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December 18, 2006 2:54 PM   Subscribe

The IT Crowd is a sitcom produced for Channel 4. Although it follows the traditional laugh-track sitcom format, it manages to have some really funny moments. Season one was only six episodes, but season 2 is due to start this January. Chris Morris is particularly good as the CEO, Denholm. Full episodes can be found on YouTube and Google Video.
posted by cmicali (62 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
I really liked this show. The first episode set the show's bar almost too high for itself. I thought it lost a little of its edge when the characters would venture away from the office. Sure, they're funny, but the context of them in the office completes it.
posted by ninjew at 2:59 PM on December 18, 2006


This show is bloody brilliant. First I've heard of Season 2. Thanks.
posted by JPowers at 3:07 PM on December 18, 2006


It certainly had it's cheesy and unfunny moments, but when it's on, it's really on. I'm really looking forward to season two. (And I love Moss.)
posted by cmicali at 3:10 PM on December 18, 2006


Didn't really work for me I'm afraid, depite some brilliant people being involved and my really wanting to like it.
posted by Artw at 3:14 PM on December 18, 2006


It's a shame I kinda missed out on it. I watched the first episode and it felt too much like 'oh my gawd, nerds are such losers, let's point and laugh' which would have been funnier when geekdom in general was a new thing. It's was all a bit cliche and, well, unfunny.

Apparently the series improved greatly once the characters were established, but I never really made the effort to watch them. I do love my Father Ted though.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:16 PM on December 18, 2006


I'm gonna have that bloody phone number song in my head all night now. Thanks.
posted by chrismear at 3:18 PM on December 18, 2006


Hate that show. And not in an eyeballkid "I hate you all" kind of way, but in a the-hype-doesn't-match-how-limp-the-script-is kind of way.

But then I only sat through the first half of the first season.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:19 PM on December 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Nathan Barley is better.
posted by meehawl at 3:23 PM on December 18, 2006


I'm with the haters - I find it hard to laugh when I can see a joke coming from a mile away.
posted by forallmankind at 3:23 PM on December 18, 2006


Pity the Morisian for he has drooped so far from such heights. Unwittingly blighting his future by being so ahead of his time. Now he is found colaborating with people who perform weakly acted parodies of himself, and who he in turn tries to ape to be young and hip. Chris Morris eats himself.
posted by asok at 3:25 PM on December 18, 2006


Nice Screensaver!
posted by bruzie at 3:25 PM on December 18, 2006


I've been enjoying this, but it's not super-fantastic.

Having said that, I do now want my work phone to say "Have you tried turning it off and on again" at the start of every call.
posted by pompomtom at 3:26 PM on December 18, 2006


It took a couple of episodes to sink in, but I love it now and got the DVD the day it came out. I read somewhere, possibly on the IT Crowd site, that you can get the DVD subtitles in 1337, although I haven't bothered to check this... hang on... yeah, you can! Subtitles on the DVD are in English or 1337. How cool is that?

Other good things about this series: Katherine Parkinson is gorgeous and I have the same RTFM T shirt Roy wears in episode 1.
posted by TheDonF at 3:28 PM on December 18, 2006


From all the buzz surrounding it a year or so ago, I'd been expecting a smart witty take on the grim life of an IT worker, amusing to those of us who work in the field, perhaps with little true-to-life details. Instead it was a not wildly smart periodically witty take on the grim freaks who lurk in IT, amusing to those of "you" who have to deal with those of "us" unfortunate enough to work in the field, featuring many subtle and annoying unintentional misunderstandings of true-to-life details.

(Full disclosure; I very, very rarely laugh out loud at anything on TV, and never, ever, at sitcoms. Something to do with how I'm wired.)
posted by Luddite at 3:33 PM on December 18, 2006


It did get better, but there was always just something about it that didn't quite work. I think it was because its wanton silliness - which Father Ted did so well - was married to a high-strung manic tone that was wont to make one feel a bit headache-y whenever the jokes didn't work.

Father Ted was funnier because it was less frenetic and because it knew that as often as not Dermot Morgan's reactions were the joke. Also, the scripts were stronger. And the acting better. And it had that joke about the far away cows.

That said, the IT Crowd did have some hilarious moments.
posted by Robot Rowboat at 3:52 PM on December 18, 2006


It sucks so much that I put my Brass Eye and Day Today DVDs in storage and removed On The Hour and Blue Jam from my mp3 player. It's going to be a long time before I find Christopher Morris funny again and I used to be a big fan. That sitcom's so lame it makes Three's Company seem like Arrested Development.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:52 PM on December 18, 2006


Yeah, what Luddite said. I downloaded all episodes a year ago and watched them. Too many cliches and falsehoods to make it really funny. Also, its not clever. Too many strikes against it in my book.

