With exams looming, I imagine most of us will be looking for more ways to procrastinate and more TV shows to binge-watch. If you’re stuck for ideas, The Inbetweeners is a great choice. For those of you who haven’t heard of the Inbetweeners (read American), the show and subsequent two films are about a group of four teenage boys’ journey through the 6th form. It’s a coming-of-age comedy that portrays teenage life frighteningly accurately.
Will is the nerdy, socially inept, posh transfer student who attaches himself to the three other main characters, Simon, Jay and Neil. Will is by far the most hilariously tragic character, who puts his foot in his mouth far too often. Being here at St. Andrews, I’m sure we all know some Will-like characters. Bless. Simon seems to be the most normal one out of the foursome, that is, until he violently explodes over the slightest provocation. Jay is the resident sex-pest with a compulsive lying disorder. Neil is the lovably idiotic friend who seems to get dumber and dumber every episode. The foursome are heartbreakingly naïve and its their unending naiveté that is the cause of most of the jokes.
The show and the films capture the essence and frustration of 6th form life, from awkward sexual encounters to embarrassing moments with your parents. The Inbetweeners is witty, smart, and quintessentially British. Like all British comedic heroes, the clueless foursome, needless to say, are constantly bullied and humiliated. The show is a reminder not to take yourself too seriously, and that even if you screw-up life goes on. Oh, and also not to go to school (or indeed Uni) carrying a briefcase, lest you be called “briefcase wanker” for the rest of the year.
That said, the show is indisputably better than the two films. The shorter, more compact version gives the show a definite edge, and boundaries against which the characters fight. The films on the other hand, whilst abundant with moments of hilarity lacks the tight structure that made it all come together. The second film will conclude the show forever as the actors have already declared that they will not return for another film or series. And whilst we’re all sad its ending, the teenage naiveté that motivated the show and made it a success really does not translate well into adulthood.
All images sourced from Pinterest.