The bad news is that there will be no more Inbetweening. That really is it, after three series and two feature films, Joe Thomas and his partners in barely-post adolescent crime James Buckley, Blake Harrison and the briefcase-w**king renegade himself Will (Simon Bird), have called it a day, with Joe explaining:
“It was the Inbetweeners and if you can’t take them out of that context, We all loved those characters and working together, maybe we’ll find a way of doing something else. It won’t be the Inbetweeners - I feel like they’ve just finished university, and that’s it.”
And one of the show’s two writers, Damon Beesley agrees, saying:
“It’s only three years since the last film and if a reunion happened, it would need to happen for the right reasons, ie because we all need the money, but I don’t think it will.”
However, there is a reunion of sorts already on the cards, because Damon has penned, singlehandedly, a comedy drama called ‘White Gold’ that begins tomorrow on BBC Two, and didn’t look further than Joe and James Buckley as two aspiring double glazing salesmen, along with former ‘Gossip Girl’ star Ed Westwick.
Joe admits that, despite his own success in ‘Inbetweeners’ and ‘Fresh Meat’, he was strangely intimidated by Ed’s inability to be self-deprecating, which he says could either be because of or the reason for his success overseas.
“I just don’t encounter many guys like that within comedy,” says Joe. “Comedy seems to be mainly about guys who’ve learned to play a bad hand well. I realised that there was this style of interaction with the people I knock around with, where it was a given that either I or they would tell a story about something they had tried to do recently and it was a disaster and worked out badly, and that was almost the cheat code into the conversation, we’re all self-effacing. But Ed just isn’t like that.
“Perhaps it just doesn’t fly that well in the States, but he doesn’t self-deprecate, or perhaps he’s just a functioning human being, he doesn’t have as many bad stories. So it can be a bit strange talking to him.”
Damon adds: “We all grew up together on the Inbetweeners, so we had those formative experiences, but Ed comes fully formed.”
Both Joe and Damon agree, however, that Ed nails the character of Vincent Swan, loosely based on Damon’s own father, a working class salesman, desperate to pull himself up by his bootstraps, but also happy to take any short cuts he spots along the way.
Damon explains: “My father is very flamboyant and charming and rude and sassy, and I didn’t think I’d find anyone who would match it. Then Ed came in and just did it. I needed a 30-year-old actor who thinks he’s a Hollywood film star, and then in swans an actual film star.”
Following the great success of ‘The Inbetweeners’, Damon was in no hurry to write another comedy, but it seems he has, despite himself.
“I didn’t want to be burdened by the weight of the comedy, so I called it a comedy drama, but when we got to film it and rehearse it, it was coming out as really funny, and when we sat in the edit, put music on it, there it was...
“I wanted it to be different from ‘The Inbetweeners’, and it looks brighter and a bit more lavish. And then I sat down to watch the final cut, and realised it’s still a bit like ‘The Inbetweeners’, so it’s funny but that was almost a by-product.”
‘White Gold’ begins on Wednesday 24 May at 10pm on BBC Two.