THIS BOY’S LIFE

The se­cret life of teenage boys is re­vealed in all its tawdry glory in The In­be­tween­ers. Guy Davis gives this school­yard se­ries top marks.

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amount of time in the pur­suit of al­co­holic in­tox­i­ca­tion and phys­i­cal in­ti­macy. Or maybe that was just me and my mates back in the day.

Ac­cord­ing to the new UK com­edy The In­be­tween­ers, things are the same all over when it comes to lads of a cer­tain age. Best de­scribed as Su­per­bad in the English sub­urbs, this ri­otous six-part se­ries is a glee­fully crude look at the teenage years.

But The In­be­tween­ers’ salty lan­guage and po­lit­i­cally in­cor­rect tone is a clever cover for its un­der­ly­ing warmth to­wards its quar­tet of char­ac­ters, not to men­tion an as­tute un­der­stand­ing of how big talk and silly be­hav­iour can mask in­se­cu­rity and un­cer­tainty.

Our nar­ra­tor is Will ( Si­mon Bird), a for­mer pri­vate-school boy who has trans­ferred to a pub­lic school for his fi nal years of ed­u­ca­tion. But read­ing, writ­ing and arith­metic take a back­seat to at­tract­ing “ fi t” girls (“ fi t” mean­ing fetch­ing rather than healthy), get­ting boozed-up, avoid­ing the psy­cho­pathic school bully and, most cru­cially, fi nd­ing a few friends.

Luck­ily, Will soon falls in with Si­mon ( Joe Thomas), a hope­less ro­man­tic smit­ten with the girl he’s adored since the age of eight, Jay ( James Buck­ley), whose tall tales of sex­ual suc­cess may not be 100 per cent ac­cu­rate, and Neil ( Blake Har­ri­son), who is, well, a lit­tle dim.

A quick glance at the dy­namic be­tween th­ese four lads might give you the idea that they don’t much care for each other – af­ter all, most of the time they’re mer­ci­lessly rag­ging on each other or each other’s par­ents.

Grow­ing up is hard to do: Si­mon Bird, Blake Har­ri­son, James Buck­ley and Joe Thomas

tackle teenage life in

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