Collaboration

The IT Crowd, a rare gem of geeky gold

The British TV series The IT Crowd is a smart, funny, insightful show that might go unnoticed by some American viewers.

The IT Crowd premiered on the British Channel 4 in 2006 and has run for four seasons. Written by Graham Linehan (co-creator of Father Ted and Black Books), The IT Crowd is a scathingly brilliant satire of the IT industry. It's also great fun.

Set at the corporate offices of Reynholm Industries, The IT Crowd focuses on the IT support team housed in a shabby basement office far beneath the high-rise multi-billion dollar company. The IT team is comprised of a bitter slacker named Roy and a socially inept tech geek named Moss. Although the entire company depends on these two lowly tech support geeks, they are despised and mistreated by an upper management unable to use the "power" buttons on their computers.

Roy: [singing a Pink Floyd song] "We don't need no education."

Moss: "Yes you do. You've just used a double negative."

Their new boss, Jen, is a "Relations Manager" who also happens to be a complete computer illiterate. The fact that she can send and delete emails puts her on a skill level far above the other managers in the company. When Roy and Moss convince Jen they have the "whole Internet" in a small black box, provided by Stephen Hawking himself, Jen proceeds to present the "Internet" to a gullible press meeting.

Also take for example a scene where Roy and Moss have blundered onto a deserted street only to discover a bomb-disposal robot working on a suspicious package. They then observe a distant police barricade where the robot's remote operator is having trouble with a laptop. Moss shouts to the operator to describe the computer problem and operating system.

The police answers, "Vista!"

Moss looks down at the robot and bomb as he proclaims, "We are going to die!"

And what happens when one tries to "Google" google? As Jen explains to the company CEO and board of directors, it causes the Internet to crash.

John (the CEO): "I don't think that's true."

Jen: "With all due respect John, I am the head of IT and I have it on good authority that if you type 'Google' into Google, you can break the Internet. So please, no one try it, even for a joke. [the executives laugh] It's not a laughing matter. You can break the Internet.

If you haven't seen this profoundly funny show, you may wish to browse with all possible speed to Amazon to pick up the series on DVD, or watch it via Netflix streaming. You can preview a full episode of The IT Crowd on Google Videos.

About

Todd Fluhr is a freelance writer and multimedia designer. A self-described "Shockwave Rider" of technology, culture, and creativity, he has been involved in the interactive entertainment industry since the early 90's. He hopes to find time to sleep s...

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