The Inbetweeners

Fish Out of Water Telly: A Very British Phenomenon

There’s a three part mini-series that aired in the UK recently called Very British Problems. Based on, believe it or not, a Twitter feed of the same name, this show gathered a host of British celebrities to talk about social awkwardness as a national character trait.

Topics such as avoiding others, confusing doubletalk and the complicated process of saying goodbye are addressed in a humorous manner. At the same time, it’s acknowledged that straight forward communications would be simpler, but it’s just not the British way.

All this self-conscious discomfort got me to thinking about how the British have the perfect sensibility for fish out of water stories. That universal feeling of embarrassment in an unfamiliar situation is apparently a constant state of being for our friends across the pond so it’s not surprising that it’s a well-utilized device in British telly. Think Life on Mars, Doc Martin or even An Idiot Abroad’s hesitant world traveler, Karl Pilkington. Therefore I thought it might be worthwhile to look at a few more examples. Shall we?

Back To School – British Telly Style

It’s hard to believe another school year is about to begin. I reckon just like their American counterparts, British children are busily loading up their backpacks and rucksacks with new biros and pencils with fresh pink rubbers (a.k.a erasers) on the ends. No doubt they’re looking forward to donning their smart school uniforms for the first day of school.

During the year ahead, these students may be worried about passing maths or revising for their GCSEs. But more likely, they’re probably just hoping that their regular instructor will fall ill and be replaced by an unseasoned, unsuspecting supply teacher. Or is he?

The task of challenging young minds has been a subject often tackled in wonderful British films such as Goodbye Mr. Chips, To Sir with Love, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and The History Boys which all featured dedicated, passionate pedagogues.

But if we’re talking telly, far more often it’s the comic side of the teaching profession that we see. Let’s look at a few examples of less than perfect sitcom educators:

The First Trailer for the US Remake of The Inbetweeners is Here

MTV is yet again attempting to remake a popular British teen series for American audiences. Their version of E4’s The Inbetweeners is set to premiere on August 20 and the first trailer for this adaptation has officially arrived.

You should all know that I’m very, very fond of the original Inbetweeners, so the thought of anyone messing with it sort of makes me upset. (If you’ve never seen it, the original is legitimately hilarious, even if you occasionally do need a strong stomach or high tolerance for profanity to get through an episode.) To put it bluntly, the initial trailer does not give me a lot of high hopes for the quality of this remake, and I fear we are about to add yet another series to the list of attempted “Americanized” British shows that didn’t work at all.

Cilck through to take a look at the new MTV trailer for yourself as well as watch a clip from the original series, and then let’s have a chat about this whole “remake” thing.