I mean, I loved the office and it was hoping this was a similarly clever and witty UK programme, but alas, its something I would have more expected to come out of US Basic cable programming.
posted by subaruwrx at 3:54 PM on December 18, 2006


It's going to be a long time before I find Christopher Morris funny again

Morris didn't write IT. He did write Nathan Barley. I was saddened by how leaden IT was - Black Books is better. I am off to watch the Chrismassy Father Ted right now!
posted by meehawl at 3:55 PM on December 18, 2006


Sorry I dont get it.

Er, that is to say, I get it but I dont like it.
posted by subaruwrx at 3:56 PM on December 18, 2006


it's all over boingboing: US version of IT Crowd coming to NBC, IT Crowd DVD has subtitles in leet ...
posted by kolophon at 4:01 PM on December 18, 2006


Morris isn't the star - in fact he wasn't supposed to be in it at all, but the original actor pulled out at the last moment and he stepped in to help Graham Linehan (the writer, and one of the two writers on Father Ted, who'd disarmingly frank about what he thinks doesn't work about the series, and what he thinks does, on the DVD commentary).

It's not really about IT, in the same way that Arthur Matthews' (the other writer on Father Ted) series Hippies wasn't really about the 60s counterculture. It's just there to be silly, really.

Matthews will apparantly be writing some of the new season with Linehan. So, hurrah!

I like it a lot, and it makes me laugh often and loudly.
posted by Grangousier at 4:04 PM on December 18, 2006


"Sorry I dont get it.

Er, that is to say, I get it but I dont like it."


That's okay. It was the line "I'll just put this over here with the rest of the fire " that did for me, but each to their own and all that.
posted by Robot Rowboat at 4:04 PM on December 18, 2006


Um, Hippies was shit.
posted by Artw at 4:10 PM on December 18, 2006


Finally, the Channel 4 series The IT Crowd is being re-developed by writer and executive producers David Guarascio and Moses Port (Just Shoot Me, Mad About You); and Joe Port and Joe Wiseman (Son of the Beach, Dilbert).

From boingboing.

So the US version will suck too.
posted by eyeballkid at 4:11 PM on December 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


The episodes are mostly dull, but there are occasional flashes of dreariness.
posted by martinrebas at 4:15 PM on December 18, 2006


Well, eyeballkid if the us transaltion of the office is any indication, this should be at the opposite end of the spectrum on the comedy scale. So, since this is utter garbage to me, the US version should be refreshing and clever.

Or, it will probably end up following in the shoes of "The Office" and being 40,000 times worse. Hoooray for more programming on NBC that I will not watch.
posted by subaruwrx at 4:21 PM on December 18, 2006


Total and utter cack, with maybe one half-decent gag per episode. Plus it had that fucking unwatchable, no-talent hack Richard 'I'm doing The Comedy Voice so I must be funny' Ayoade in it. The only people I know who enjoyed it are self-consciously Anglophile Americans.

Um, Hippies was shit.

In much the same way as The IT Crowd - promising premise, writers with good pedigree, good cast; yet total bibble.
posted by jack_mo at 4:39 PM on December 18, 2006


They work in the 'eye tee' department, why on earth would the show be called anything different? LOGIC, people.

I've never heard of the popular people being the 'IT crowd'. I think you are refering to the "IN crowd'.


Ah, YouTube comments.
posted by hugsnkisses at 5:58 PM on December 18, 2006


Oh, and the reason that boingboing tends to be so fawningly congratulatory about the series is that Cory did some consulting for the show.

As a result of this (and the reason that, despite it's oft weak scripting and stale acting, it's one of the most fantastic shows on television) the office set is covered with EFF stickers and other net geek references. How often do you get to see "MP3 is not a crime" or a poster of the Flying Spaghetti Monster in mainstream sitcoms? The show may have it's bad parts, but you have to love it for the shoutouts.
posted by hugsnkisses at 6:23 PM on December 18, 2006


There are a ton of computer culture odds'n'bods kicking around that office. Quite amusing to play spot-the-antique.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:02 PM on December 18, 2006


It's like one long bad SNL sketch.
posted by euphorb at 8:08 PM on December 18, 2006


This show is not funny. If you think this show is funny, please recalibrate your sense of humor.
posted by nomad at 8:24 PM on December 18, 2006


I like it. fuckers.
posted by Jeremy at 8:39 PM on December 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Patchy, yes. But there are very few sitcoms that provide an excuse for your friends to empty their cupboards of all the computer-related detritus they'd acquired over the past 20 years.
posted by holgate at 8:59 PM on December 18, 2006


Chiming in with another worthless Internet Opinion: yeah, it was pretty tepid. It seemed written by either a) someone who actually didn't know much about technology or geeks other than the tired jokes other people make about them or b) someone who did, but just wasn't very good at making the funny.

