Bullies, class clowns, disaffected guidance counselors, crushes into bizarre, new-age activities: This is the stuff that high school is made of. In “Class Clown,” The Inbetweeners sought to tackle the tropes of the cafeteria seating chart in a new way, but mostly fell flat. It isn’t awful, but it is a shoulder shrug of an episode.
After making a public play for Charlotte Allen, Will became number one on the shit list of her ex-boyfriend, Donovan. Donovan proves himself to be adept at the traditional high-school bullying approaches: He mocks Will’s briefcase, sticks his face in the water fountain, and tastes some to Will’s delicious lunchtime hummus with his finger. Neil, Jay, and Simon studiously ignore the scene, mostly to avoid getting tortured. But Jay also has a more serious goal: He’s in the running to be voted class clown (they vote for those now?) and he has to keep his rep intact.
I actually enjoyed Jay’s whole shtick, though it was a bit predictable. Jay comes from a long line of class clowns, and his father puts a lot of pressure on him to be a goof. The gag where Jay’s dad throws one of those pop-up peanut-can snakes at him is pretty great, as is the scene where he arrives with a cardboard box full of silly things to bolster Jay’s confidence. Jay’s main rival in his endeavor is a juggler/mime type, whom Jay finds hacky, but whom everyone else thinks is hilarious. Jay spots a sign with moveable letters and has an epiphany, Beautiful Mind-style, of what he can use them to spell out. But he’s too late—the other class clown has arranged them in the shape of boobs. Classic, simple, smart. Jay then decides to move away from class clown-dom, donning a leather jacket and driving a motorcycle straight into the flagpole. And this, of course, is what actually nets him the title.
Meanwhile, Simon’s ongoing saga with Carli continues when she comes to stay the night while her house is being redone. Simon spots the opportunity to make a move, but freaks out about his kiddie bedroom. “I don’t have a dentist chair! I have a racecar bed!” he yells at Jay, who attempts to make his room bone-worthy. Mostly this involves throwing everything out and ripping up the wallpaper. When Carli actually arrives, she describes the place as “crack house-y” while, obviously, she was looking forward to snuggling up in the room she remembered. Simon makes a move during an astro-projection attempt, and thus bungles yet another sure shot to get in Carli’s pants.
Will’s bullying ends—kind of—when Mr. Gilbert halfheartedly intervenes. Will had already made a plan that involved filling his briefcase full of shit and giving it to Donovan. As usual on The Inbetweeners, everyone loses.
- I love that the default on Mr. Gilbert’s keyboard is “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.” Zoolander, always.
- If there’s anything Jay should have learned from Room Raiders, it’s never, never use a black light in a bedroom.
- Jay’s Dad being hyper-competitive about the class clown thing is a neat parallel to Simon’s dad last week.