If all you know of The Inbetweeners is the failed U.S. remake, it’s time to get schooled. The Inbetweeners 2, the sequel to the British comedy series’ first feature-length incarnation, hits U.K. theaters on Aug. 6. (No U.S. release date yet.) Three beloved seasons, a massively successful film, and another one the way? Yes, you’ve definitely been missing something.
The Inbetweeners follows the coming-of-age escapades of four friends, as well as all the crippling embarrassment that comes with all that. Neil, Simon, Will, and Jay aren’t at the top of the social ladder, but they aren’t complete outcasts either. They land where most of us did in high school: somewhere in the middle, blindly grasping for some sense of dignity in a mental and emotional hellscape. Parents who mortify, girls who unknowingly emasculate, exams that test the very limits of one’s sanity — we’ve seen it all before, but hardly ever without a glossy CW sheen.
Everything about The Inbetweeners is painfully real, from its blank and ugly school buildings, to the love interests who look like the prettiest girls in 11th grade rather than page 57 of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, to the sometimes combative and sometimes supportive relationships among the four lads. They live by the high school boy’s creed: take the piss before the piss gets taken out of you. Yet they can still count on each other for help dealing with casually cruel dads and sadistic teachers.
The boys fittingly made the jump to the big screen as their high school days came to a close. The first Inbetweeners film gave us the gross-out comedy and secret gooey center we’d come to expect. Behind every hangover, pubes joke, and pantsing is an “end of an era” wistfulness.
Thanks to the movie’s blockbuster debut however, we don’t have to say goodbye to these morons just yet. Precious little has been revealed about the sequel’s plot, though we wager it will involve a new level of cringe-comedy that surpasses everything that’s come before. In the meantime, you can catch up with the series and the first film on Netflix.