Could have been gold, wasn't. One of those things where you didn't hate the 'entertainment' for the time it robbed from you, but mildly regretted it nonetheless.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:19 PM on December 18, 2006


Sometimes it is so awful I want to cringe - but when it is funny, it is hysterical. But I agree with TheDonF, Katherine Parkinson is rather nice. She went to university with my fiancee though so I'd better watch what I say.
posted by greycap at 11:09 PM on December 18, 2006


So, er, is it actually pronounced "the it crowd", or "the eye-tee crowd"?

0118 999...
posted by chrismear at 11:19 PM on December 18, 2006


"Chiming in with another worthless Internet Opinion: yeah, it was pretty tepid. It seemed written by either a) someone who actually didn't know much about technology or geeks other than the tired jokes other people make about them or b) someone who did, but just wasn't very good at making the funny."

I agree with the wonderchicken, except for the fact that the Graham Linehan
a) knows a lot about techology
b) has a track record of being very funny.

interested to see if he fixes it in series two.
posted by fullerine at 11:25 PM on December 18, 2006


So, er, is it actually pronounced "the it crowd", or "the eye-tee crowd"?

I have no idea - I interchange them until someone gets what I'm talking about. The former sounds like some kind of fashion thing, though.
posted by TheDonF at 12:14 AM on December 19, 2006


According to Mr Linehan's commentary, Channel 4 asked him how it was pronounced and he forgot to tell them until about halfway through the broadcast, after they'd been calling it "The Eye-tee Crowd" for three weeks, at which point he told them it's pronounced "The It Crowd".

The DVD is a labour of love, by the way, but aren't they all these days.

It's just a silly sitcom. It's just supposed to be a silly sitcom - it was deliberately designed to be a reaction to what I've been assured is a wave of mean-spirited, cruel programmes, which I've also been assured are a lot worse than this (I couldn't tell you their names, because to be honest these days I don't watch that much television) - so, studio audience, exaggerated performances and as little snark as possible. There's some stuff which I think is very nicely observed - the geekware, obviously, but also some of the office stuff - the politics and relationships, which is quite nicely balanced. The gag about the server-room door being out of bounds is very good too - a sort of double-gag (one level for people who are aware that there's a door in the building that they're not allowed through, another for IT people who know why they're not allowed there, and it's not an outcast Goth).

I mean, if you like it, it sticks around and keeps you entertained for ages, just like Father Ted did. If you don't, not. But it's just a silly programme, and expecting it to be anything more than that is like expecting an Important Rock Statement triple-concept-album from The Cramps.
posted by Grangousier at 1:02 AM on December 19, 2006


I meant to preview that and not quite get around to posting it before accidentally quitting Safari. Bum.

Anyway, I like it a lot, but I wouldn't have posted it to the front page of Metafilter. It's not that sort of thing.
posted by Grangousier at 1:05 AM on December 19, 2006


One of the writers [url=http://users.livejournal.com/tao_/]blogs[/url], fwiw. Bit of a link blog though. And it seems to be operating about a week in the future atm.
posted by vbfg at 2:12 AM on December 19, 2006


Damn my BBCode assumptions.
posted by vbfg at 2:13 AM on December 19, 2006


You're only making an ass out of you and mptions.
posted by chrismear at 2:34 AM on December 19, 2006


I quite enjoyed the show, but I've found that most sitcoms need at *least* 6-10 episodes to really get into their stride. This one was really only starting to get good before they cut off the first season. I was actually quite surprised when I moved over to Ireland, how often this seems to happen with British shows.
posted by antifuse at 2:51 AM on December 19, 2006


Antifuse--quite often a British comedy 'season' is (intentionally) only 6-10 episodes. See Fawlty Towers for example. Or Blackadder or The Young Ones.

Anyway I laughed. Not as much as at Father Ted, but still. I thought Chris Morris's part was pretty weak, but very much enjoyed the bits with Richmond the goth.
posted by misteraitch at 4:29 AM on December 19, 2006


I'm sure this must've been covered before but why do the US TV companies feel the need to "rework" successful UK shows, especially when the original is already successful in the US? And why do the results invariably suck so bad?
posted by NeonSurge at 5:33 AM on December 19, 2006


I luv this show. I've shown the watched the episodes over and over again with friends that don't know a lot about computers and they crack up. The fire bit with Moss is one of the funniest things I have ever seen on TV.

