Newest Review: ... with a brief case on the first day. I find Will really funny but also the most endearing character of the four. He comes across as a bit... more
Still Stuck in the Middle with You
The Inbetweeners - Series 2 (DVD)
Member Name: Puggers
The Inbetweeners - Series 2 (DVD)
Advantages: Hilarious, well-scripted, possibly better than the first series.
Disadvantages: Still very short ...
Series Two of the Inbetweeners kicks off where its wonderful predecessor left off, taking a none-too-high-brow look at what it means to be "inbetween".
Neither child nor adult, not especially adored or despised at school, able to maintain awkward friendships with the opposite sex without the faintest idea of how to seduce them with one's dubious charms - these are only the more straightforward dilemmas affecting Will, Simon, Jay and Neil as they enter their second term at Rudge Park Comprehensive's Sixth Form.
Equally rude, similarly crude and every bit as lewd - but also probably even funnier than the first instalment, The Inbetweeners is a comedy that will strike a chord with all too many of us. Actually, several chords - one of empathy, certainly; if you've been or known a seventeen year-old boy before, you'll recognise plenty of what unfolds here. A chord of pity and contempt, probably, too - but even as you're laughing at the awkwardness and pathetic behaviour of the boys, it may well occur that you weren't so far removed.
This is the greatest strength of the Inbetweeners - that it feels so wonderfully real. The dialogue exchanged between the boys - posh Will, love-lorn Simon, laddish Jay and gormless Neil - is inevitably hilarious, but it's also a fantastically recalled tribute to adolescence, and all the questionable delights it entails.
Series Two takes on much the same format as the first - six twenty-five minute episodes set in and (more often) out of college. A number of storylines are carried over from the opening half-dozen instalments, alongside a number of self-contained storylines. Again, the show plays on a wonderful blend of slapstick, sharply-scripted dialogue which rings all too true of teenage boys and utterly horrendous moments of deep cringing. The comedy comes from all sides and all characters, and is never too predictable - if one scene doesn't work for you, another is bound to moments later.
Highlights of the series include a set of wholly inappropriate work experience placements, predictably disastrous volunteering in an old people's home and an ill-advised field trip in which Jay is determined to track down a legendary yummy-mummy with a taste for college boys. Jay's sexual appetite, which occurs more often in his head than in reality, in a recurring motif of the show - however, one of its many strengths lies in the balance of personalities on show, meaning that however puerile one character's one-man-stream of smut is, the tone of the series doesn't necessarily follow; the other, less crude, individuals steadying the ship.
If there's a weakness to the series, it's only that there are so few episodes - a dozen make up the total of the two series to date, and at a very modest twenty-five minutes a piece, you can watch a whole series straight through before you've finishing watching Australia once. On the plus side, this tends to make you appreciate what's on offer all the more, and keeps the concept and characters fresh. There's plenty more to come from the Inbetweeners - starting off with next year's series three and a forthcoming film - and once you're done with this wonderful collection and its so-so extras, you'll be glad of their impending return.
Summary: The second instalment of tales from the sixth-form.