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The IT Crowd

Many hours have been spent debating over which country’s humor (or humour) is superior, America or England. While I appreciate both, I feel like British comedy has a kernel of truth at its core that American humor neglects. I think The IT Crowd is a good example of this, because while much of the show is over the top, every IT guy I’ve ever worked with approaching every issue just like Roy and Moss with a “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”
After exaggerating about her computer experience, Jen Barber (Katherine Parkinson) is hired as IT manager of Reynholm Industries. Sent to the basement and put in charge of cranky Roy (Chris O’Dowd) and awkward Moss (Richard Ayoade), she frequently finds herself in over her head. The group often tries to escape the drudgery of the basement and attempt to mingle with their co-workers, always with disastrous results.
Jen is a really fun character. While she could have easily just been a dumb blonde type, her refusal to let a little thing like not knowing what she’s talking about get in her way. She always presents complete confidence regardless of how much she’s bullshitting. In an effort to be politically correct, women in comedy tend to regulated to straight man status, letting the silly boys have all the fun. Whether she’s acting as an Italian translator for an important meeting or presenting a box that contains “the internet” to a room of executives, Jen frequently makes a fool of herself as her delusions of grandeur get the best of her.
Chris O’Dowd is the series’ break-out star, appearing in last summer’s mega hit Bridesmaids. He’s the polar opposite of Jen, full of knowledge but short on social skills. He’s quick to tell anyone how indispensable he is, but remains unappreciated by a group of people who need him to explain what a button is. One thing I find cute, is every season O’Dowd gets a little more polished and Roy a little more socially acceptable. In season four he has a steady girlfriend and is wearing trendy t-shirts, for crying out loud.
Moss is a fairly typical social outcast nerd. He lives with his mother, he has a bizarre sense of fashion, and is a technological wiz who has trouble related to all the simpletons around him. He was the only castmember to be featured in the ill-fated Americanized pilot featuring a pre-Community Joel McHale. He will be starring along side Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jonah Hill in The Watch and it seems like he’s still rocking Moss’ odd style, which includes thick black glasses and what can best be described as a side parted Jewfro. It will be interesting to see how much this new character has in common with Moss.
I would definitely recommend this series to any fan of geek humor, but be warned, British television does not have the production value that Americans are used to (all British television kind of looks like it was made in the 70s). When you get past the poor video quality, you have a really funny show with great character and very quotable dialogue.

About amandalovesmovies

Lifelong movie lover who's ready to share her two cents with the world! Follow me on twitter @tuxedopengin

3 responses to “The IT Crowd

  1. One of my all time favourite shows. To get a distinct difference between an American and British shows, watch both versions of ‘The Office’.

    You will notice that the British version is more real.

    PS. Great blog.

    • In my writing for television class in college we compare British and American episodes of the Office. Noticed the British had more regular day humor while the American version was more over the top, however the American version generated more guffaws (probably due to the over the top aspects) while the British one had more chuckles.

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