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The Inbetweeners: The Complete Series

Last Updated 10/30/2012 7:22:05 PM

By: John B. Moore

The Inbetweeners The Complete Series (Entertainment One)

The Inbetweeners

The Complete Series

(Entertainment One)

It’s hard to image “The Inbetweeners” – the teen-centered British sitcom – getting a fair chance with U.S. audiences, thanks to a prudish attitude toward sex here. Violence? Bring it on. Teens joking about getting blow jobs? Oh hell no, we’re Americans.

Thanks to its unflinchingly bold humor and Porky’s-level raunchiness, you’d be hard pressed to name even a basic cable channel here that would be willing to put up with the predictable backlash. It’s our loss though, as “The Inbetweeners” is refreshingly original and at times even laugh-out-loud funny.

Straddling the line between sophomoric and brilliant, the show manages to be both coarse and smartly written. It follows four dorky friends growing up in Suburbia, London struggling to get laid and figure out what to do with their lives after school (in that order). Clueless teachers and even more clueless parents serve only as setups to jokes. While all of the actors range from decent to great, it’s Simon Bird – who plays Will McKenzie, the new kid trying to fit in at the public school – who is the standout in this ensemble, coming off as a mix between Woody Allen and Louis CK, always put upon, smarter than his peers, but still in on the joke.

In its three short seasons (also an anomaly with British shows, willing to end a successful series at its peak) the show managed to pull in a number of big British comedy and TV awards. Thanks to DVD, we all finally get a look at what we’ve been missing.

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