The Inbetweeners (UK)

TV review by
Will Wade, Common Sense Media
The Inbetweeners (UK) TV Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Crass comedy is heavy on drinking, but teen pals feel real.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 22 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Teens often deceive their parents and teachers in pursuit of drinking and sex; they focus on satisfying their immediate desires without thinking about how their actions might impact others -- or whether there might be any long-term consequences for themselves.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The lead characters are focused mainly on getting liquor and having sex; they're often successful at the former, and though they have poor luck with girls, they seem willing to exaggerate and brag about their limited experiences. They sometimes lie to their parents and teachers to avoid trouble, but when they're eventually found out, they do show remorse. In the end, they make for poor role models, but in many ways they're also realistic portrayals of teenage boys.

Violence

High school bullies sometimes make threats.

Sex

The high school boys talk constantly about having sex, often with profane and highly suggestive language. Like most young men, there’s far more talk than action; the occasional sex scenes are generally nudity-free.

Language

Just about every character swears frequently, including adult teachers speaking to students. Only "f--k" is bleeped; words like “s--t,” dick,” “wanker,” “balls,” “tits,” “twat,” “gash,” “c--k,” and more fly free.

Consumerism

Some brand-name liquors make appearances, including Beefeater gin and Drambuie.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lots of drinking. The underage teen characters spend much of their time plotting to get alcohol. They use fake IDs to drink at bars, lie about their ages to make purchases at liquor stores, and raid their parents’ liquor cabinets. They're shown drinking and sometimes get quite drunk. They make questionable choices while under the influence and sometimes get quite sick.

What parents need to know

Parents need know that this edgy BBC series about high school students focuses on four average guys who spend most of their time trying to get alcohol and meet girls (though they have much more luck with liquor than with the ladies). Though they're underage even by British standards, they drink often and sometimes get quite drunk. While not much sex is shown, there’s plenty of graphic discussion on the topic, as well as a lot of casual swearing (including unbleeped uses of "s--t"). Bottom line? It’s raunchy and crass, but it also rings true -- it really feels like watching four guys in their natural environment.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHi5215 April 13, 2020

Funny

School is has bad thing that are said and can’t help if your kid wants to watch it think about all the stuff you think they know and if there at the right time... Continue reading
Adult Written byMummy101 April 12, 2020

Not as bad as people think

Give it a go if it’s too much ask them about and and if they understand there nothing to worry about. They hear all the nonsense at school.
Kid, 10 years old June 2, 2020
Teen, 13 years old Written bylucie..roberts May 14, 2020

Suitable for mature 12 year olds

This show contains mature themes, but is accurate to teenage British life. It would be really awkward to watch as a family (sexual content, but the only nudity... Continue reading

What's the story?

Will (Simon Bird) and his three best mates -- Simon (Joe Thomas), Jay (James Buckley), and Neil (Blake Harrison) -- are all students at a British secondary school, but studying is about the last thing on their minds. Instead, they spend most of their energy trying to get liquor and meet girls. Finding booze doesn’t seem to present too much difficulty, which adds plenty of drunken silliness to their clumsy efforts at seduction. They aren’t the coolest kids in school, nor the best-looking, and they certainly aren’t as smooth as they think they are -- they're just average kids trying to muddle their way through school.

Is it any good?

On the surface, INBETWEENERS looks like many other sophomoric movies and TV shows about teens trying to get drunk and have sex. And the basic plotline is pretty much the same. But the show's characters give this British comedy a bit more depth. Sure, they swear constantly and can’t hold their liquor, but their relationships have more depth than the average teen comedy.

The show's friendships and situations feel real. The guys drink together, tease each other, and endure the slings and arrows of adolescence together. When love knocks them down, they help each other up. Some viewers may be put off by the frequent underage drinking and the profanity -- and both of those things certainly make the series iffy viewing for younger teens. But most of the edgy stuff doesn't seem that gratuitous. This is what many real-life teens do: they drink and swear and awkwardly try to couple up. So don't be surprised if this entertaining comedy leaves you wincing and laughing simultaneously.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about youth culture. Do you think this is an accurate depiction of high school social life? Do teens really drink this much?

  • Do you think underage teens really drink this much? Is it this easy for high school students to get alcohol in the United States? How do you feel about teenage drinking?

  • The show is set in England -- do you think American teens are similar?

TV details

For kids who love stories about teens

Our editors recommend

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