I was pleased to read in IT Week that a new sitcom was about to air in the UK, based around an IT department (I even heard about it on US-based podcasts – largely because Slashdot picked up on it). Surely, I thought, there’s plenty of scope there for something funny – maybe even a twist on “The Office” bringing in the idiosyncrasies of end-user support.
Well, the first two episodes of Channel 4’s “The IT Crowd” hit our screens last weekend (I finally watched it last night) and I was sorely disappointed. It scored 10 out of 10 for attention to detail (office in the basement of a tower block, RTFM t-shirt, rows of defunct CRT monitors on the shelf with Post-it notes attached, Commodore PET and ZX81 proudly on display, IT Manager who knows nothing about IT, etc.) but laughs were few and far between (not counting the dubbed-on sitcom laughter), despite depicting the two techies (to support 34 floors of staff… first response to all support calls “have you turned it off and on again”) as social misfits.
Maybe working in IT is just not that funny.