The Inbetweeners (UK)

Common Sense Media says

Crass comedy is heavy on drinking, but teen pals feel real.

Age(i)

2
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5
6
7
8
9
10
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12
13
14
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

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

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.

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

This review of The Inbetweeners (UK) was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Written byAnonymous January 8, 2012
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

DEFINITELY not for under 13s

This show is extremely inappropriate, yet teens come across this sort of behaviour in life anyway, this show just compresses it into 30 minutes.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byRacing Flame December 19, 2013
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Some of the best comedy on TV. Alright for 13+

It is a great British comedy which I think is alright for 13+. I don't understand how it only got 3 Stars but I guess because it is British they don't like it as much and because I'm British I will like it more.
Teen, 13 years old Written bychild3445 August 21, 2013
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Brilliant and hilarious but not for children!

I think this show is hilarious, but has a lot of swearing, which I don't think is an issue really because they hear it all in school, but there is one or two episodes when the have sex, but no untidy is shown and they don't do it properly anyway, and in one episode they take drugs and they drink a lot. So I say not for teens under 14.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 16 years old Written bywhile07 April 4, 2013
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

No

Not for kids; dirty and bad mouthed programme and its not even funny
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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