The Inbetweeners

images via e4.com

A friend of mine recently recommended a British comedy series called The Inbetweeners. I had never heard of it, but found that the first two seasons were available on Netflix to stream instantly.  Each episode is less than half an hour long, and each season was six episodes, so in one lazy weekend I was able to watch both seasons.

The show revolves around the daily lives and mishaps of four awkward teenage boys and their attempts to co-exist with the popular crowd, the bullies, their exasperatingly caring parents, and the most confounding group in their world – girls. As well as finding themselves between social strata, they’re also no longer little boys, but not quite men – hence the title of the show (I assume). The group of four consists of a cautious nerd (Will), an endearing idiot (Neil), a pathologically lying know-it-all (Jay), and an average Joe (Simon).

I found it to be extremely well written, and perfectly cast. It is raunchy, cringe-inducing, and often hysterical, and the chemistry between the four boys is realistic and at times adorable. It’s like The Wonder Years, but far more obscene. As with other successful shows featuring foursomes (Seinfeld, I Love LucyThe Golden Girls, Sex and the City), there’s a character for every viewer.

I’m looking forward to watching the third season, as well as an accompanying full-length feature film that was released in the UK last year.

MTV has produced an American version of this show (which makes sense because the language and situations in the original would never be allowed to air on any basic network here) that will premiere in August, but I saw a trailer for it and it looks awful. The acting is not as good, the script seems to be a watered-down version of the original, and it looks all-around cheesier. I also read recently that an American studio is re-doing the movie, which makes no sense at all, and will probably also be terrible.

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