This Popular Norwegian Teen Show Is Being Remade For The U.S. & You Should Be Excited

Photo: YouTube/NRK P3
I'm currently in the middle of re-watching Gossip Girl on Netflix for the fifth time, so it's about time that a new teen drama took over my life. The upcoming American version of Norwegian series SKAM might be that show. The teen drama has sex, scandal, and plenty of relatable issues real teenagers face. However, Skam is more than just your latest high school fare: Unlike Gossip Girl's seriously outdated use of Sidekicks and text blasts to communicate with the entire Upper East Side, Skam is working social media into the very core of the show.

The New York Times was the first to report that Skam would be getting a U.S. version, titled Shame — and the Times posed the question of whether the series would translate. The newspaper isn't talking about the dialogue; it's talking about the format of the show itself. The series, which is wildly popular in Norway and growing in international markets, posts clips in "real time." If the characters are having a scene in a classroom on a Monday morning, the clip of their conversation gets posted for viewers that same morning. The clips are then compiled into the full episode, most of which are less than a half hour long.

It's not just the "live" aspect of the series that makes Skam so unique. Fans can follow the characters on Instagram and see text messages between them on network NRK's Facebook page. You don't just watch Skam on a weekly basis; the series essentially incorporates fans into the lives of its characters, as though fans were keeping up with their own friends.

Will Shame work as well as Skam? Ultimately, that will depend on execution. Popular U.K. series Skins flopped when it received an American version for MTV — the show lost its edge when it was plucked from its original Bristol setting. In terms of format alone, though, American fans should be receptive. A show you can watch sporadically throughout the week, and keep up with via social-media lurking? In an age when plenty of us have an emotional umbilical cord that keeps us tied to our phones, Skam's model seems pretty perfect.
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