The Inbetweeners, which wrapped up its second season in 2009 in England, premiered in America last night. And hopefully it will stick around, because it may be the best British import since The Office.
The show follows four boys—all hopelessly unpopular—as they attempt to duck-and-weave their lives through high school. Specifically the central character Will, who struggles to make friends after being taken out of private school and placed into a public school. They all seemingly hate (take the piss out of!) each other on the surface, but it is quite apparent they need each other to survive the torturous life of an unpopular kid in high school—evidenced by Will seizing the opportunity to befriend Simon, who is about to acquire the most unfortunate nickname ever.
The reason that The Inbetweeners will transfer seamlessly to an American audience (just as The Office did), lies within it's main theme: High school fucking sucks. In England, just like in America, there are bullies, jocks, popular girls, slutty girls, and most importantly, outcasts. Television shows about displaced youth will always have an audience because it is applicable to people who actually were those kids in high school (myself included, duh). I'm sure you've seen The Breakfast Club, Freaks and Geeks, My So Called Life, Daria, or every movie Michael Cera has ever been in ever. Any and all of these shows focus on the ethos of the scattered, confused, and angsty life of an out-of-place 16-year-old.
So what The Inbetweeners lacks as an original idea for a show, it makes up for with wit, well thought out characters, and sweet sweet redemption. Sure, the show will have many mortifying moments that plague high schoolers for years, but it will also feature the victories of these underdogs: befriending other like-minded outcasts of high school, having sex with a girl that's out of your league, and getting wasted and mouthing-off to someone who could probably kick your ass. These stories transcend location as they aren't a part of English youth, or French youth, they're just a part of youth. And The Inbetweeners captures it perfectly all while cursing non-stop and placing these kids in awful, embarrassing situations. In between cringes, we should all be watching with a big grin on our face thanking the sweet lord above that we don't have to endure the reality of high school anymore.