Monday, 1 April 2013

Channel 4: The IT Crowd - "Calamity Jen" directed by Graham Linehan

The IT Crowd is a British sitcom by Channel 4, written by Graham Linehan, produced by Ash Atalla and starring Chris O'Dowd, Richard Ayoade, Katherine Parkinson and Matt Berry. The "IT" in the show's title can be pronounced as either the word it /ˈɪt/, as in "the 'it' crowd", or as the letters IT /ˌaɪˈtiː/, as in the abbreviation for information technology.

Set in the London offices of the fictional Reynholm Industries, the show revolves around the three staff members of its IT department: a geeky genius named Maurice Moss (Ayoade), the workshy Roy Trenneman (O'Dowd), and Jen Barber (Parkinson), the department head/Relationship Manager, who knows nothing about IT. The show also focuses on the bosses of Reynholm Industries: Denholm Reynholm (Chris Morris) and his son Douglas (Berry).

The comedy premiered on Channel 4 on 3 February 2006, and ran for four series of 6 episodes each. Although a fifth series was commissioned, Graham Linehan announced in 2011 that there would not be a fifth series.

The show was the third successful sitcom creation of Graham Linehan, following Father Ted (co-written with Arthur Mathews) and Black Books (co-written with Dylan Moran).

Jen is obsessed with a pair of shoes in a shop window. Despite the fact they are several sizes too small, Jen later sneaks out to buy them. Denholm starts a war on stress, threatening to fire anyone who is still experiencing stress by the end of the day. As a result, the trio are persuaded to attend an anti-stress class which Roy continually disrupts. To avoid being fired, Moss builds a copy of the stress measurement machine from the class, and Roy steals the original. Moss sets the office on fire after leaving a soldering iron switched on, and e-mails the fire brigade for help since he can't remember their new number (0118 999 881 999 119 7253). Denholm comes down to test Jen on the stress machine, and despite being hysterical due to the fire and her injuries from the shoes, the threat of being fired is enough to save her. The fire brigade eventually arrive after it is revealed that the stress machine was not working.

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