I don't think that I'll be able to get into an American version of the show however; although I love the US version of The Office.

I was seriously disappointed that they only did 6 episodes and have been waiting for the 2nd season for a year now. Bout time.
posted by daHIFI at 6:23 AM on December 19, 2006


Count me as one of the fans - I downloaded all the episodes way back when it first popped up on BoingBoing and I've been eagerly awaiting season 2.
posted by Bageena at 7:19 AM on December 19, 2006


I haven't seen this show yet -- I'll check it out.

I think Father Ted is one of the worst pieces of dreck I ever laid eyes on. Why do people love that show with such passion?
posted by Julnyes at 7:23 AM on December 19, 2006


I quite like the US version of The Office.

It's dragged on a bit though.
posted by Artw at 7:23 AM on December 19, 2006


[Q]uite often a British comedy 'season' is (intentionally) only 6-10 episodes. See Fawlty Towers for example. Or Blackadder or The Young Ones.

That's sort of what I was getting at when I mentioned how often it happens over here (Top Gear is another example of this)... I'm just baffled as to *why* they do it that way.
posted by antifuse at 7:46 AM on December 19, 2006


It wasn't a classic but it had a special charm. Chris Morris ran riot in his scenes, what a show-stealer.

Season 2 has a fighting chance, methinks.
posted by Blip at 8:27 AM on December 19, 2006


I'm just baffled as to *why* they do it that way.

Smaller budgets, plus small writing teams.
posted by Artw at 10:15 AM on December 19, 2006


I'm sure this must've been covered before but why do the US TV companies feel the need to "rework" successful UK shows, especially when the original is already successful in the US? And why do the results invariably suck so bad?

Because the American TV season is based around an initial order of 13 episodes, with an option to extend to a full 22. When that happens, you basically need to bring in a writing team and that can change it into a team-written comedy unless you're smart and careful. Six episodes equals 'cancelled' to US executives.

The advantage of a six-episode series is that there's no real compulsion to pull it if it doesn't work: you just let it run its course. While the result might be patchy, it rarely gets stale. And Brits don't mind their comedy in small portions, especially if it's well-prepared.

And Grangousier's right: it's a silly conventional sitcom in contrast to things like Nighty Night.
posted by holgate at 10:59 AM on December 19, 2006


I tried watching the first 3 episodes of this show. Based on how Cory fellated it, I thought it would be something on par with The Office or Arrested Development.

I was blown away by how bad the first episode was. I tried watching the next two in hope that they might improve, but they didn't.

Grangousier's explanation shines a new light on the show. I can see how they might have intentionally attempted to achieve the tone in this show. That being said, intentionally insipid work is still insipid.

That bit with the guy whose ear gets hot when he gets excited? And the laugh track? Man that was tough to get through.

I did chuckle at the portrait of the boss located right behind the boss' desk.

PS Despite my use of the word "fellated", I actually really like Cory and Boingboing. He just gets a bit effusive sometimes.
posted by Telf at 11:28 AM on December 19, 2006


I did not know that this had been on BoingBoing. Is it wrong that I am upset that Corey likes it?
posted by cmicali at 11:43 AM on December 19, 2006


The guy with the pile of mostly empty inhalers got me. I've got mostly empty inhalers all over the place.

I think this show is great. I think a US version will be crap.

Then again, I despise new yorker style "humor" and prefer fart jokes, so I'd expect to like this show.
posted by Dillenger69 at 1:17 PM on December 19, 2006


I actually really like Cory and Boingboing. He just gets a bit effusive sometimes.

That's sort of the point of BoingBoing, isn't it? "OMG this is so awesome!" about *everything*, whether it be a British sitcom or the Flying Spaghetti Monster or whatever John K's latest animation project is.
posted by antifuse at 2:16 AM on December 20, 2006


Well, it is A Directory of Wonderful Things, rather than A Directory of Mildly Interesting Things, after all.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:27 AM on December 20, 2006


Touché.
posted by Telf at 8:14 AM on December 20, 2006


Telf's experience was mine too. Not having seen any other British sitcoms, I thought this must have been some horrendous outlier for the BBC. Then when I saw "When the Whistle Blows" in the second series of Extras, I realized that The IT Crowd is par for the course, a genre piece: funny hair, stupid voices, laugh track, lame gags.... I bet there's a catchphrase or two, though it's been a while since I first saw the show.
posted by msbrauer at 10:23 AM on December 24, 2006


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