Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Yuletide TV Day 4: The Inbetweeners

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Series: The Inbetweeners

Episode: S1E6 "Xmas Party"

Original airdate: May 28, 2008

Santa? Nope

Other holidays mentioned: None

Availability: Netflix and Hulu

Unique Christmas Story:
When is a Christmas episode not a Christmas episode? When it's a prom episode.

It's weird to think about, but prom and Christmas aren't all that different. They both involve a lot of planning, spending money, and hanging out with people that are (hopefully) fun to be around.

And Christmas, like prom, is a single night that has a lot of excitement and anticipation leading up to it. 

This episode is unique because it also functions as a season finale. Story lines come to a head here and, this being British TV, offer some resolution without completely resolving anything. The show's focus, William McKenzie, has struggled to fit into is school all year, but the opportunity to plan the Christmas dance has him hoping he finally gain the respect of his peers.

The Inbetweeners often has the boys at the center of the show involved in self-absorbed behavior, so it is surprising that in this episode, Will is really trying to plan a dance that will be fun for everyone else. Sure, he know if that party is terrible it will come back on him, but the amount of anxiety Will goes through demonstrates his desire to make sure his classmates have a good time.

Christmastime is overrun by parties. Parties with friends, relatives and coworkers, all piling up on each other. It's hard enough trying to find the time to attend, but it's even harder when you're the person who needs to make sure everything falls into place properly.

Will feels that stress throughout most of the episode and his annoying persona becomes even more grating to those around him as he convinces himself that there is no way anyone will enjoy themselves at the party. Miniscule details, like the lack of signs pointing out the bathrooms, get blown out of proportion, and despite the reassurances of his friends, Will has a hard time seeing all his hard work might just pay off.

It isn't until almost the end of the episode that Will is able to let go of his anxiety. He ends up being badgered by one of the school bullies during the dance for looking at a girl the wrong way. He seems doomed to a beating until the rest of his classmates tell the bully to lay off because Will has actually managed to throw a pretty good party. It's a sweet moment and one Will ultimately ruins by being himself, but it's one of several satisfying plot points the episode manages to nail.

Watch the entire episode below and it the comments with your thoughts.

Unique Christmas Message:
Sometimes, the best gift to give someone is respect.

I continue my trip through a Christmas in teen-land but move out of high school and into college.

No comments:

Post a Comment