descriptions, it’s not even a matter of film theory but of the story itself.

    I haven’t seen the US Skins yet because I’m more interested in the US Being Human, which by all accounts is far less of a mess.


    • Matthew Wrather OTI Staff #

      I have been watching Shameless on Showtime; I think it’s pretty good on its own merits in the landscape of US TV. But I can see how a less sentimental version would be amazing. I’m a bit afraid to investigate the UK version, because it may well ruin my enjoyment of the US show. Fortunately, there are eight series, so I’ll gain more than I lose.

      Funny enough, the Showtime show “Episodes,” which I’m also watching, traces the process of adaptation from UK to US tv…


      • Timothy J Swann #

        Oh, okay, I’m still bitter at US Shameless for stealing the budget used by Channel 4 to buy the whole Daily Show…

        And massive UK hits like Life on Mars and Spaced totally failed to be adapated. I’ve seen the US Spaced pilot script, and it is very strange, very bad, but very strange too.

        And Episodes does seem to be using the adaptation process as a conceit/excuse to use Matt Le Blanc in that exaggerated-self way that’s so popular at the moment, rather than totally exploring the issue.


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