The Inbetweeners became a pop culture phenomenon across its three seasons in the late 2000s, but one of its stars doesn’t think the sitcom has aged well.
Simon Bird, who played the hapless public school transfer, Will, in the show think that the suburban teen comedy “wouldn’t be made today” because of its “casual homophobia” and ‘sexism’.
“I honestly think it wouldn’t be commissioned today,” he told the Telegraph. Asked if it was because of sexist themes and jokes in the show, Bird responded: “Yeah, and the casual homophobia.”
‘The Inbetweeners’ defined an era of teenagers. CREDIT: Channel 4
The Friday Night Dinner star added: “I rationalise it to myself by saying that at the time it was an accurate representation of the way teenagers talk to each other. Is that still the case now? I assume not.”
Bird also revealed that there was still a heavy dose of ’90s lad culture prevalent in the show. The actor explained:”Although the programme was set in the 2000s, it was based on a pilot set in 1990, so even in the 2000s it wasn’t really an accurate reflection of how teenagers spoke.”
The Inbetweeners ran from 2008 to 2010 on Channel 4 and its youth imprint E4. The sitcom charts the story of a group of secondary school outcasts: Will, Simon, Jay, and Neil. The show begins with newcomer Will trying to adjust to life at a state school having attended an exclusive public school.
The show became a smash-hit on its launch and spawned two feature films. The cast went their separate ways creatively after the movies. Bird himself ended up starring in Friday Night Dinner alongside Tamsin Greig, Tom Rosenthal, and the late Paul Ritter.
The cast of The Inbetweeners reunited for a TV special hosted by Jimmy Carr in 2019 – which ended with a number of complaints.
Speaking about the ill-fated reunion show, Bird said: “That was just a terrible idea from the get-go. We all knew that. We all had suggestions about how it might be possible to do one that wasn’t totally embarrassing. Those suggestions were not heeded.
“Frankly, we got paid quite a lot to do it, and there was a certain amount of pressure from Channel 4.”