If you haven’t heard of the IT Crowd yet, you’re in the right place. The show is based around the IT department at the fictional Reynholm Industries. It’s a bit like The Office meets Revenge of the Nerds, but more hilarious.
The series begins with Jen Barber (Katherine Parkinson) being hired at Reynholm Industries as the Relationship Manager for the IT Department, or in US terms, the Human Resources Representative. She claimed to know a lot about computers on her resume, a subject she clearly knows nothing about.
Jen tries to pretend to know anything about technology, but Moss & Roy continually find ways to exploit the fact that she’s completely clueless. When Jen wins employee of the month, she has to give a speech, so Moss and Roy give her ‘the internet’ as a visual aid.
Does the speech go horribly wrong? Of course it does, but you have to watch to find out how.
Then there’s Roy, a support technician. Roy, played by Chris O’Dowd, as you may recognize from Bridesmaids, is a nerd who constantly tries to be cool and get an in with the ladies. He’s cranky and socially inept, always trying to get out of doing any work.
Roy’s an underdog who gets injured a lot. It’s surprising he can still function, actually. Roy’s known for his t-shirts, in fact, there’s an entire website dedicated to them.
Working with Roy is Maurice Moss, highly intelligent, but not a people-person. Moss is played by Richard Ayoade, who you may recognize from the Mighty Boosh. If you haven’t seen Mighty Boosh, it’s cool, we’ll cover that later.
I know I shouldn’t pick favorites, but I have to say that Moss is the best. He’s a crazy genius who still lives at home with his mother. Moss is extremely good at a game show called Countdown, which I guess is a bit like Scrabble. We don’t have anything like it in the US. He ends up being initiated into a club called “8+ Club” for Countdown winners. He makes enemies with a former Countdown champion and ends up in a street fight version of the word game. It’s super nerdy.
Then, there’s the boss, Douglas Reynholm, who takes over for his father, Denholm Reynholm. Denholm jumps out the window of the office building rather than be investigated by the police for irregularities in the company pension accounts. Douglas is played by Matt Berry (Mighty Boosh, Snuff Box), who is an even crazier boss than Michael Scott. Douglas is a womanizer, even receiving the ‘Shithead of the Year,’ award from a feminist committee. After being accused of sexual harassment for coming onto Jen, Roy and Moss (you have to watch it), he’s required to wear electric pants that give him a shock whenever he gets aroused. As you may imagine, it backfires.
Finally, there’s Richmond, played by Noel Fielding, also of Mighty Boosh.
Richmond is a goth who may or may not live in the server room. He used to be Denholm’s right hand man, but once he became a goth he was shunned to the basement. He’s moody and a bit creepy, but he means well.
Now that you know the basics of IT Crowd, you should probably watch it. If you have Netflix, you can catch every episode of the 4 seasons so far on streaming. It’s also on Amazon streaming, or available on DVD. Just make sure you get the right region for the US.
IT Crowd is essential nerd viewing, and believe me when I tell you once you start watching, you’ll be completely addicted. I know I am.