With The Office and Shameless proving to be such popular transfers to the US, The Inbetweeners USA seemed like a little bit of a no-brainer. The Inbetweeners always felt a little more American than British to begin with, what with its reliance on lewd comedy and the teenage cast. The show’s premise sees its 4 main characters Simon (Lewis), Jay (Pearlman), Will (Pollari) and Neil (Young) go through the torturous experience that is high school.
The show isn’t as bad as you may think; it’s just sort of lazy. Most of the jokes are lifted straight from the original series, making the audience just miss the original. The cast is vaguely talented and is able to use the material they’ve been given to the best of their abilities but it’s not up to usual par that we’ve come to know from Simon Bird and James Buckley. The biggest struggle the US cast come up against is that with the exclusion of the chubby Pearlman as Jay, it’s hard to believe these guys as the unpopular kids they are playing, they’re not bad looking and never come off nerdy enough to be social rejects.
Oddly, it’s the episodes that stray from the UK’s plots that seem to be the most grating. For instance, ‘The Masters’ brings us a plot we never saw in the UK with Simon being a competitive golfer, but sadly this doesn’t really fit the character we’ve been set up with and the plot just feels quite generic. It’s not really fair to judge the show by comparing it to it’s predecessor but when it sticks so firmly to mimicking the original show, and crashes when it tries to do something different, it’s hard not to think, this was better when it was British.
As said before, it’s not a bad show, but sadly it’s not a very good one either. The Inbetweeners has a perfect concept for a US audience, but this take on the show has no creativity or ambition, instead it’s just a pale imitation of it’s original, which is fine if you’ve never seen the UK version but it’s pretty dull for anyone who has.