MPI // 2007 // 144 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Kent Dixon (Retired) // June 30th, 2009
Jen: "With all due respect John, I am the head of IT and I have it on good authority. If you type 'Google' into Google, you can break the Internet. So please, no one try it, even for a joke. It's not a laughing matter. You can break the Internet."
Roy: "Yeah, you do know how a button works, don't you? No, not on clothes. No, there you go, I just heard it come on. No, that's the music you hear when it comes on. No, that's the music you hear when...I'm sorry, are you from the past?"
The IT triumvirate of Reynholm Industries is back for another season and, while still banished to their basement offices, they manage to have some wacky new adventures with a bad bra, a German cannibal, a gay musical (ironically called "Gay"), and many more outrageous situations.
Far from their beautiful and successful colleagues in the gleaming tower above, socially stunted Roy (Chris O'Dowd), über nerd Moss (Richard Ayoade), and technically inept Jen (Katherine Parkinson) keep their colleague's computers running smoothly. After former boss Denholm jumps from a boardroom window rather than face a pension fraud scandal, his son Douglas (Matt Berry) takes the helm of the family business, and a whole new set of adventures await.
All six episodes of the show's Second Season are included on a single disc:
* "The Work Outing"
Roy and Moss tag along with Jen on a date to the theater only to find themselves exploring both their sexuality and their views on handicapped washrooms.
* "Return of the Golden Child"
Killing time in the office, Moss asks Roy a serious of questions which results in a haunting specific prediction of when he will die. Meanwhile, after Denholm Reynholm jumps to his death from a boardroom window, his estranged son and rightful heir Douglas surfaces to take his father's place as the head of the company.
* "Moss and the German"
After being encouraged to meet other people rather than spending all their spare time together, Roy does his best to see a pirated DVD while avoiding any plot details that might ruin it, and Moss answers a personal ad for cooking lessons.
* "The Dinner Party"
When three of her dinner party guests cancel at the last minute, Jen reluctantly invites Roy, Moss and Richmond Avenal (Noel Fielding) to take their places.
* "Smoke and Mirrors"
When Jen complains to Roy and Moss that she has a 'bad bra,' Moss takes it upon himself to invent a revolutionary new undergarment and winds up pitching it to the venture capitalists on Dragons' Den.
* "Men Without Women"
Realizing she's in a dead-end job with IT, Jen accepts a position as Douglas' personal assistant. Roy and Moss are left to their own devices including working without wearing pants, while Douglas does his best to get Jen into bed.
It's astonishing that a show with Three Seasons has only amassed a total of 18 episodes. The upside is that, between the skillful writing and the chemistry of the cast, there's not a single dud in the bunch. Now on DVD, The IT Crowd: The Complete Second Season gives the kids from IT a chance to get out of the basement and explore the world.
With the show's characters well established, creator Graham Linehan now has the freedom to take his plotlines into new and wickedly uncharted territory. This season's episodes include such topics as suicide and death, homosexuality, cannibalism, disfigurement and cosmetic reconstruction, and sexual harassment in the workplace. Yes folks, this is a comedy series.
The show works well because it offers the same successful character chemistry as Seinfeld. However, unlike the adventures of Jerry, George, Kramer, and Elaine, The IT Crowd has the advantage, as I don't find myself getting annoyed with Moss, Roy, or Jen. It must be the complete lack of whining. Here, the humor lies not in the characters, but in how they react to the relatively commonplace situations in which they find themselves. It also doesn't hurt to have the off-the-wall mind of Graham Linehan behind the writing and character development.
The Second Season offers a decent improvement in extra features from the previous release. Creator Graham Linehan provides enjoyable commentaries for all six episodes, offering behind-the-scenes tidbits well beyond the average screen-specific track. The "Outtakes" delivers some often hilarious bloopers and flubs, and "Recording The IT Crowd" takes viewers behind the scenes of an episode from start to finish. The menu interface and animation is designed like a 16-bit video game, including synthesized voices, and an '80s-era electronic music bed. For those of us who grew up in the '80s, the homage to Tetris and Mortal Kombat are a geekfest of the highest order.
The only down side to British television are their often abbreviated production schedules. While the average U.S. series delivers 16 to 24 episodes, British shows like The IT Crowd consist of 10 or less. Thankfully, due in large part to creator Graham Linehan's skill, all six Season Two episodes are pure gold.
This is easily one of the best international sitcoms on television, and fans will be delighted to know a Fourth Season is in the planning stages. The IT Crowd: The Complete Second Season is an easy purchase to recommend for your comedy collection.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 144 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Official Site