I shed a tear, the final episode of The I.T. Crowd aired on Friday night after four seasons and much critical acclaim, including a BAFTA. Well, I say I shed a tear, I only watched a few episodes before this week and it had never really sparked with me.
But someone lent me the full box set last weekend, and in that time I’ve managed to watch all four seasons. There’s not really much there, a total of 24 episodes, about 20 minutes long each, give me that familiar “Oh, just one more” feeling an episode ends.
Whenever I think of the show, I remember my tour last year that took me through Novogorod, a sizeable city between St Petersburg and Moscow. The tour agency asked if any of us wanted to go to a bar close to the hotel to speak to a group of young Russians who were learning English. It was a lot of fun, and I ended up talking to a guy called Sergey who said it was one of his favourite shows. I hope he enjoyed the last episode, I wish I’d kept in touch with him.
For people who’ve never seen it, the show is about the misadventures of two I.T. nerds, Roy and Moss, and their supervisor Jen. They work in the basement of international corporation Reynholm Industries, and try to avoid work as best they can. It’s the brainchild of “Father Ted” and “Black Book” creator Graham Linehan and it’s easy to see how fans of those two will enjoy it.
I don’t know what held me back before, admittedly it’s not solid gold from start to finish, but the oddball comedy appealed to me, and I think they stopped before it got too stale or too bizarre. If you’re looking for some good episodes to try out, I think Season 1’s “Calamity Jen” and “The Haunting of Bill Crouse” were what set me off, and I think all the episodes are available to watch on 4OD (and Youtube).
The finale didn’t give any particular closure on the show, and even referenced its own habit for increasingly desperate chains of events somehow being resolved in the last few minutes. I’m not sure how serious that final scene was meant to be though, it seems something you’d have in a finale but I don’t think their situation had actually changed, apart from their office.
Either way it was a solid episode that used modern-day references like ‘going viral’, Anonymous the hacker group, and even those ridiculous Taiwanese CGI mock-ups of big news stories (perhaps the highlight). Richmond makes a cameo, and many running jokes get a last airing. A good send-off, and leaves a solid body of work that I hope will be recognised with some of the best British comedies in due course.