The recent third series of E4 teen-comedy The Inbetweeners was supposed to be the last TV adventure for the unruly students, before a movie and wrap-up TV special was announced. However, it's being reported that there will actually be two TV specials after the 2011 movie's release, thus extending the lifespan of E4's biggest hit. And if by "special" they're meaning hour-long installments, won't this effectively be four episodes of a regular six-episode fourth series, just stitched together?
Of course, if you're a fan of The Inbetweeners, news of another special is most likely music to your ears. But considering series 3's mixed response, I'm worried writers Damon Beesley and Iain Moris will find themselves flogging a dead horse before long. James Buckley (the youngest of the four leads) is already 23, while Joe Thomas (the oldest) is 27, so it'll be even tougher to convince people they're teenagers next year. Look at the photo above -- that's how they used to look when the show first started.
And should this comedy continue past the movie, which feels like the perfect celebratory end-point? If not, maybe writers will take the foursome into university, despite the plausability problem with dopey Neil? Or how about resetting The Inbetweeners and following a new gang of friends, a la Skins, while keeping teacher Mr Gilbert involved for continuity? Or is the success of The Inbetweeners down to those particular characters and actors?
Update: Apparently, the writers have yet to agree to Channel 4's suggestion they write two specials, so we may still end up with one as originally planned.