Editor’s Note: Shame on MTV for airing such trash and shame on Toyota for sponsoring The Inbetweeners on MTV. After you read the following, you can complain directly to Toyota click here.
The Inbetweeners on MTV
By Christopher Gildemeister
MTV never learns.
In January 2011, MTV began showing its teen drama Skins. A rip-off of the British series of the same name,Skins delighted in depicting teen life as an endless round of meaningless casual sex, profanity, and drug use. Admittedly, that description would fit about 90% of MTV’s current original programming slate; but Skins was notable for its unusually dark and depraved world-view. Skins was reviled by viewers, critics, and advertisers alike. After an initial spike in viewership (no doubt attracted by Skins’ extensive marketing campaign to teens), viewership fell off sharply. Critics were equally unkind, with The Washington Post dubbing Skins “repugnant,” “irredeemably nihilistic,” and “a new frontier in phoniness and filth.” And advertisers abandoned the program in droves; by the program’s second week, Taco Bell, General Motors, Subway, Wrigley’s, and other advertisers had shedSkins. Advertising experts estimated that, by the end of the season, MTV had lost $2 million per episode by supporting the sleazy show.
After such a debacle, any other network would have learned its lesson; but MTV is not any other network. Apparently undaunted by the crushing failure of Skins, MTV is at it again, once more transplanting a seamy, sex-obsessed British teen show to these shores…as witness the premiere on Monday, August 20th (10:30 p.m. ET) of MTV’s The Inbetweeners, the Worst Cable TV Show of the Week.
The Inbetweeners centers on a group of male teens who are neither wildly popular nor total outcasts, hence the show’s title. Will McKenzie, a coddled momma-boy and transfer student from a private prep school must seek to fit in, and becomes friends with a group consisting of Jay, a fat, obnoxious bully and pathological liar who boasts endlessly about his non-existent sexual encounters and experiences with drugs; long-haired Neil, a nondescript loser who loudly and defensively asserts, “My dad’s not gay!”; and the hapless Simon, who has been in love with the beautiful Carly since age eight, but cannot bring himself to say so.
The show offers excellent ground for comparison with its British forebear, since the plot of the first MTV episode is a direct rip-off from the British episode previously chosen as Worst Cable TV Show of the Week. Newly arrived at school, Will is assigned by a mocking, abusive assistant principal to Simon, who is told to show him around. Prompted by Jay, the gang decides to cut class. Obtaining liquor, the gang gets drunk and urges Simon to spray-paint “I Love Carly” on her driveway. When she catches them, she invites Simon to her house that night, when her parents will be gone. Jay and the others proceed to get Simon even more drunk. That night, while Will watches Carly’s little brother (traumatizing him with a graphic description of chemical warfare and the “piles of corpses” that would result), Simon drunkenly comes onto Carly, then spews vomit all over her kitchen. The tender scene concludes with Simon once again vomiting, this time directly into Carly’s and her brother’s faces. Taken to task by their parents, Will evades responsibility by claiming he was bullied…resulting in the assistant principal again mocking him in school, this time over the P.A. system.
MTV’s Americanized Inbetweeners lacks some of the British version’s graphic content. After accidentally hitting a wheelchair-bound individual, the gang does not refer to the person as a “spastic”; nor do they call a passing woman as a “jugg-o-saurus,” or heap abuse on their own parents to their face. But some of the content is similar: a handicapped person is still
clobbered by the gang; Jay and Simon relentlessly mock Neil for his father’s alleged homosexuality; and all the boys join in verbalizing graphic sexual fantasies about Will’s mother.
Additionally, MTV’s version overflows with sewage all its own. Take this delightful conversation in a school bathroom:
Jay: “I’m telling you guys, I spent the entire summer trapping beaver. Okay, the thing about RV girls is that they all have the same thing in common.”
Neil: “They’re poor.”
Jay: “No, these girls are sluts, dude. And they’ll do it to you for hours. I’m so good at sex now.”
Neil: “Really? So what is the best way to do it then?”
Jay: “Deep. Just like real deep, to the balls.”
Neil: “Do you put the balls in? …I heard you gotta put your balls in if you really want to get a girl off.”
Jay: “Yeah, you can. It’s a preference. Some girls like it, some girls don’t. Personally, I like to go in past the balls.”
Simon: “That doesn’t even make sense.”
Jay: “Yes, it does!”
Simon: “No, because you’ve never had sex with anyone and neither have I and neither has Neil.”
Jay: “Okay, you guys can think what you want, but I have busted enough condoms to tell you that — oh (bleeped shit).”
Or this conversation about Will’s mother:
Jay: “Renob is ‘boner’ backwards. I’d literally renob her so hard that my penis would be pushed back into my body.”
Neil: “She’s so hot, she could be a prostitute.”
Simon: “When was the last time that you saw her naked?”
The episode is replete with such content. All in all, the premiere of The Inbetweeners featured a piece of sexual dialogue once every 36 seconds, on average; some sort of profanity just as often; an alcohol or drug reference every minute; and some sort of negative content every 14 seconds.
As its previous failed series – Skins, The Hard Times of RJ Berger, I Just Want My Pants Back – have shown, “MTV music television” is long dead. In its place is a rotting corpse, shambling zombie-like and spreading corruption into the lives of teens…and because of the entertainment cartel’s extortionate practice of “bundling,” every parent with a cable or satellite subscription is forced to subsidize it. But just as parents and advertisers took action on those programs – parents contacting advertisers with their concerns, and advertisers withdrawing support — so too they can again with The Inbetweeners. Maybe if enough of MTV’s
programs fail, the network will finally learn.
Toyota sponsored The Inbetweeners. To contact them with your concerns, click here.
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