Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Inbetweeners (U.S.): “Club Code”

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If the last two weeks have landed The Inbetweeners solidly on the interesting side of the MTV scripted show spectrum, this week’s episode nudges it a bit towards the “blah” end of things. Some of the jokes didn’t make sense in the new American version—I still can’t really figure out why Simon would agree to give up his shoes for the off-chance that a homeless person would prevent the cops from giving him a parking ticket—and it felt like the show didn’t embrace the all-out weirdness that a night clubbing could have offered the characters. But let’s start at the beginning.

Our hapless heroes, on their never-ending quest to get drunk and get laid, end up at a bowling alley where, as Jay explains to Neil, “we’re here to get wasted not get stickers.” The elderly woman working the bar knows better than to serve such a posse, so McKenzie strikes a deal with a local weirdo who buys them a round but then has to sit with them, to look as if he convincingly bought five beers for himself. The one piece of advice this dude has is about getting rid of blue balls. “Lifting cars,” he nods. “Totally drains the blood from your pea pod.”

Because Carli and her friends are having a night out clubbing, Simon convinces everyone to go out to Spectrum, a cheesy-sounding club downtown. On the way there, Neil manages to cut the top of his penis from peeing into a soda can, and a candy necklace-bedecked Jay pisses off a ton of commuters by yelling “Bus turds” at them. And that’s all before they manage to get inside. An hour of hunting for a parking space means that Simon parks in front of a loading dock and trades his sneakers for some piss-soaked tramp shoes for a modicum of dubious protection. In the British version, this was at least because the club wouldn’t let in sneakers. Here it just seems a little forced and downright weird.

In the club, things aren’t much better. Jay breaks out two glow sticks, whispers “I can do this” and sets off to creep out a lot of ladies. McKenzie’s unbelievably lame dancing underscores a situation in which he clearly misread Carli’s friend’s intentions towards him. Neil goes to the bathroom to comfort his savaged wiener, and a guy calls in the police because he believes him to be masturbating. Of course, Jay, at the same time, tries to relieve the blue balls he’s acquired from grinding by lifting something heavy—in this case, the sink.  They all get thrown out of the club. And before they can revel in the badass sound of that, Simon is faced with the angered bum who he left by their car. He managed to get shit all over Simon’s trainers—“I got friends too,” he informs them—but wants his shoes back. So as Carli and her ultra-femme ganag leave the club, a tramp is jumping up and down on the hood of Simon’s car. Successful night out? Not exactly.