“Every value Ive ever held has been questioned, and Im loving it!”
Those of you who read my review of the first season of The IT Crowd know that I really enjoyed the show, and Im happy to say that the second season (albeit rather short with only six episodes) is even funnier than the first.
The show revolves around the people who work at the IT department of Reynholm industries: Roy, Moss, and Jen. Theyre each in their own way socially inept, and for the most part their working in the IT department simply works as a backdrop for the shenanigans they get into. The show has its share of nerd jokes, but surprisingly little considering its initial premise. The comedy comes from the characters and how their various personality defects place them in awkward social situations which they typically only make worse. In some ways this makes The IT Crowd a rather traditional comedy in structure except that its made by the British, and they love to pepper their comedy with absurd, random, nonsensical moments.
Its a kind of comedy we dont see much on television in the U.S. 30 Rock is about the only live-action show that comes to mind, but much more often we see it in animation like with The Simpsons and Family Guy. Matt Groening likes to call this style “flexible reality” or “rubber band reality” and its used to great effect in The IT Crowd, where the smoking area of Reynholm Industries becomes a mirror for Soviet Russia, or Moss invents a bra which inexplicably catches on fire. Also great are the moments of over-acting, especially the new character Douglas, played by Matt Berry.
The humor also extends to the DVD menus. Normally I dont write about this, but the menus for The IT Crowd are hilarious. When you first pop it in it shows a cartoon Earth. It zooms in and you see the caricatures of the cast with little texts of dialogue under them reminiscent of old video games such as Douglas saying “You are belong to us” riffing off of the infamous “All your base belong to us” line from the video game Zero Wing. The episode select screen is also hilarious as it looks like the character select screen from the old Mortal Kombat games. In fact, if you let it sit on that screen, after a bit a fight sequence between the digitized cast pops up.
The show is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen with the audio in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo. There were no problems with either the audio or the video.
Outtakes (7:14) – Mostly this is just moments where the actors flub their lines or crack up. Some of it is funny, but not enough to say this is worth watching.
Recording the IT Crowd (7:37) – A brief look at a typical filming day for the show. Interesting, but nothing Id say you couldnt skip.
Commentary with Graham Linehan – Good commentary track, but unless youre into listening to commentaries Id say skip it.
Theres a lot to like with this DVD, but at the selling price of $18.99, it may not be enough to justify shelling out that much money. However, Id say that this is a solid rent, and if you like it enough then go out and buy it. Recommended.
MPI presents The IT Crowd: The Complete Second Season. Directed by Graham Linehan. Starring Chris ODowd, Richard Ayoade, and Katherine Parkinson. Written by Graham Linehan. Running time: 144 minutes. Rated NR. Released on DVD: June 30, 2009. Available at Amazon.