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Have you tried turning it off and on again?
on September 26, 2010
I don't know about anyone else, but I shrieked with mad, geeky laughter when I found out that there would be a fourth season of "The I.T. Crowd."
And once the Britcom geekfest gets going again, it's almost like it was never gone (the familiar cluttered office, the rampant technonerdery, the idiotic plans of the crazy boss). The first episode is a little bland at times, but the five that follow are absolute, sheer brilliance -- plenty of surreal situations, great acting, and general weirdness.
Hoping to get new job opportunities, Jen applies to be the new Entertainment Manager... only to discover that it means being Douglas' "Fredo" (ie getting hooker and strippers for his business buddies). Her best bet is to unload the visiting guys on Moss and Roy, but can a RPG game possibly save the day? This episode was a little on the limp side, especially since so much of it focused on Roy deteriorating after a bad breakup.
But things go back to normal in "Final Countdown," in which Moss becomes the new champion of a TV quiz show and is admitted into an exclusive club, while Roy desperately tries to convince an ex-classmate that he's not a window-washer. And in "Something Happened," Douglas tries to convert all his employees to "Spaceology," while Jen dates a staggeringly boring rock musician and Roy suffers a horrifying personal violation ("My trouser hams are not for sale sir!").
Jen ends up with "Italian For Beginners" when she convinces Douglas she can speak Italian, and ends up as his new translator; Roy becomes unhealthily obsessed with his girlfriend's tragic past, and Moss ends up stuck in a vending machine. Roy and Moss decide to be "Bad Boys" at a local mall, while Jen frantically tries to fix her virus-riddled laptop. And finally, it's "Reynholm Vs. Reynholm" when Douglas' blink-and-you'll-miss-it marriage blows up and he finds himself relying on the IT crowd.
Butt-kissing, brain-dead rockers, D&D, shoplifting DVDs, incoherent Italian, an obscene trophy and Moss giving birth to an iPhone. "The IT Crowd: The Complete Fourth Season" piles the increasingly bizarre sitcom problems on our already overburdened, underappreciated IT personnel, and (except for the bland first episode) is a thoroughly satisfying fourth helping.
It still has plenty of brilliant writing, riddled with surreal situations (Moss asks if he can keep a robot he encounters on the street) and weird dialogue ("Fredo, in the film, he was essentially a pimp." "No, he took the ring to Mordor!"). And while the IT department's social awkwardness is still the main theme, their problems have become even stranger with time (Moss becomes very jealous when Douglass gets a robot arm).
The three main actors are still utterly brilliant -- Katherine Parkinson's Jen keeps falling afoul of her own technological ignorance and workplace lies, Richard Ayoade's twitchy Moss gets to play the part of a cool guy and/or a delinquent, and Chris O'Dowd's Roy gets hilariously obsessed with a burning sea park, freezes in fear, and comes up with countless euphemisms for his backside in court.
It starts a little shakily, but "The IT Crowd: The Complete Fourth Season" doesn't take long to launch itself up into the comic stratosphere. Hilarious, delirious and lots of fun.