The Inbetweeners (UK)
What parents need to know
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.
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.
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?