The Final Countdown
Series four of Graham Linehan’s techno-baby The IT Crowd got off on the wrong foot for me last week. This week, however, we’re firmly back in IT Crowd country!
Moss is all giddy over being accepted onto tea-time-religion Countdown. After dominating the show, he attracts the attention of a secret group of elite players called mysteriously 8+. Yes, really.
Roy, however, isn’t faring so well after moving into a new place and having his mumbling window cleaner impose on him by leaving his ladder and bike there.
While trying to return said equipment, sod’s law causes him to bump into a much more successful uni friend, leaving Roy looking like a loser window cleaner rather than a loser in IT support.
Meanwhile, Jen is suddenly interested in attending staff meetings again after being denied access – and why are meeting attendees entering the boardroom in dressing gowns?
Week two, then, delivers all that you’d expect from Graham Linehan at his best, taking something as mundane and regular as Countdown, then running with it to places you’d never expect. The elite 8+ operates like a nerd Fight Club – its first rule is “tell all your friends!”
The IT Crowd comes into its own when it runs on these tangents, occupying the same plausible but absurd space as Linehan’s previous collaborations Father Ted and Black Books. The very last sentence pays off one plotline beautifully too – though you’ll probably groan when you hear it.
Benedict Wong shines as the Morpheus to Moss’s Neo, the singularly named ‘Prime’, and makes you wonder why he’s not a regular feature on your TV. Leftfield Glaswegian internet sensation Brian “Limmy” Limond has a brief cameo as the unintelligible window cleaner in an appearance which may hopefully get more people to seek out his own excellent BBC Scotland series and World Of Glasgow podcasts. Yes dear reader, I was talking to you..
This episode stands with the best. Graham Linehan weaves several threads together and manages to cram in a veritable terabyte of giggles. Moss as a suave Countdown intellectual keeps the chuckles coming, misquoting They Live and shooing away supermodels.
This is one of the best episodes of IT Crowd that’s ever been.