US Remake, The Inbetweeners pilot review, plus news on The Inbetweeners Movie Sequel.
Remaking a British sitcom can be dangerous as I mention about this remake last week.
There are a few successful shows that make it like The Office, but most don’t, and don’t get past the pilot episode. (Red Dwarf, Spaced)
MTV has taken on the approach of ‘If it not broken, don’t fix it’ to the show. That means that the same characters, situations and many of the jokes would be the same as the original British show.
So I was not expecting much from this as it would be a transplant from the UK to the US.
As with the UK show, it kicks off with Will (Joey Pollari) being transferred to a public school because his father has left his mother for the office sectary. Which means she can no longer pay for his private school fees. Will shows up for his first day in a blazer and briefcase, which make him a walking target for the other kids. So the Vice-Principal quickly pairs him up with nice-guy Simon (Bubba Smith).
Simons best friends Jay (Zach Pearlman) and Neil (Mark L Young) initially rip the shit out of Will before eventually taking him under their wings, this lead to the three mismatched friend becoming four.
This means that the first half of the show is a carbon copy of the British with only a few changes so that it is better suited to an American high school. The second half of the show diverts from the pilot of the British, but borrows story point from other episodes from the British show. The gang buncking off school. Buying booze, getting drunk and visiting Simons crush Carly D’Amato house with disastrous results.
Most of the jokes are carbon copies of the British show, but that does not mean they are dull a second time around as they still work. There are even a few new one, most notably a marvellous set-up and pay-off involving a child molester.
The show manages to be just as rude as the British show, though I found some of the explicit swear words getting Bleeped out, very ignoring. (Does America have a watershed, where such language can show after?) It will be interesting to see what the American equivalent of the word ‘clunge’ will be.
The characters share the same traits as their UK counterparts; Will awkward and uptight, Neil dumb as a rock, Jay a compulsive liar and Simon a wet blanket who’s obsessed with childhood sweetheart Carly D’Amato.
Though I find Neil has jump over from another much loved British sitcom ‘The Young one’. He comes across a clown of Neil from that show right down to his looks. As for Jay in the original he is much cockier and lot dirtier than he is in the US version. But it is still early days.
No doubt the first season of this show will be taking a lot story plots from the original but they have already started with some new plot points that will make them either stand out on their own or fail.
I having said all that there is a lot of potential in this show and it was far better than I was expecting.
It does not quite hit the hilarious highs of the original, but it delivers just enough to give this series a go.
I give the pilot a 2.8 out of five. If you have not seen the original it worth watching and if you have seen the original and movie it worth taking a look.
Speaking of the movie I have just found out that a sequel is back on with the original cast.
They are all eager to come back, though no story has been sorted out yet. I mention before that Paramount pictures has got a deal with the show creatures to do a Inbetweeners movie. Could this be it? Only time will tell.