UK Inbetweeners fans cringed nationwide when an American version of a national treasure was announced, then they saw photographs of the main cast, many doubled over in pain at the sight of something indescribable, but it was happening and we could do nothing, but wait.
I approached the episode with as much preemptive hopes than when you pick up a tube of Pringles, only to find it’s empty. I hadn’t judged the show before seeing it or the images and trailer, but I will admit to saying that I thought it looked crap. I wasn’t too far wrong.
So, what was wrong with it?
Will wearing a blazer. It doesn’t work purely due to the fact that he’s attending a public school that doesn’t require a uniform. It worked in the UK Inbetweeners, because Will was the only one to wear FULL school uniform, even when he didn’t need to. Also, for extra geekiness, he wore glasses and had a certain gait, US Will is just a typical average American.
Neil, as I have mentioned before (not on this blog), is like someone out of Hanson, but in a more hippy surfer kind of way, but having a deeper voice than you would have first imagined him to have still doesn’t give you the impression that his intelligence is a few points below average. It seemed quite insulting to think that, the people who did the casting for the show consider young Americans with such long hair to be, well, dumb.
Simon almost provides a believeable performance. Out of the four, he’s the only one that’s as close to a UK Simon as they’re going to get. The only problem was how quick his relationship with Carli escalated, something which took the UK version a couple of episodes to develop, even the spray painting on the driveway didn’t happen until the second episode.
Then we come to Jay. Oh dear. What happened there? How did they ever think that the thing they associated with the British Inbetweeners Jay with, would EVER, ever work? There is just so much wrong. He’s bigger (let’s not say he’s fat, that would be rude), totally different hair colour (not being Gingerist here), has questionable fashion sense (yeah, those jackets…) and … pretty much just fails at every hurdle.
Then there’s MTV beeping everything, even the word dick, I mean, The Inbetweeners is meant for a mature audience of 18 or over, if you’re going to target it a younger audience, continue to make the show, but call it something else. As some have probably already said, it’s just another US remake of a British show that will be spoilt or just not as good and one of the reasons I think the US fails is down to how quickly they go through episodes.
It happened with Being Human, I hadn’t seen much of series three in the UK, but the US version was showing things in season one that I hadn’t even seen. What’s the rush? Step back and let the story unfold instead of telling everything as soon as possible and leaving people high and dry when we have to wait longer than usual for the writers to catch up. At this rate, US Inbetweeners will go through all three series in what I’m guessing is supposed to be a 10 to 13 episode season.
Reviews have already been quite harsh and from what I’ve seen in the first episode, they’re quite justified. Defend it if you want to, Americans unaware of the original British version may find it enjoyable, the rest of us find it rather atrocious and disappointing. Please, MTV/Paramount/whoever, unless you have a lot of money to waste, please don’t make a US Inbetweeners movie. For the sake of all humanity.
As for what’s right with it… It will probably be canned before it hits UK shores.