The Inbetweeners (MTV) Season 1 Review “Spa Time”

The main problem with The Inbetweeners at this point is that it isn’t quite sure if it’s spoofing and examining the tropes of teen masculinity, or simply engaging in them. The two hinges on which "Spa Time" swings, a bikini car wash and a search for a hooker at a massage parlor, might as well be the plot of a direct-to-video Porky’s ripoff from 1984. That isn’t in and of itself a problem; a successful show could take that and turn it into something interesting, a fresh look at teen boy antics that exposes some new, interesting or funny facet of them. The problem is when the show just keeps showing us the same old facets.

We’ll start with what ended up being the best part of the episode, the first non-Neil moment to earn that title in a long while. The reveal at the end of the episode of Carly’s surprise party, which Simon has now ruined in his attempt to be kind to her, was surprisingly heartbreaking. None of the emotional moments from this show have really worked for me before, especially not in regards to Carly, who has consistently been underused, and almost felt like a weird vestigial organ left over from the original UK series. But maybe it was the music, or the editing, or just the way she told Simon he was "so simple" that did it; I can’t be sure, but I know I wasn’t expecting it, and I appreciated the surprise. Read More...


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