Call me a traitor, but when it comes to “SKINS” — the British teen drama about to jump the pond and come to the United States — the Brits definitely do it better. I may be jumping the gun here: the American version of “SKINS” doesn’t premier on MTV until January 2011. But judging from the sneak preview released last week, I’m not totally sold.

“SKINS America” takes place in Baltimore, Maryland and features a cast that is, admittedly, better-looking that the original over all. Still, it seems to be lacking a few things.

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The new version is an exact copy of the original in terms of the scenarios experienced by the cast. It seems that the producers couldn’t be bothered to adapt the original storyline — a dangerous move seeing as the Brits did it extremely well.

And then there’s the fundamental issue that one of the things that makes British “SKINS” so appealing is that it presents an image of British teenage culture, something inherently exotic to American audiences. The new version may be a little too familiar to have the same appeal.

But then again it may end up completely surprising me. Come January, we’ll see which “SKINS” reigns supreme.

Check out the trailer at