The IT Crowd
Remember that time between screeching dial-up connections and ultra-thin tablets? When the internet was still new and exciting, but we weren't so archaic to use the term 'World Wide Web'? Strangely enough, The IT Crowd seems to encompass that unspoken in-between period, which is what led me to revisit this offbeat classic in one big weekend gulp.
The series follows the comings and goings of technicians Moss (Richard Ayoade), Roy (Chris O'Dowd), and their manager Jen (Katherine Parkinson) in the dingy office basement of Reynholm Industries, a company that makes millions of dollars doing nothing in particular. Or in the show's own words, a place where there are "a lot of sexy people not doing much work".
Except, of course, down in the basement where the much maligned IT department idle away their days.
Being 'geeky' might be trendy now with the rise of sleek technology and edgy comic flicks, but the pattern fails to fit when it comes to Moss and Roy.
Hapless, introverted, and painfully polite in his short sleeved shirt and side-swept afro, Moss is that bit of social awkwardness that lives inside all of us--just multiplied by tenfold. Roy is of a different ilk, slouching in his signature sneakers and gag T-Shirts (one of which says "Nothing is any good if other people like it"), and more often than not, finding himself at the wrong end of the stick.
The more socialised Jen fares little better. Arriving with dreams of being Ally McBeal, she's shunted to the bottom of the food chain as IT manager after lying on her CV that she has "experience with computers".
But she's determined to prove herself to the company's elite, so she ends up having to do her fair share of bluffing. She's ruined business deals pretending to speak fluent Italian, and once tried to work her way around explaining what 'IT' stands for. In one particularly memorable episode, Jen is desperate to impress the company's shareholders, so she decides to show them the 'Internet' in all its glory: boxed, wireless, and surprisingly, very light.
However you want to call the show (with an ironic 'It' or a literal 'IT'), with just four six-episode seasons at 20 minutes each, The IT Crowd is a comedy gem among the Lightbox archives.
For fans of: The Peep Show; The Catherine Tate Show
Better than: The Inbetweeners
Not as good as: The Mighty Boosh