DVD365.net
The Inbetweeners USA (2012) artwork

The Inbetweeners USA (2012)

24th January 2012

Simon, Jay, Will & Neil are back. The futile crushes and buckets are vomit are still there but something's different - The Inbetweeners have had a make over and they've all come out looking American!
Bubba Lewis, Zack Pearlman, Joey Pollari, Mark L. Young, Alex Frnka, Brett Gelman
Comedy, Television
2
2 Hours 49 Minutes

Will's parents have just divorced and, as a result, he's ended up leaving his fee paying school and moving to a new area with his mother and enrolling at the local high-school - and all with it's own unqiue features, such as doorless toilet cubicles, dodgy canteen food, budget cuts and the usual collection of bullies.

As Will use to attend a private school some of his more snobbish tendencies have remained and it doesn't take long before he's hated by just about everybody in the school - even more so when each new arrival has to wear a giant green badge with their name on. The perfect target for bullies.

Never the less, with no friends Will still regards it as the perfect opportunity to start afresh and reinvent himself - even though he's going to have to work very hard to become popular and make new friends. Enter the rather reluctant Simon, Neil and Jay - his new group of friends who are regarded as not cool enough to be popular but not geeky enough to be nerd. They exist somewhere in the middle.

They all soon become good friends, all with different quirks, stubbling their way through the awkward and often humiliating journey of being a teenager by taking one step forward and three steps back. Together they find strength in their shortcomings - mostly by mocking each other. But, then again, that's what friends are there for.

The picture is bright and colourful that only an annoyingly hot and sunny American location could produce. Sure, there are the usual colour issues with an NTSC conversion, but they're rich enough and there's plenty of detail in the various day and night time scenes, skin tones are warm and there's no issues with artifacting or outlining. It's never going to be anything spectacular, but then again, it's simply an American television series - albeit one with a budget that surpassed the budget of The Inbetweeners film!

The Dolby Digital 2.0 192Kbps soundtrack is more than sufficient for its needs, with the monologues and dialogue easily audible. However, the musical score was a little overbearing at times with plenty of music I've never heard of - or particularly liked - and unless you're into your American music I doubt you will either. But then again, given that the series was produced by MTV it's hardly surprising that music figures in a teenage based and aimed series.

The menus across both discs are nicely animated and scored in a manner not too dissimilar to the original UK versions. There's the usual option of playing the entire set of episodes on the disc as well as selecting a particular episode to view. Each episode is also accompanied by the usual scene selection options. It's all standard stuff really.

Although the original press release stated that there is Behind the scenes footage and Deleted scenes, they are not to be found on the two discs sent for review. I even checked the BBFC website to see whether any details were listed there, but alas, it looks like they're either none existent or they're reserved for the American market.

I'm always a fan of extras - they can help add much needed value to a disc, especially if you've already seen the content and need a little something extra to tempt you into a purchase. Still, as I haven't seen The Inbetweeners USA before, nor seen it advertised to be shown on E4 or Channel 4, I guess we're getting a full on series as the extras instead!

Our friends across the pond don't exactly have a great track record when it comes to remaking popular British shows - especially, for some odd reason, those classic home grown shows which make Channel 4 truly stand out in the crowd. With the remake of Skins axed after one season plus The IT Crowd and Peep Show not even making it past their pilot episodes, expectations aren't going to be too high. Only a degree of curiosity will potentially drag fans of the original show, including myself, into the fold...

However, it's not all doom and gloom as Shameless has transferred well whilst the BBC's Office is about to begin its ninth season (and no doubt making Ricky Gervais even more money in the process). Perhaps, rather than sticking to the same formula which made them so popular in the UK, these remakes were made all the better by the presence of well know actors such as William H. Macy and the ever bankable Steve Carrell. A smattering of originally doesn't go amiss either.

So when I heard about an American remake of one of my all time favourite shows I could have been easily mistaken for a lifelike version of Edvard Munch's famous painting "The Scream". Surely the American's couldn't do justice to such a classic series with a brand of comedy which simply doesn't travel across the Atlantic - irony and sarcasm. And given that some of the early episodes copy the dialog - and scenes - on a virtual word for word basis, I was starting to shift rather uneasily in my seat at its failure to even raise the slightest chuckle. In fact, I felt a little embarrassed.

