TV Review - The Inbetweeners (2012)

Brad Copeland (My Name is Earl and Arrested Development) develops this British series by Iain Morris and Damon Beesley and does so rather poorly. Being that I've seen three episodes, I think I'm qualified to say that, but it doesn't mean that things can't improve. I don't think they will, but they could. The American version of The Office had a similar rough start but got better. The Inbetweeners could do the same.

The series revolves around four, high school friends. They're not popular but they're not freaks or geeks, in the same sense as the 1999 NBC series, but the definition of those, high school words have changed over the past five or ten years. They're described as somewhere in between popularity and geekdom. One of the friends is Will, played by Joey Pollari. Will used to be in private school where he probably had to wear suits to class or else ties and sweater vests. He's well-organized and well-mannered. He's prim and proper, not stuck up but certainly square.

He's thrown into the mix of three other guys who are the complete opposite. Compared to Will, they're pigs. All they do is say dirty things and try to get laid all the time or talk about getting laid all the time. It's almost mind-numbing. After a while, it's also not funny. The thrust of the first three episodes and I suspect the rest of the series is Bubba Lewis who plays Simon and his romantic pursuit of one girl named Carly, which has some potential.

The second episode had gags that were very predictable and jokes with punchlines that you could see coming a mile away, and this is without me having seen the original U.K. series. Yet, it is in stark contrast to the original U.K. version, which had dialogue that was like its editing, which was snappier and more rapid-fire. It's ironic because the style of editing that's more associated with MTV and music videos is absent in Copeland's series, which is broadcast on MTV. By comparison, this show is slow and boring.

Copeland's show just lacks the energy of the British series. I suppose Copeland wanted to differentiate his program from the British series, which is good, and he does accomplish that. The dynamics between the guys in the U.S. version is definitely not what it is in the U.K. version. Sadly, those U.S. dynamics aren't as interesting or as bold as the other.

Despite being about four teenage boys, the show focuses on Will and Simon mostly. At times, it felt like the show could be a weekly Superbad (2007). Even though I wasn't a fan of Superbad, I could get behind a weekly series of such, if the focus were on the friendship between Will and Simon and not just following in the horny thoughts and wandering of a bunch of average, white teenage boys.

One Star out of Five.
Rated TV-14.
Running Time: 30 mins.
Airs Mondays at 10PM on MTV.


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