Season 2 of Damon Beesley & Iain Morris' The Inbetweeners hit E4 last night, and I'd heard nothing but good things about season 1. So, before getting started on the new series, I thought I'd watch the episodes from last year, about a group of 4 lads, not sad enough to hang out with the geeks, but not cool enough to be considered popular, hence, The Inbetweeners.
First Day begins with the uprooting of Will, a posh boy whose father has left his mother and can hence no longer afford the private school fees. Once at the comp his square blazer, the oversized badge pinned to him, and his socially inept ways waste him no time in making him enemies and meaning that people are embarrassed to be seen with him in public. However, when he notices a classmate Simon getting ridiculed in public when he gets an erection, Will tags along after him and such begins an unlikely friendship with misadventure, booze, and many, many embarrassments.
In the gang is also a Russell Howard lookalike Jay, a "borderline sex pest" who has just one thing on his mind - "chasing muff" (he has an arsenal of unoriginal "she can come on my face"-type lines that I hear every day from certain lads at Uni), and a slightly dopey fruit-machine addict named Neil, who's dad may or may not be gay. The four boys try their luck buying alcohol in a pub (to no avail), bunking off school, and going to Thorpe Park, to hilarious consequences. The show reaches painful levels of amusement - such as when Will, drunk off his head, abuses Neil's dad, calling him a "bumder" (amalgamation of "bender" and "bumboy", or when Will accidentally hits a wheelchair bound woman with a frisbee, or when the door of Simon's crap yellow car falls off. If Skins is about the lot that get into nightclubs and get stoned, The Inbetweeners captures the lives of those who wait in the cold outside, trying to get in. The hip soundtrack (Kate Nash's Foundations, 1234 by Feist, Chelsea Dagger etc) adds to the authentic feel of the show and Greg Davis is on fire as the psychotic Head of Sixth Mr Gilbert, evoking all too familiar memories of the trouble I used to get into with my Head of Sixth. It's terrifically astute and biting British comedy that encapsulates, in every cringey detail, the full hardship of growing up. Can't wait for more!