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The Inbetweeners. Image shows from L to R: Simon Cooper (Joe Thomas), Will Mackenzie (Simon Bird), Neil Sutherland (Blake Harrison), Jay Cartwright (James Buckley). Image credit: Bwark Productions.

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Series 4 rumours are denied by Channel 4

The Inbetweeners

An award-winning comedy about four teenagers growing up in suburbia

AKA:
Baggy Trousers (Working Title)
Genre:
Sitcom
Broadcast:
2008 - 2010  (E4)
Episodes:
18 (3 series)
Starring:
Simon Bird, Joe Thomas, James Buckley, Blake Harrison, Emily Head, Belinda Stewart-Wilson, Robin Weaver, Martin Trenaman, David Schaal, Alex Macqueen, Greg Davies
Writers:
Damon Beesley, Iain Morris
Production:
Bwark Productions

An award-winning E4 sitcom about four teenagers growing up in suburbia; a world of futile crushes, sibling brawls, getting drunk too quickly, fancying the girl next door, casting aspersions on your friend's sexuality and riding rollercoasters.

Well spoken Will has to unwillingly change schools after his parents get divorced. Previously enrolled at a private school, where he picked up some snobbish tendencies, Will now has to attend a comprehensive school and make a new set of friends. He soon becomes pals with Simon, Lee and Neil, none of whom are that cool or credible...

At his side is Simon, who is hopelessly besotted with Carli and immediately goes along with anything she thinks is cool. Jay, whose boasting stories of impressive exploits and sexual conquests are just a little too fantastical to believe. And Neil, an easy-going lad who's not the brains of the outfit and whose dad is definitely not gay.

Centred at Rudge Park comprehensive school, the four dysfunctional friends are all desperately trying to work out how to fit in.

In the second series the lads attempt to assert their maturity in a clubbing trip to London. The French exchange student is a bit too much of a threat, and they endure the infamous sociology and geography field trip to Swanage in the hope of finding the legendary Swanage 'MILF'. Work experience week sets up new challenges for Will and Neil and even the underage disco proves socially fatal for them. Facing new tests everyday they also have to deal with the usual day-to-day traumas of teenage life, families and exams.

Series 3 sees the lads in the final year of 6th form. It starts with Carli organising a charity fashion show which Simon eagerly agrees to take part in; meanwhile Will tries to escape his reputation as the kid who shat himself in the exam; and Jay is still up to his neck in imaginary sexual experiences. Over the six episodes, the quartet also tries its hand at camping, gigs and some puff. All with disastrous consequences.

A forthcoming feature length special will see the lads taking a holiday together. Channel 4 have also announced their wish to have a further two specials, but the BCG understands that these are as yet far from certain to go ahead, despite press reports otherwise.

Our Review: This comedy is clearly aimed at young adults, but there is still much here for older viewers to laugh at too. Some of the humour does come from quite a simple place (especially crude sexual references) but, despite this, the series is hugely likeable. In fact we'd go as far as to say that The Inbetweeners was one of, if not the, top sitcom of 2008 (the show was voted best new sitcom of the year in our annual awards, picked up a BAFTA, and won big at the British Comedy Awards too) and has been just as fresh and funny ever since. By the time Series 3 arrived the show has crossed into the mainstream, resulting in E4's highest ever ratings as millions tuned in to see the lad's latest social mishaps.

Much of the show's success is down to the fact that the writers have - somehow - managed to capture perfectly what middle-class teenage life really is like. Forget all the sex and drugs shown in Skins - for most people, school actually revolved around trying not to get bullied, failing to get served in pubs, embarrassing yourself in front of girls, making hollow sexual boasts, and everything else that the four characters in The Inbetweeners experience.

Channel 4 did express a strong interest in two final TV specials to follow the feature length film, but the writers have talked openly about the end of the show, and it seems unlikely that a full fourth series will come to fruition. The Guardian says: "There will be no fourth series, and a two-part special, scheduled for Christmas, has been quietly dropped."