As I reflect back on series three, stuffed with turkey and chips and settling down on the sofa for the final episode, it seems that week on week things have got better for the IT Crowd, with each episode getting slightly funnier than the last. So it is such a shame then that this week’s offering went into a nosedive on the comedy stakes and really is written to be cruel rather than funny.
While fixing a computer on the 7th Floor of Denholm industries, which is for some reason exclusively populated by young and attractive women, Roy overhears the plight of a colleague of one of these nubile young things. Her brother is afflicted with ‘boss-eye’, a problematic (and unfunny) condition.
For a comedy genius like Graham Lineham, this is a bit cruel and not very funny; there are people who do suffer from this, so taking the piss is really a bit much. And, quite frankly, it’s lazy writing. Why not create a condition that nobody suffers from, like ‘bloaty head’ or ‘mad hair’ or something? Still this is the line that was taken, and to move the review along and not just have 600 words of ranting, I will get back to my point…
So with the aforementioned attractive-young-thing trying to find a way to help, the idea of a calendar is suggested, with all the girls on the 7th floor doing a sexy shoot to raise money. Before you can say ‘front-end bus’, Roy has volunteered to be the designated photographer.
Naturally, things don’t go according to plan. Jen points out that doing a calendar like this is very sexist and really not in the best of taste, and persuades all the girls on 7th to get their grans to do a shoot instead in the style of the WI ladies from Calendar Girls.
Roy points out that grannies are unlikely to be sexy enough to sell calendars, and even with an attempt to round up some biddies to do his bidding (and unsurprisingly getting a smack in the face for trying), it seems all is going to be lost, with Jen being held personally responsible for the whole thing by Douglas.
With no hotties or grannies for the calender, it’s up to Jen to suggest another potential area to exploit, namely ‘Geeks’. With ‘geek chic’ being so ‘in’, Moss and his fellow programmers, scientists and engineers must save the day with a set of suggestive poses, featuring balloons and cavorting that will stay in your mind for days to come.
Even when everything ends up badly, all seems well and good for Roy, whose apparently heroic efforts throughout the mismanaged affair have impressed one of the 7th floor gorgeous girls. But even this cannot go right, as – at the most intimate of moments – all he can think about is grannies, Moss and cavorting engineers.
Although in itself the idea for this episode is pretty good, it all seems to fall a bit flat. Maybe it’s the lack of Moss this week, who, unknown to Jen and Roy, has been on holiday without them even noticing; or the fact that the affliction that the charity work was done for wasn’t all that funny; or the fact that we were subjected to people like ourselves (pasty office types) with no shirt on, parading their white, hairy knobbly bits and putting me right off my Christmas chocolates. The episode was a bit of a damp squib after the superior mid-season shenanigans, concluding series three with more of a whimper than a bang.
Check out all Rob’s reviews of season 3: