New Channel 4 comedy series The IT Crowd starts tonight; being a big geek, of course, I had to watch it. And, overall, it’s rather good.
So far I’ve only seen the first episode, and I think you have to give the first episode of any new series a little leeway. It takes a lot of time to make sure the characters are all properly introduced, after all. Nevertheless, it seems to hold up rather well.
In writing this, I’m trying not to take the easy route and start comparing it to Father Ted. It’s written by one of that show’s writers, it has a similar production style, and it has a central trio of characters. Moreover, both have a small kernel of darkness which is occasionally revealed. It might not be as gloomy and despair-filled as, say, Peep Show, but the darkness is there.
Of course, the main reason I like the show is probably the comedy of recognition. The writing isn’t particularly technical, but they do have a ZX81 lurking in the background,* not to mention the Perl Camel stickers and Flying Spaghetti Monster posters scattered around the set.** I don’t get beaten to a pulp by the non-technical staff on a regular basis, but only because they think I’d probably enjoy it. And, of course, there is that stalwart technical advice of IT staff everywhere. “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”
* Unlike my own, modern, up-to-date IT office – our last 1980s computer in service was retired last summer, and the last one on the spares shelf was sent off to long-term storage a few weeks ago. Scarily, I’m not joking here – until last summer one department did rely on a mid-80s PC running MS-DOS 3 and with Windows 1.0 installed on it
** Update, 4th February 2006: another thing I’ve noticed in the background of the set: a poster of Hokusai’s Great Wave off Kanagawa