A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The Inbetweeners takes a satirical look at teenage boyhood. Underneath all the sexual humor are some positive messages about friendship and the struggle to find your place in the world.
Positive Role Models
Will and his group of friends are as filthy-minded and dirty-mouthed as any teenage boys ever shown on television, but they're not actually bad guys. They usually mean well, they like each other and their parents, and though they view females mostly as sex objects, their sex talk generally isn't hateful, and they treat real girls rather respectfully and shyly. They're constantly ranking each other out, but they're supportive of each other in ways that will resonate with teen viewers. Parents, the school principal, and other authority figures are present and well-meaning, if not always aware of the hijinks going on with Will and his friends.
Violence & Scariness
The main characters playfully wrestle and push each other a lot; stereotypical bullies are often on hand to shove the guys or humiliate them, as when a hulking football player snaps a photo of Will sitting on the toilet with his pants down.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Constant, explicit sex talk. Characters talk about double penetration, how to make females orgasm, Will's mom being a MILF, boners, and a host of other topics that will make parents shudder and teens giggle. But it's all talk: Very little skin is shown, and the teens are seeking sex, not having it.
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Both bleeped ("s--t," "f--k"), and audible swearing ("ass," "bitches"), as well as near-constant smutty talk about "sluts," "holes," "beavers," and the like.
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Products & Purchases
The Inbetweeners is an American remake of a British show; teens may want to watch the original, which is just as raunchy.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Underage characters buy and drink liquor to the point of drunkenness and embarrassing behavior. There are references to "drug raves," cocaine, and heroin, though the characters don't actually do drugs on screen.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Inbetweeners is a raunchy comedy centering on four teen boys and their high school trials and tribulations. The four boys lust non-stop after women and indulge in some very dirty talk, which ranges from a discussion of whether one character's father is gay to the advantages of having sex with "RV girls" who are usually "sluts." In addition to talking constantly about sex in very explicit terms, the underage characters buy and drink alcohol, skip school, and sneak around visiting love interests without parents' knowledge. But although the characters talk and fantasize constantly about sex, sex never actually occurs on screen, and female characters are presented as relatable, whole people instead of objects. Expect drug references and some bleeped language ("f--k," "s--t") and some audible cursing ("ass," "bitch").
Is It Any Good?
There's a very sharp writerly hand on the wheel of THE INBETWEENERS, which elevates the humor from dumb raunch to truly inspired filthiness in the same way the original British series did. But there's plenty here to trouble parents, who would probably prefer to watch the show themselves for a laugh, rather than have teens tune in. One gag will illustrate this concept: Will shows up to skip school with his friends and lies to one of their mothers that the van parked down the street is his. "I know it's a little molestery," he says, "but I got a great deal, from a molester. But he didn't molest in it, he just used it to um, transport for molesting." A few minutes later, the boys pass the van as a shirtless man leans out and offers them a ride. "Maybe later," says Simon. "You got cool muscles." A few minutes later, Will refers to having "dodged a rape."
If that set up and dialogue is hilarious to you, you'll find The Inbetweeners hysterical. And teens who are able to distinguish reality from hyperreal satire will probably also find The Inbetweeners very funny. But parents will want to talk to teens about sex, underage drinking, and treating each other with dignity and respect after they watch, though it would probably be too embarrassing to actually sit through all the sex jokes and watch together.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.