Whilst the characters of Will and Simon don't feel right at all (and are rather annoying), I did warm to the new versions of Neil and Jay. In fact, the air headed nature of Neil was rather refreshing and was the eventual provider of most the laughs. However, the biggest character disappointment of them all is Mr. Gilbert as he is transformed from a laughter inducing psychopath that only Gregg Davis could portray to a rather unfunny bully.

Never the less, the episodes did start to grow on me - even if I still hated the music (set for American tastes naturally) and it kept on reminding me of a poor-man's remake of American Pie. I think the improvement came about once it started to move away from simply being a direct copy of the UK series and find its own feet - even with the obvious toning down of the swearing for those delicate American ears. As soon as it slipped into that American way of operating, I began to sit up and take notice. I even laughed.

Unfortunately, after doing some research I discovered that, after disappointing viewing figures, the series will not be renewed for a second season. It's a shame really as soon as the show tried to move away from it's British roots, it did start to show a small glimmer of promise. I guess the only trouble for British viewers is that it is always going to be judged by its big brother and, even whilst I tried to write an unbiased review, it was very difficult not to keep thinking back to my favourite show. Still, on the plus side, it's really made me want to break out my Inbetweeners DVDs again.

  • None
The Rum Diary artwork

The Rum Diary

DVD
27/03/2013
American journalist Paul Kemp takes on a freelance job in Puerto Rico for a local newspaper during the 1960s and struggles to find a balance between island culture and the expatriates who live there.
King Kong artwork

King Kong

DVD
06/04/2006
Skins S7 artwork

Skins S7

DVDTV
10/09/2013
Moonlighting S1 & 2 artwork

Moonlighting S1 & 2

DVD
06/10/2008
Family Guy Presents Blue ... artwork
Ice Cold In Alex artwork

Ice Cold In Alex

BD
10/06/2011
Fast and Furious 9 artwork

Fast and Furious 9

DVDBDUHDDIGITAL
14/09/2021
The Fast family returns in the latest adrenaline-charged installment with a never-before-seen Director's Cut of Fast & Furious 9, released on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K UHD 11th October 2021 from Universal ...
Son artwork

Son

DVDBD
20/09/2021
Fantastic Mr. Fox artwork

Fantastic Mr. Fox

BD
15/09/2021
The Walking Dead artwork

The Walking Dead

DVDBDTVBoxset
16/09/2021
Reminiscence artwork

Reminiscence

DVDBDUHDDIGITAL
23/09/2021
Space Jam artwork

Space Jam

DVDBDUHD
01/09/2021

Animal Kingdom

Features23/11/2020

Animal Kingdom tells the gripping tale of seventeen year-old J, as he fights for survival in a vicious criminal family and the detective who tries to save him. Pope Cody, an armed robber on the run from a gang of renegade detectives, is in hiding, surrounded by roughneck friends and family. Soon, Pope's nephew, J, arrives and moves in, ...

The Inbetweeners 2

Review17/11/2020

Better late than never, Jay, Neil, Simon and Will are back for another critically acclaimed, smash-hit comedy adventure as the boys head to Australia to meet up with Jay and discover that his tales of wild times and super-stardom in Sydney aren't, as you'd expect, quite true.

The Simpsons S16

Review28/05/2016

Officially the longest running animation series in history, the loveable Simpsons show no sign of slowing down with the sixteenth season The Simpsons hitting DVD with even more madness and mayhem than before.
"When you love someone, you've gotta trust them. There's no other way."
Casino (1995)

True Romance

BDUHD19/07/2021203

Snatch

UHD12/07/2021117

The Incredibles

UHD12/07/2021111

The Krays

BD12/07/202196

Innocent S2

DVDTV28/06/202164

Mare of Easttown

DVDBDTV13/09/202146

The Office Complete

BDTV05/07/202145

Jack Irish S3

DVDBDTV06/09/202144

Possessor

DVDBDNOTES08/02/202191

The Broken Hearts Gallery

DVDDIGITALNOTES18/01/202190

Black Widow

NOTES09/07/202160

The Virtuoso

DVDNOTES30/04/202137

Edward Scissorhands

DVD28/12/2000140

Gattaca

DVD01/01/2000113

They Live

UHD
10/08/2021

Zootropolis

Zavvi ExclusiveUHD
10/08/2021

Paranormal Activity

LimitedBD
01/09/2021

Deceit

DVDTV
01/09/2021
Get a free daily news update. DVD365.net works with the Amazon Alexa flash briefing skill