- Actors: Chris O'Dowd, Richard Ayoade, Katherine Parkinson
- Director: Graham Linehan
- Format: Box set, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English
- Dubbed: English
- Region: Region 1
- Number of discs: 5
- Rated: Not Rated
- Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
- DVD Release Date: November 1, 2016
- Run Time: 617 minutes
Many great film careers have started with a successful television show, but it is rare for one show to launch several careers. These are the shows that become lasting classics, which can be watched countless times, in part because of how much the cast embodies their roles: “Freaks and Geeks,” “Friends,” “Cheers.” “The IT Crowd” belongs in this category, perhaps even more so than its American counterparts. Television in the UK is such a dominate art form that it is not seen as the stepping stone it is in Hollywood, so a success in this medium almost guarantees a thriving career.
Sadly, this series only lasted four seasons and a special final episode, possibly due to the opportunities provided by the show’s success. Ironically, it is Katherine Parkinson who received the most recognition through awards for her performance, because it has been her co-stars that have thrived since the cancellation of “The IT Crowd.” Chris O’Dowd has used his success to create a more personal television series inspired by his own life, as well as successfully transitioning to a career in American films. Richard Ayoade has also found his way into Hollywood cinema, as well as launching his own critically-acclaimed career as a filmmaker. This is just the three leads of “The IT Crowd,” but many of the supporting actors have also continued to thrive since their involvement in this influential show.
The premise for the show is remarkably simple, involving the day-to-day activities of an IT department in the basement of Reynholm Industries, a company which we know very little about over the course of the series. The work is done by computer whiz Moss (Ayoade) and slacker Roy (O’Dowd), who are joined in the pilot by a new supervisor named Jen (Parkinson). As much as Jen wants to improve the department she is in charge of, she knows nothing about computers and only got the job by lying on her CV during the application process.
The setting doesn’t play a large part of the show, other than the unlikely combination of characters working together in the department. Otherwise, the show has very little interest in the business of IT, instead focusing on the poor social skills of the employees banished to the basement offices. This is where much of the humor comes from, and it allows the performers to thrive in discomfort of awkward humor. “The IT Crowd” is an enjoyably irreverent comedy from season one all the way to the special final episode, “The Internet is Coming,” which bears remarkable similarities to the “Seinfeld” series finale.
While all four seasons have been individually released in the past, this is the first collection to include the entire series. This set is also the first time that the special finale has been available for purchase in America. Along with the four seasons and finale included in this compact set, there are also a handful of special features. Select episodes have commentary tracks with creator Graham Linehan, who also provides interviews for the extras. There is also plenty of extra footage, from deleted scenes to outtakes, and even an alternate opening title sequence. Featurettes are also included, most of which are lifted from the individual season DVD releases.
Entertainment Value: 9.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 9/10
Historical Significance: 8.5/10
Special Features: 8/10