The great thing about writing for your own website is that nothing ever really gets put away. No story is too dated because see, if Small Fry was a publication, I would never have been able to have my little gush about The Inbetweeners, an old show (E4 aired the pilot in 2008) that I recently discovered and loved instantly.
The Inbetweeners follows the misadventures of four teenage boys in some humdrum English town that for some reason reminds me of Pune. The characters are amusing, though they somehow become caricatures of a type. There’s the uptight Will, also the narrator of the show, who wears blazers over his school sweater and is unbelievably pretentious and stuffy. There’s the naive Simon, who somehow gets cuter as he gets more pathetic. There’s the little pervert Jay who’s got plenty of British swagger and who believes he’s irresistible (he’s not) and then Neil, the dumb one, who personifies the adage, ignorance is bliss. The show has incredible tight plots, razor sharp dialogue and thankfully, the teenage angst is kept to a bare minimum. And despite its obviously exaggerated comic sequences, a lot of the banter seems real.
The boys have all agreed that Will’s mother is “fit” and insist on holding long drawn out conversations involving their fantasies of her in front of Will. It’s this kind of light hearted rubbish that makes the episode easy to digest, but not in a moronic way. After weeks of watching shows like Breaking Bad and Homeland, it feels good to just sit back and laugh. And oh, the way I laughed. I have this theory that things just sound funnier in a British accent and it’s no secret that the more slang a show gives me, the happier I get. Of course, I wouldn’t know if it is legitimate British schoolboy slang, but get this… A party with girls is a “party knee deep in Muff or Cludge.” (Don’t ask), and for some absurd reason being gay is “being bent.” I mean, who cares if it’s realistic?
Also, one character I’m particularly fond of is the irate, bitingly witty, sometimes downright evil head of the Sixth Form, Mr Gilbert. That could be because years of reading the Just William series has given me a certain soft spot for evil school headmasters who viciously pour hate-orade on their students. (Snape did have the funniest lines) Seriously though, out of the million reasons you should watch the Inbetweeners, Gilbert is in the top five. Great unwholesome, laugh till you cry entertainment is number one.