With a ‘previously’ (a la 24) recap from series two, it seems that while we have all been enjoying all the fun of the team’s football-based shenanigans of last week, Reynholm Industries has been going through a dark period. Nope, it’s not the credit crunch. It’s all down to Jen, who we find has been suing the company, and more specifically Douglas, for sexual harassment in the workplace. So with the case settled for the grand sum of £500 and the indignation of Moss and Roy getting more (well only 20 quid more) for their own case against Douglas, it’s time for Jen to think about getting a new job.
By far the funniest episode so far, this third episode is one long stream of rapid gags and comedy moments in succession, all carefully entwined with some great set-ups that ranged from slapstick to just plain embarrassing. From Moss’ first mishap with a cup of coffee to Douglas’ electric sex pants and then Jen coming into her own, after two seasons of being stuck with the computer crowd really not knowing actually what ‘IT’ means. Talking of Jen, have you ever had one of those interviews, whether it’s for a job or anything, that you try and bluff through? You know, the ones that have you rambling and trying to mind the gaps in your knowledge? Well, this episode has it. Every embarrassing, cringe-worthy mistake you have ever made, all wrapped up into one scene, and finally a confession from Jen that, even though she does not actually know what the initials ‘IT ‘stand for, really deep down she is now ‘one of the guys’, proudly professing that her move to the dark side is complete!.
However, it’s not Jen that has the most embarrassing episode. That unfortunate accolade goes to Roy who, after receiving a nice coffee bath from Moss and being forced to be nice to a fallen tea lady, is put in the nightmare scenario of not having access to a top, giving the world more than an eyeful of untoned IT moobs. Then, to top it all, he’s thrown out of work, and even worse, parades his sweaty man parts in the middle of a wake, which really is never a good option, even if the person who has passed away did so in the most stupid of circumstances.
So with Jen digging herself into an IT- themed interview hell and Roy reliving every nightmare you might have ever had about turning up to school/work/party with no clothes on, where is Moss?
Well the Moss we all know and love has had, for the most part of this episode, his hard drive erased, suffering a concussion that has, for all intents and purposes, robbed him all of his IT powers, reducing him to the intellect of a PE teacher. It’s not until an untimely visit from Douglas (who is there to get his pants fixed) and great set up from an all religion delegation being shown around Reynholm Industries (a comedy cliché from Graham Linehan but still genius), that, as a bit of serendipity, Moss’ personality is rebooted to his former glory much in the same way Grant Morrison re-booted Batman’s personality last week in the Batman RIP comic.
Although comedy gold, this is where I too should profess to ‘Ich Bin ein Geek!’ as I have just one nit to pick, really. Of all operating systems re-boot noises to use, is it really appropriate to have Moss’ personality on Windows? Surely for somebody with Moss’ temperament and penchant for gizmos, gadgets and the wonderful world of geek, it would have been at least an Apple-themed personality or even a Linux distro-based geek persona (or even, for those with a long IT memory, OS2 Warp!)?
Still, even glitches aside, this is by far the funniest and well-written episode all season, having the right mix of silliness, daftness and most importantly, IT comedy gold. Genius on every level and a great piece of telly, electro pants and all.
Check out all Rob’s reviews of season 3: