The IT Crowd
Written and directed by Graham Linehan of Father Ted, Brass Eye and Black Books fame, The IT Crowd is set in the basement of Reynholm Industries and based around a small IT department consisting of three disparate characters: Jen, Roy and Moss. Roy and Moss are typical IT geeks and have the reluctant Jen foisted upon them as a new manager by big boss Denholm Reynholm, played by Chris Morris. Jen, played by Katherine Parkinson, is not an IT person but gets the job by bluffing. Roy and Moss spot her lack of ability straight away but fail to turn her in, as Reynholm likes teamwork. Denholm Reynholm commits suicide by jumping out of a window in the middle of a meeting when the police turn up about discrepancies in the pension fund. His lecherous son, Douglas, played by Matt Berry, replaces him as the boss.
Roy, played by Chris O’Dowd, is lazy and obnoxious. He will do anything to avoid work but appears to be generally competent. He lacks social skills and is constantly having trouble getting a woman.
Moss, played by Richard Ayoade, is an insular geek with talents for many strange things but finds communication extremely difficult. He cannot understand normal things but can comprehend the most difficult technical situation.
This week’s episode has Douglas trying to recruit Jen as his PA, with an eye on extra-curricular activity, as he has a tincture to try on her. Jen explains to Moss who completely misinterprets the situation before Roy and he realise that Jen is leaving the department.
When she does leave they get out the list of “Things they can’t do when Jen is there”. After four hours they have gone completely through the list and get bored. Meanwhile, Douglas has tried it on several times with Jen and she has tired, he tries to convince her otherwise and makes a cup of tea, with the tincture in it. He then shows her a computer presentation that has an unexpected “glitch”, which is a not very subliminal cut of a naked Douglas.
Jen calls up Moss and Roy, who rush up to the office wearing their boxer shorts (banned under Jen), as they are so bored they are even willing to do some work. As they arrive Roy asks if he has turned the laptop off and on and Moss notices the smell of Rohypnol in Jen’s tea and asks her why she is taking it. Moss can even break it down into its component parts and confirms that it is an unacceptable drug. Jen forces Douglas to drink it, who becomes decidedly randy. Jen escapes and locks her colleagues in with Douglas who has become less fussy on the Rohypnol.
The IT Crowd has its moments and is packed with IT in jokes but keeps it open enough to be enjoyed by the less geeky audience. The characters are well defined; the storylines are fair and the humour sharp. It has the potential to go on well after the end of the current, second, series.