Wednesday, August 3, 2011

British comedy, nerds and computers.

My dad recently told me about a TV show that I could watch on my Netflix streaming, that he said he and my step-mom love.  He said they have laughed out loud at things in every episode, even on multiple viewings, so I thought I'd better check it out. I'm so glad I did!

There are three main characters, Roy, played by Chris O'Dowd (love that Irish accent!!), Moss, played by Richard Ayoade, and Jen, played by Katherine Parkinson.  Roy and Moss make up the IT department, with Jen as the "Relationship Manager" and their supervisor, in the company 'Reynholm Industries'.  They occupy the cluttered, dark basement (relegated there, because no one cares about IT), only to surface on the upper floors for computer repair calls.

Roy's character wears funny t-shirts, such as a black one with the word "meh." in white on it, and various techy-type shirts.  He's slobby, doesn't like to eat healthy or exercise, and like any good computer geek, is too clingy and emotional, doesn't know how to deal with other people (especially "manly" men) and gets himself into all kinds of awkward situations.  I liked him a lot.

Moss, on the other hand, took some getting used to.  I felt like Ayoade was too stiff, too "I'm now delivering my lines" in his acting at first.  A few episodes in, however, I got used to his style and came to really like Moss.  Moss wears a shirt and tie every day, cusses with words like "flipping" and is socially backwards.  He is hilarious! He is also naive and brilliant.

Jen is pretty funny, she has a lot of great physical comedy bits, and she doesn't know a thing about computers, so what she's doing in IT is anyone's guess.

One of the funniest episodes had Jen convincing Moss and Roy to write a speech for her to give after she's been elected Employee of the Month.  They didn't want to, feeling resentful that she was nominated rather then either of them, but Roy convinces Moss that they could write anything in the speech and Jen wouldn't know the difference-- she works in IT, but knows absolutely nothing about computers!  They write a funny speech, which she doesn't understand, but the best part is they give her a small black box with a little red light on top and tell her it's the internet, and that they got special permission for her to use it as a visual aid in her speech, but to be very careful with it, because if anything happens to it, the world will fall apart-- the internet will be lost!  Instead of laughing her off the stage, however, the other Reynolm Industries employees believe her!  Roy and Moss are outraged, they can't believe that no one in the room knows enough about computers to know it's a joke.  It's a great scene, with a very funny ending.

Another great running gag is that every time they answer the phone, they say, "IT, have you tried turning it off and then on again?"

I recommend this show with a few caveats.  It is British comedy, and on Netflix, not all the cuss words are beeped out, so there are some s- and f- words.  Again, it is British, so there are also a lot of naughty situations and jokes as well, but no more than our American "The Office" and probably a lot less than "Big Bang Theory", of which this show is reminiscent.

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