I didn’t know that the Inbetweeners had been sold to America and was currently in development over there, but it kinda surprised me considering almost every UK show that has been remade over there has been complete and utter piss and normally ended up cancelled after one series. There’s a pretty definitive list of US remakes that we featured on Sick Chirpse a while ago HERE (almost all of them are terrible) and it was also recently announced that Only Fools and Horses would be remade as a US comedy featuring John Leguizamo as Del Boy. Great, I mean, that’s definitely going to work right?
Anyway, the Inbetweeners has the potential to be the worst of the lot, mainly because it’s being made by MTV. Now don’t get me wrong, MTV can make some great shows like er 16 and Pregnant or Teen Mom or The Hills or whichever version of those tired old idea is actually airing on that channel at the moment but I don’t think they can do dramedy that well. And more importantly I don’t think that they have any idea how to adapt an English show to an American audience, which was excruciatingly illustrated when they tried to do a US version of Skins last year which was a complete flop. Do you know why? Because every single scene was exactly the same as the English version. It wasn’t even an adaptation, more of a remake with American actors and locations as opposed to British ones.
So you had Tony singing in the choir at school – like that would ever happen in an American school, it would at least be called a Glee Club right? – and the whole gang hanging out at abandoned warehouse raves (like that would happen in America with their asshole police force) and they all said stuff like ‘reckon’ that no American kids ever say. In short, the whole thing was stupid and got cancelled pretty much instantly because it was so terrible and didn’t really make any sense to an American audience, most of which had probably already seen the original version on the internet anyhow.
So you would probably think that MTV might have learned their lesson but no, they’re now doing The Inbetweeners and they’ve already ordered 12 episodes (that’s almost all of the episodes ever!) and it’s probably going to be even more terrible than Skins, at least judging by the guys they’ve got roped in to play The Inbetweeners and the promo shot at the top of this article.
Firstly, it obviously looks as though they’re going to be using Simon’s yellow Cinquecento Hawaii in the series and Will’s briefcase/satchel. Now, I haven’t lived in America but I’ve seen a lot of American high school TV shows, lived in Toronto, and spent a fair bit of time in the States and I really don’t think I have ever seen a car like that anywhere (everyone in America drives souped up American muscle cars because gas is so cheap, even the kids) and I’ve never seen a kid with a briefcase/satchel either. Granted, this could make it more funny but it seems that, like Skins, Americans would struggle to understand it at all. They’re pretty dumb over there at the best of times, y’know?
Secondly, the cast don’t even really look that much like the originals and obviously their dynamic was one of the factors that made the original show so popular. Will looks fairly authentic, but Simon just looks normal and doesn’t have a stupid hairstyle, Neil looks vaguely cool now that he has long hair (I do mean vaguely) and as for Jay…..how can Jay be played by a short fat kid? Sure, the whole thing with him was nobody believed what he said but his bravado was matched by the fact that he wasn’t a short fat idiot looking kid with a bowl cut. That kid would just get beats straight away for saying some of the crap Jay says in The Inbetweeners, or at least get rinsed by someone cooler looking than him. All you would have to do is make a joke about him being fat and he’d shy off into the corner the way all fat kids do. So yeah, there is no way that is working. Nope.
Of course, I could be wrong – I doubt anyone thought that it was going to work when the got Rainn Wilson in to play the US version of Gareth, but look how that turned out – but I really can’t see this turning out well for anyone involved. What is even the point of remakes? Are there any good ones out there aside from the US Office – and I would argue that’s kind of different as it really took the ball and ran with it after the first seven or so episodes and developed into its own thing – anyhwere?