Since its last appearance on our television screens, the IT Crowd’s three main actors have seen their careers reach unprecedented levels of recognition. Richard Ayoade (Moss), Chris O’ Dowd (Roy) and Katherine Parkinson (Jen) having launched successful careers in Hollywood and Theatre is by no means unexpected, their talent was always too great to keep them solely in sitcoms forever. However, the fact that viewers are used to seeing these people practically locked in a basement for twenty minutes a week, their launch into fame could initially seem a little incongruous.
The popularity of the show ensured that there would always be the possibility of an enjoyable return to our screens, and Friday night’s episode delivered on that. All the charms and eccentricities were there for one last time, to savour and salute. It was always going to be difficult to stretch out a twenty minute zippy comedy into a 48 minute episode without having the comedic pace compromised and sure enough, at times it did feel like that was the case. This type of comedy just isn’t suited to a longer length, and the relative plots of each character did grow almost wearisome. There was however, still plenty of great moments to behold.
Graham Linehan, the series creator, writer and director, has always had a uniquely sardonic humour that manages to create absurd situations in seemingly normal environments, and the special was no exception. On Friday evening, any regular Linehan viewer would not have been disappointed. It felt right that the characters have never developed morally and continue to be flawed individuals we can laugh at, while ultimately being supremely sympathetic people we can also laugh with. Linehan can make humour out of sensitive topics with a good taste and kindness without erring into the offensive, and this final episode about the vertically challenged among us was no exception.
In a world where female characters are often used as accessories or as the butts of jokes, Linehan is also to be commended for writing genuinely funny roles for women, and there are plenty of memorable moments from Jen to revel in. The fact that this episode does not quite match up to phenomenons such as the Countdown episode should not deter viewers from reliving the classic jokes from past series, and be merrily consumed in the silliness of it all. The final scene is neither dejected nor triumphant, but leaves a lasting impression that this is one of those series that will retain its status as both cult classic and commercial hit, long after it ceases to be readily available on 4OD.
Watch the IT Crowd special now on 4OD.
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