The IT Crowd (2006-2013) is Graham Linehan’s surreal sitcom starring Chris O’Dowd, Richard Ayoade, and Katherine Parkinson. It ran for 5 seasons, totaling 25 episodes. Americans tried to remake it with Richard Ayoade in the same role, but it never got past filming the pilot. Season 4 is on Google Play. Seasons 1-4 are on Netflix streaming, Amazon Instant, and on DVD (region 1 NTSC and region 2 PAL). Every episode, including the one-episode fifth season, are on Hulu and Hulu Plus. Seasons 1-3 are rentable as discs from Facets. Seasons 1-4 are on Vudu.
After lying her way through a job interview with ridiculous, mustachioed boss Reynholm (Chris Morris), Jen (Parkinson) is inappropriately placed as manager of the IT department, which consists boyish, junk food addict Roy (O’Dowd) and clueless and bizarrely Afro-ed Moss (Ayoade), who can get on just fine without her. In fact, given the level of tech savvy at this company, they can get along just fine by hooking the phone up to a voicemail that just says “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” Jen is also the boss of Richmond (Noel Fielding), but she doesn’t realize this until she discovers him living in the closet. In season 2, Reynholm is replaced by his son Douglas, played by Matt Berry.
Jen spends season one getting acclimated to the ways of IT and of this company, which includes failed dates, office rumors that she’s dead, her boss’s shady history, and the syncing of her menstrual cycle to every IT person on the planet. Comparing it for a moment to Linehan’s previous sitcom with the same character formula, Black Books, The IT Crowd is much more over the top and surreal. Things start on fire. There’s a secret lair (or two) in the basement. Jen has the look of a devil clown when she’s on her period. But, like season one of Black Books, the writing and editing are extremely tight and you never have a dull moment. This is a very American style of sitcom writing and is probably why it’s done so well over here.
Jaime Pond is the editor of Anglonerd. She lives and works in NYC. Follow her on Twitter.
Originally posted Jan. 26, 2015