Retro Review: “The IT Crowd” Still Holds Up a Decade After its Creation
“The IT Crowd” follows slacker Roy (Chris O’Dowd) who turned the phrase, “Did you turn it off and on again?” into goldmine of a slogan. It also follows “book smart” Moss (Richard Ayoade) who has different size glasses for each level of seriousness, and their unqualified supervisor Jen (Katherine Parkinson) who knows absolutely nothing about computers, as they float through lifes, and their jobs as IT “professionals” at Reynholm Industries. The company is headed by a misogynistic, clueless, sexist boss, Douglas Reynholm (Matt Berry).
This show hits the mark in nearly every category you can push it into. The comedic timing, overall humor, superb deliveries, and perfect set design has garnered “The IT Crowd” 8 awards and an impressive 18 nominations over its 25-episode run spanning 5 seasons, which started in 2006 and ended in 2013. Those awards and nominations range from BAFTA’s, BANFF’s, British Comedy Awards, and a nomination by the British Writers Guild. The most impressive thing about this, is unlike most American shows, this series had only one writer, and with the exception of one episode, one director.
Nothing is off-limits in this series, whether it is using electrified trousers to punish the overly sexual boss, treating customers poorly due to a lack of interpersonal skills, or even keeping an employee locked in a room because he looks different from everybody else and claims a band called Cradle of Filth is basically his mantra to life.
If you’re easily offended, this is not a show for you; If you laugh at inappropriate things and understand that there is a deeper context to the content, although not too deep, this show is a must watch.
“The IT Crowd” is set up like most American multi camera sitcoms, and is still filled with canned laughter, which honestly isn’t needed beings it was shot in front of a live studio audience. The audience laughter should have been more than sufficient.
When looking at each episode, you won’t find yourself deliberating over which episode you liked the least… With the hilarity of this series, you’re more likely to ponder, which episode do I like the most. It is that kind of show. It makes fun of everything in a light-hearted manner and will either keep you chuckling or outright laughing from start to finish.
“The IT Crowd” had such a major following that it was picked up for the US market, much like “The Office”, but the pilot episode didn’t test well with a nearly all US cast. Even fan favorite character, Moss, who was brought over to the American version, couldn’t save the show from pre-release cancellation. It just goes to show you that this British award-winning show was strong not just because of the writing and directing, but by the chemistry between the original castmates that didn’t transition well to the American television market.
“The IT Crowd” is currently available to stream on Netflix and is a MUST WATCH for those who want to laugh and forget about their own troubles for a little while.
Verdict: 5 out of 5 Stars
Review by Lee Frazier
At A Glance:
Starring: Chris O’Dowd, Richard Ayoade, Katherine Parkinson, Matt Berry, Christopher Morris, Noel Fielding, Graham Linehan
Director: Graham Linehan
Production: Talkback Thames, Channel 4 Television Corporation