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Inbetweeners US: Stateside Success?

26th June 2012

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Four foul-mouthed adolescent misfits on hopeless pursuits for sex and popularity: The Inbetweeners is the most honest, accurate and painfully relatable insight to the life of British teenagers there has ever been on telly.

We all have a special place in our hearts for Will, Simon, Neil and Jay, their catchphrases and the hopeless adventures that brought tears of laughter to teenagers and adults alike.

The lives of these middle-class sixth form students were caputured brilliantly by hilarious scenes of the boys bunking off school and getting caught, failing miserably to buy alcohol with a fake ID and Will's "Help, I'm trapped in a bubble" moment. And who doesn't have a bullshitting friend like Jay?

The American version will hit MTV in August, and the big question is will the show be a success stateside?

I think it will: crude American teen movies like Superbad and American Pie are great examples of the fascination of the adventures of young guys seeking sex and social acceptance, enduring miserably embarassing moments along the way. In American Pie we saw desparate virgins chasing girls, drinking  'special juice' from a cup, close encounters with baked goods and THAT webcam scene. Similiar goofy and cringe-worthy antics that we see in The Inbetweeners.

The new cast aren't the standard Hollywood thirty-something actors we see on other teen programmes either. The young, dorky unknown actors look great together in the photographs released in anticipation for the pilot. Scripts of the first series have also been previewed: classics like the Thorpe Park episode are re-visited and there are also brand new adventures. The US series rings true to the original, the characters are the same and Simon even has the same terrible yellow car!

The Inbetweeners was a breathe of fresh air when it hit our screens in 2008. British teens were portrayed as drug-abusing, violent nymphos by the soaps and other TV shows like Skins; but the truth is we were all too busy playing X-box and revising for our GCSEs. I believe stateside, The Inbetweeners will be great for the American teen audience as it was for us. Glossy US teen dramas like Gossip Girl and 90210 portray the lives of glamourous and wealthy students finding themselves in ridiculous situations that the writers of Lost would be proud of. Entertaining, yes but not exactly relatable to the teenagers of America. Other shows like Glee and The Hard Times of RJ Berger are funny insights to 'real' teen problems, angst and issues; The Inbetweeners will soon follow suit.

This isn't the first TV show to cross the Atlantic: the Skins re-make was axed after the first season in the US due to its underage sex scenes and themes that didn't relate to US audiences. However, The Office re-make has been a great success, as Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant remained in the producers chairs. Morris and Beesley are to make sure The Inbetweeners will work for its new audience

The Inbetweeners could be very successfull in the USA, although don't expect the slang to remain the same. I don't think 'SchoolBus Jerk-offs' would work as well as the notorious 'Bus Wanker' catchphrase. (And come on, who didn't yell that at people from their mate's car?)

See the cast of The Inbetweeners US discuss the show below... 

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