The Anglo Files 13
by Cara Winter
I know how weird this is going to sound. Nevertheless, here it is:
Some of us don’t care about football – at all. Like, not at all. We aren’t excited to hear your drinking stories. We don’t see any point in watching the Grammys. And we’re not heading out to see Fifty Shades of Grey this weekend, or any weekend (nor did we read the book).
It can get lonely, being so outside the norm. The mainstream is just …so… main stream. There are times when it seems as though nobody understands, and that people are just a bunch of bastards, with bad taste in everything.
And then, a trusted friend comes to the rescue by recommending The IT Crowd. And in one fell swoop, our faith in humanity is restored.
The IT Crowd is a British sitcom written by Graham Linehan, starring Chris O’Dowd (an actor most famous for playing the cop-slash-love-interest in the film Bridesmaids), Richard Ayoade, and Katherine Parkinson. Set in the London offices of the soulless, stereotypically straight-laced “Reynholm Industries”, the show revolves around the 3-person IT Department, whose offices are housed within the bowels of the company’s corporate headquarters.
It’s hard to say what I love most about the show. It’s pretty much everything, I think? The writing, the direction, the physical comedy, the laugh track. Even the sets make me happy.
But no. No, it really is about the people of the IT department. First there’s Maurice Moss (Richard Ayoade). I dunno, maybe it’s his aversion to swearing, or how poorly he lies, or his ‘sweet style’… but I think I may love him?
Yep, I love him.
Then there’s his best friend and co-worker, Roy (Chris O’Dowd), who is clearly inspired by Oscar Madison– a little slovenly, more than a little bit lazy, and thoroughly annoyed by anyone who doesn’t work in IT.
(Here he is trying to get a date with a girl who only likes bad boys…)
Clearly, internet memes were created for these people. Or, by them. Possibly both.
In the pilot, it is clear that Moss and Roy have been happily ensconced in their underground geek-lair for some time. Enter (*gasp*, another human being!) Jen, their new manager (Katherine Parkinson, who viewers might recognize from Sherlock) who knows a sum total of nothing about computers, and who is horrified (at first) to be associated with anyone deemed by the main stream to be terminally uncool.
As Jen discovers just how bizarre this geek underworld is… she is also figuring out that she belongs there. For as much as she wants to hide from it, she is a misfit, an outsider, a freak — just like Moss and Roy. And for because we love Moss and Roy, we cheer for Jen to just loosen up and learn how to let her freak flag fly… even if it is done somewhat reluctantly, and under an assumed name.
Each episode is a little gem; the one where Moss tries to report a workplace fire (references below); or the one where the gang goes to the theater (to see “Gay: The Musical!“; Roy is caught using the handicapped toilet, and Moss finds himself inexplicably working the wet bar); ah… and the one where we find out what’s behind the Red Door. I’d tell you what’s on the other side, but… yeah, no. You’re just going to have to embrace your inner geek, and stream it for yourself.
In short, I love this stupid show. It makes me so happy. I think it’ll make you happy, too.
(By the way, have you tried Cuke? I know, it’s so good– god, I’m thirsty…)
Episodes of The IT Crowd are currently available on Netflix and Hulu.
Cara Winter is a Contributing Editor to TVWriter™. You can learn more about her HERE.