‘Have you tried turning it off and back on again?’- James Nash watches The IT Crowd for the first time...
Yes, shamefully, I had never seen the cult classic before this week. I would nod and laugh along when the conversation about our favourite TV comedies would inevitably drift to The IT Crowd, fully accepting the world’s conclusion that it was brilliant without watching a single episode. If you are in the minority and have never seen the show, I can assure you of its brilliance (having binged the first season in an afternoon).
It might be odd to suggest that the show’s greatest success is its relatability, considering the sheer amount of farce it employs. In Moss, Roy and Jen, we’re presented with three arguably archetypal characters – the socially inept nerd, the desperate womaniser, and the shoe-obsessed career woman – who all face the daily struggles of work, relationships, and yes, IT. Whilst our team appear to fit certain boxes, their intrinsically human response to the challenges that life throws at them ultimately endeared them to me.
From the first scene, where Jen lies on her CV and is therefore hired for a job she is completely underqualified for, I knew this show would be the relatable comedy I was looking for. Come on, we’ve all said we’re good with computers on our CV, haven’t we?
Much of this charm is down to the performances of our three leads. Richard Ayoade, Chris O’Dowd and Katherine Parkinson have all flourished in recent years, giving us both comedic and dramatic roles that have defined them as true British (and Irish) talents. This talent is just as evident here, at the start of their respective careers, bringing humour and warmth right off the bat. The chemistry between the three is palpable, and despite the hilarious sight gags and physical comedy the show is known for, it’s our rag-tag team that kept me hooked.
The IT Crowd can happily cement itself as a classic British sit-com – a genre rarely seen on screens these days. In an era of wry, political satire and edgy comedy-dramas, it was pleasant to spend an afternoon enjoying some gentle light relief. The show is a much needed distraction from the horrors of 2018 (save for a ‘Made in Britain’ running gag in Episode 2 that served as an unintentional forewarning for Brexit).
In fact, the only socially relevant issue present is the technological revolution. Despite first airing over a decade ago, the human race’s struggle with technology is still as relevant as ever. So, if like Jen and I, you’ve lied on your CV and you don’t know squat about computers, check out The IT Crowd. You won’t get any advice, but at least you’ll feel at home.
All four series and the double length finale of The IT Crowd are currently available on Netflix UK.