Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The Inbetweeners US (2012)


I was tinkering with eztv last week and was curiously googling some TV show titles. Fall Season TV opened about a month ago and TVland is abuzz once again (don't those 2 words feel so textbook-y? I digress.) with a handful of shiny new shows.

The Inbetweeners US: Simon, Will, Neil Sutherland, & Jay
One show I googled was The Inbetweeners US. The premise of the show is this - you have the jocks, you have the nerds, and when you're not any of those, you have the inbetweeners.

Apparently, The Inbetweeners was a critically-acclaimed award-winning British serires that ran in the UK from 2008 to 2010. The 2012 show has US at the end to tell it apart from the UK one. I read the premise of the show and I did not have any feelings about the show. I was not definite that I disliked it but I also wasn't excited about the idea.

Then the Wikipedia page mentioned that the writer penning the US version (Brad Copeland for MTV) also wrote for "Arrested Development" and "My Name is Earl." Never watched Earl before but I am a big fan of AD. Arrested Development was genius! If I remember right, one TV critic (or was it just TV Guide? haha) said before that AD introduced a brand new kind of humor to television and inspired the likes of (multiple Emmy-winner) 30 Rock. If AD writers wrote Inbetweeners then I thought, it must be gooood.

The Inbetweeners US is the kinda show that grows on you. It makes you smile to yourself cos it reminds you about high school and how both stupid and fragile you were haha. After watching 3 episodes, I just knew I will be watching the show to the end of the short season. 

Will McKenzie moves from a private school to public high school. Will is stiff and awkward, wears pressed shirts with ties to school and has zero skills to survive in a public high school. He gets thrown into a group of boys who reluctantly but eventually embrace him into the group.  He takes himself so seriously and it's funny cos nobody else does.

Simon Cooper is the first person Will meets in his new high school, Grove High. He gets assigned by Principal Gilbert to show Will around so he reluctantly obliges. Simon is the group's softie, his high school life revolves around this pretty girl Carly, whom he's had a crush on since forever. He also drives the "muppet yellow" car, the unofficial group ride and quiet witness to their many many happy adventures.

Jay Cartwright is the self-proclaimed leader of the group. He is obsessed about sex and always talks in cliches and made up sex stories. He thinks he is leading the group to "coolness" (he is not.) He is also working very very very hard to be the school class clown. He has very little credibility and he always claims that he "doesn't lie."

Neil Sutherland is the ditz. He's my favorite cos he plays dumb crazy gooood. (It kinda makes me wonder if he is actually ditzy or he's just really good. Either way, works for the show.) Plus he's cute! Neil is chill and relaxed and how you want to be like when on vacation except - that's how he is on a daily basis. He's the kind of person you can't offend even you work really hard to. To Neil, everything's cool - just don't call his dad gay.
Considering high school has been milked of all possible entertainment value - humor, drama, coming of age, etc. - The Inbetweeners US is surprisingly entertaining. The show happily avoids the trap of making stories be about the glorious triumph of the "uncool" kids and their transition to "coolness."

The inbetweeners don't become cool. They try very hard to, but as real life usually goes, they don't succeed very much. I guess that's part of the show's charm. The show is a happy retelling of the misadventures of inbetweeners and how things go down in the "in between."

It's funny and stupid and honest and an endearing reminder of youth. And the perks of youth and your infinite free passes to stupid decisions. And how fleeting it is. Haha. Watch it!

1 comment:

  1. That's my favorite !
    and now this show on Taiwan.


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