TV MADNESS #4: THE IN-BETWEENERS

MTV’s had a hard time getting fresh original programming, besides it’s powerhouse reality programming. They have dabbled in dramas, animation and comedies while trying to appeal to their youthful demographic.

Their update of “Teen Wolf” into a “Buffy-like” supernatural drama is making traction in many circles. And currently is their only original drama series.

They experimented last spring with the return of “Beavis & Butthead” which was a monster hit for them in the 90′s. The series had great critical acclaim and writing but MTV has yet to ask for another season.

Besides their mediocre successes, MTV has had some really disasters. The first was an American adaptation of the controversial British series “Skins” which explored the sex lives of six teens. The series was raked over the coals and American parental advocates were up in arms about the series.

 

Instead of looking at the series as a cautionary tale of what could happen and maybe use the show to help with a dialogue with your teens, it became a black eye for the network.

Advertisers pulled the plug and channels started boycotting the show. This critic really didn’t think it was that bad of a show but no where near as good as the British version.

This brings us to “The In-Betweeners”, another teen-oriented show adapted from a successful British TV series. The British version is quite good if you like British humor mixed with “Animal House”. It ran for four years and has a feature film.

It follows four junior high school students who are having to deal with everyday issues. “In-Betweeners” refers to their status in life as they are just about to go on to high school.

The American version lacks the chemistry of the British version. These kids are really gelling and that isn’t a good sign after three episodes. The writing is flat and is a pale imitation of the original. The jokes are few and far between. I am not sure the audience this intended for will enjoy it. I watch it hoping it will get better but just keep getting disappointed.

One more episode? Not sure at this point. What say you about this show?

GIVE IT: 4 episodes

WATCH OR DVR: DVR

PILOT RATING:  2 out of 5

“THE IN-BETWEENERS” AIRS MONDAYS ON MTV.

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