E4's first commissioned original UK sitcom people! A channel usually rammed full of American appropriations and repeats of the programmes aired on its older brother has actually given the folk in the UK a chance to contribute - so what has it produced? A six-episode series about a group of four ordinary suburban schoolboys and the trials and tribulations they face. Opening with the arrival of Will whose parents have just divorced, forcing him to move homes and leave his private school. Predictably he has trouble making friends, but mercifully the friend-making process isn't too drawn out and he promptly succeeds in settling into a group of uncool misfits.
The beauty of this show is that it doesn't base itself on the tried and tested jocks and nerds dichotomy that so many mediocre movies and sitcoms have churned out, instead it is a cleverly scripted depiction of the achingly banal sequence of stupidities that plague most of our childhoods. There are a few moments of exaggerated absurdity: car vandalism, attacking disabled people with frisbees, vomiting on the heads of small children, and that sort of thing but on the whole the occasional cringeworthy jokes are more than cancelled out by hilarious banter that is both funny and believable.
The Inbetweeners is no Peep Show, it's not likely to become a cult classic and spawn a series of imitators, but it is genuinely quite funny and has a few quotable moments. So if you're looking for some light-hearted humour for a night in you could do far worse than give this a chance.
EXTRAS *** A nice bunch of peripheral fillers accompany the DVD, there's an audio commentary from writers and cast, video diaries from the four main cast members, a making-of documentary, behind the scenes footage and some deleted scenes.