"The Inbetweeners" is the latest British television comedy series to get the big screen treatment. While I am not familiar with the show, I do welcome the adaptation that attempts to translate to the theatrical cinema what was originally created for the smaller screen at home. What is often missing from big screen versions of popular TV shows is that sense of intimacy that is immediately established by watching that smaller screen in the comfort of your own home. Movies flickering inside a cinema are intended to be a collective experience that links strangers together who might not otherwise ever cross each other's paths. Television content, by contrast, seems to work best when it penetrates into a much more closely shared experience.
Will "The Inbetweeners" be able to do what so many other TV-to-cinema adaptations have not? Who the heck knows? I just wanted to get a good intro going into an article about what I hope the success of this latest experiment in doing for audiences of dozens what has been much easier to accomplish for a much smaller audience.
One of the great mysteries of contemporary pop culture is that which lingers behind the decision of Rowan Atkinson to place his feature film bets on characters named Bean and English rather than Blackadder. A film based on the genetic makeup of Edmund Blackadder-a character viewed from the perspective of four different generations of the DNA strain within played out over four different seasons of the series-would be funnier in the first ten minutes than all the other films starring Rowan Atkinson combined.
The IT Crowd
An American version of this sitcom lived and died within the lifetime of a fruitfly. Forget the Americanization of Moss and just make a damn movie of the original. "The IT Crowd" focuses on two computer nerds who linger in the basement of a big company that would cease to exist without their unappreciated knowledge of the inner workings of the computer world. A completely unfit supervisor accidentally gets hired and, well, hilarity reigns. Chris O'Dowd has already broken through to American film audiences, but Richard Ayoade would explode into the consciousness of this country like a meteor breaking through the structure that used to be the flesh of Joan Rivers' face.
Simon Pegg is already a famous name among American moviegoers, but even those intimately familiar with his big screen slackers may not be aware of the small screen precursor. "Spaced" is perhaps a little too uniquely British to go over big in America. To which I say: all the more reason to make a movie of this British sitcom.
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