U.K. youth television: moral panic and the process of U.S. adaptation in Skins
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U.K. youth television increasingly gains popularity in the U.S. as international format sales and online viewing increases. Both U.S. and U.K. youth television are produced in an environment o f moral panic over youth. Y outh programs in the U.K. address the moral panic of"Broken Britain" and create an alternative narrative about youth. This liberating aspect of U.K. youth programs is migrating to the U.S. in the form of shows like Skins and Misfits. The original versions of these programs are very popular, and when these programs are adapted, they remain popular but lose their unique stylistic qualities and their alternative political messages about youth. This thesis examines how the process of international adaptation homogenizes U.K. youth television, making it acceptable to censorship groups in the U.S. This process affects the quality of U.S. adaptations of U.K. youth television by removing the liberating stylistic and subcultural aspects of the original program that allow U.K. youth television to address and combat moral panic over youth. Ultimately, although U.S. youth audiences would benefit from alternative narratives to that of moral panic, until U.S. producers find a way to translate the innovative stylistic and subcultural aspects of U.K. youth programs, adaptations of U.K. youth programs will not be able to provide this alternative. Incorporating generic tropes and broadcasting on cable networks may allow these adaptations to fulfill their potential as sources of alternative narratives about youth.
Thesis (M.F.A.)--Boston University