What The Show "Skam" Is About And Why You Should Watch It

A few nights ago I was doing what I do almost every night, staying up to late scrolling on my phone. This particular night I was using Instagram's explore page as my distraction and I had been down the rabbit hole of posts and one caught my attention. It was in French and because I am possibly going to France I wanted to know more. I clicked on the hashtag under the post that I assumed was the name of the show, Skam. This is where I got completely lost. 

Kellyn Simpkin-Girl In Front Of Eiffel Tower France Hat Paris Kellyn Simpkin / Her Campus

I got confused because all the posts had characters I had not seen in the original post speaking languages that were not French, but there were also posts with the original people I had seen. So what was the original show and what wasn’t? What is the show about? Am I going to spend way too much time looking this up and not sleeping? 


Spoiler, the answer to the last question is yes and this article is my overtired explanation of what I figured out. 


So the show is called Skam, I got that part right but the clip I saw, however, is not the original show. The original Skam is a web series from Norway that started in 2015 and ran for 4 seasons. The show is about a group of students who deal with a variety of issues icluding eating disorders, sexual assault, mental health, and homosexuality, but every season of the show follows a new main character from the group. The script was written in almost real time with the writer taking fans online opinions into consideration while writing. Season three of the original show broke all streaming records in Norway and viewership records in neighboring countries and all of this success came with little to no traditional promotion. 


The main promotion the show does is creating instagram accounts for the characters and posting to them in real time with the airing of the show. As a show that lives online it is probably not surprising that the show runners are incredibly good at utilizing social media to further their product. They are extremely consistent posters and it kinda breaks the fourth wall. The shows fanbase and promotion basically lives on the internet. The people who run this show are clearly on the right side of where tv is headed. 

two phones lying flat and plugged in Steve Johnson on Unsplash

So that's all great and very impressive, that however, does not explain the French show I saw. I assumed it was a remake, something that happens all the time with popular shows. Or maybe it was like The Office where started in another country and became more popularized in another. Except this show has SEVEN remakes in different countries. That's an insane number of remakes for a show I had never heard of! It even has an American remake called SKAM Austin. Like did I just miss that this was a thing? Do other people know about this?

woman eating popcorn Photo by JESHOOTS.com from Pexels

So seven remakes. The original is from Norway. The other six are from France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, United States and Spain. Though each show has its own approach they all, at least to start, follow the same plot.


By the way apparently there are more remakes in the works, oh AND a book series.


This leads me to now. I am clearly late to a party that started like five years ago, but I wanted to know what I had missed. So I watched as much of the original series I could watch in English. 


Is it good? Sure 


Do I fully understand this whole situation? Absolutely not


Am I going to try and watch more? 100% yes I am 

Netflix / Giphy