The IT Crowd: The Complete First Season 

2006

The cover to "The IT Crowd: The Complete First Season" proclaims it's from a producer of "The Office" (the British version, mind you), and even if it weren't, such a comparison would be a foregone conclusion. Like a growing number of sitcoms, this workplace comedy delights in discomfort.

Nothing so uneasy that it will send you into fits of depression, but this is a show at the ready to humiliate its characters. And they are Roy (Chris O'Dowd) and Moss (Richard Ayoade), whose rather sheltered existence as the antsy, put-upon IT department in the unkempt basement of a large corporation is turned topsy-turvy with the unannounced arrival of their new boss: starched suit Jen (Katherine Parkinson).

The new dynamic that immediately comes into play "? cute girl vs. pair of geeks "? reminds me more of "The Big Bang Theory" than "The Office," although subjects such as a visiting "stress expert"  steer the ship toward the territory of the latter. The six episodes of the 2006 debut season all are amusing "? more amusing than laugh-out-loud funny, running counter to a perfectly annoying laugh track supplied by the live audience. 

"?Rod Lott

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