We held off announcing this on Tuesday because of a few of us here at ScreenAnarchy are fans of the UK show The Inbetweeners that led to the uproariously funny feature film. Also, the same day that this news broke the pilot of the US adaptation of the UK export aired that evening on MTV and we wanted to have a look at it and see if it was worth mentioning.
So first the good news. After making the studio Channel 4 a massive wad of cash at the UK box office last year it comes as no surprise that showrunners Damon Beesley and Iain Morris would consider making a sequel. It was the biggest opening for a comedy ever in the UK; eclipsing records previously held by sequels to the Bridget Jones and The Hangover movies. It was made on a bare budget of $5.5 million and took $71 million at the U.K. box office.
Damon Beesley, co-creator of "The Inbetweeners," told U.K. tabloid the Sun a follow-up was being teed up. He said, "I don't want to give too much away at this stage but we have been developing an idea for a sequel."
Beesley's collaborator Iain Morris confirmed on Twitter that a second "Inbetweeners" movie was in the cards. Asked if the Sun's story was true, he said, "Yes, but it's far from signed and like Damon said we want to make sure we have a good enough story to tell."
The first film, in which the show's four teen boys travel to Crete for a boozy summer holiday to celebrate leaving school, was last summer's surprise U.K. hit.
And now the bad news. After watching the pilot episode of the US version of the The Inbetweeners it looks like MTV has once again failed to export a UK television show and adapt it for an American audience. I am left scratching my head as to why. This cannot be a case of a showrunner having little or no experience in television comedy. Brad Copeland worked on comedic gems like Arrested Development and My Name Is Earl. So why the heck doesn't this work? Is it the rehashing of jokes from the UK show? I would like to know from someone who has not seen the original UK Channel 4 series if they thought the show was funny. The teleplay does lack the sharpness and edge of the original. Perhaps seeing the familiar set ups has taken the surprise out of the moments.
Or, is it the bleeping of swear words yet any sexual reference is not? I instantly missed the freedom the UK show had to say and do what they wanted. What is funny is that the misconception of Brits is that they're stuffy and proper when their television can be some of the most daring in the world. The exact opposite can be said of American television. It is so quick to come under fire from the PTC and FCC for any little instance that offends the Bible Belt that I wonder why MTV even bothers bringing over daring or edgier shows like The Inbetweeners and recently Skins. Inbetweeners does not push it like Skins did but it may raise some eyebrows with the portrayal of underage drinking, partying, and young boys trying to get into young girls pants.
Ultimately The US show feels like someone has let the understudies have a go at it. You've got your tickets for a night out on the town but the real talent has taken the night off and you and the missus are left looking at C-list actors remember their lines on stage.