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TV Review | The IT Crowd | Season 1

Maurice (Richard Ayoade) fails to notice a small office fire in The IT Crowd

Season Summary: The comedic adventures of a rag-tag group of technical support workers at a large corporation. (IMDb)

Before watching this season, my only exposure to The IT Crowd had been from seeing clips shared online, and I’d always thought it looked funny and like something I should check out. On actually watching the show, taking in its best moments in clips might actually be the optimum way to view it.

That’s not to say it’s bad at all, but it never came close to meeting my expectations based on the little footage I had seen of it. The issue is one of tone: The IT Crowd just can’t seem to make up its mind what kind of comedy show it really wants to be.

It’s funniest at its extremes: there are some very good moments with observational humour or a quick remark that will have you giggling for long time after, and likewise there are moments of pure farce that are just laugh out loud brilliant.

The real problem is the 80% in between these two extremes. There are relatable, realistic situations that get thrown away for the sake of absurdity, and then there are nonsensical and downright silly moments that the show seems to expect the audience to take seriously.

Sometimes the contrast works, but the mishmash blending of different comedy types often conflict with each other and simply render a lot of scenes disappointing and unmemorable. If the basic premise of the show wasn’t so (intentionally) mundane, I think a lot more of the jokes would have worked.

Roy (Chris O'Dowd) realises that Maurice (Richard Ayoade) has just told the wrong story to their co-workers in The IT Crowd

And this isn’t to blame the cast either, with both Chris O’Dowd and Katherine Parkinson delivering the material they’ve been given well, but neither of their characters really finding their own voices as Roy and Jen are simply written to fit each episode’s requirements rather than being consistent.

Richard Ayoade definitely comes off better, as his character, Maurice, at least has a very clearly defined personality and his own quirks that actually make him stand out. He’s a ludicrous idiot 100% of the time and so everything he does at least feels consistent across these six episodes.

He’s not a particularly realistic character, but at least you know what you’re getting with him, which often leads to some jokes being made better purely because you can anticipate his reaction and start smiling before he even does anything – his reacting is just as good as his actual acting.

This might come across as a lot of criticism, but it might just be the case of the show finding its feet in its first season and improve later on. There’s certainly enough jokes that work to stop you from feeling like it’s been a waste of time watching it.

The IT Crowd’s first season doesn’t really disappoint, thanks to some extremely funny moments, but neither do those flashes of comedic genius raise it up a level either. There’s definitely a lot of potential here and I just hope that later seasons live up to it.




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