Having always been an avid fan of Graham Linehan and his Irish-tinted comedies, the IT Crowd takes pride of place on my shelf alongside the likes of Black Books and Father Ted. It is the sort of series one plays in the background when dinner is cooking, coursework is due, or it’s raining and to slob in bed is the only viable option for the day. To my great delight, the finale on Friday was a funny, warm and well-written end to a fabulous show.
The final episode finds Roy, Moss and Jen still buried reluctantly in the basement of Reynholm Industries. Moss is attempting to storm the internet with his webisodes of ‘Game Board’, and Roy has managed to secure a ‘lady love’ from the seventh floor. Meanwhile, Jen has found an exotic Italian barista in a new coffee house, but whilst out visiting him, she and Roy are filmed violently throwing coffee onto a homeless woman and verbally abusing a small person. They soon become targeted by the public, internet trolls and Anonymous, dubbed as ‘coffee tramp toss bitch’ and ‘small person racist’. As they attempt to clear things up, Douglas takes part in Secret Millionaire with uncomfortable consequences.
The episode was clever, funny and familiar, providing a consistently warm ending that wrapped up all four series of the show without risking anything too different. Richard Ayoade and Chris O’Dowd retained their awkwardness and Katherine Parkinson was equally glorious in her role as mediator between the IT department and the real world above. Noel Fielding’s appearance as eerie Richmond was perfectly timed, and Matt Berry was joined by Peep Show‘s Superhands, whose real name is unimportant. To my delight, another new addition to the cast was Rachel Parris as Roy’s girlfriend, an upcoming musical comedienne I’ve watched at the Edinburgh Fringe for the last two years. Aside from her own new show The Commission, Parris is one of the stars of Austentacious, an improvised Austen play that is rip-roaringly excellent.
If there were to be one criticism, I perhaps wish that it could have been an hour in length. The majority of the programme was well-paced, but the ending seemed slightly rushed. However, the overall effect was still marvellous, and Graham Linehan has finished the series triumphantly. I shall be sad to see it go, but hopefully there is something new lurking on the Linehan horizon… preferably with a loveable Irish bastard.