This is by no means breaking news ( I’ve never claimed to be an investigative journalist after all); however, a few days ago I discovered that The IT Crowd will not be coming back for a fifth series.
Moss, Jen and Roy, you will be missed.
You see, I follow series creator Graham Linehan, who happens to be quite a prolific tweeter, and sometime in the past 18 months, he announced he was working on the scripts for series 5. Time passed, as it is wont to do, and the other day, I saw a Linehan tweet that read:
” Should I be tweeting that the IT Crowd is on? Because it is”
I tried to embed the tweet but to no avail. Instead I resorted to this cartoon avatar of Linehan. I just felt I should put some sort of graphic here.
Hurrah, I assumed this meant the new episodes were now being broadcast! I immediately began to search the web for info on the series only to find that last October it had been announced that The IT Crowd was calling it a day. On the website Reddit, Mr. Linehan explained that he hadn’t been looking forward to making this new series as much as he had in the past and felt series 4 was a strong ending point for the show.
Maybe so, but I suspect that the main factor in ending the adventures of those loveable social misfits at Reynholm Industries was that the actors were getting too busy and, in some cases, too famous to be bothered continuing with the “Crowd” any longer.
Let’s begin with Katherine Parkinson:
She’s everywhere! That ginger woman with the distinctive voice can shift from giddy outburst to breathy drawl to gruff growl in a matter of moments
Over the past few years, she’s appeared in a great number of other projects interwoven within her run as Jen Barber, IT relationship manager. She’s played Pauline Lamb, surgery receptionist, phlebotomist and compulsive gambler on Doc Martin; Amber, the neurotic daughter of Old Guys geezer, Tom; and more recently, no-nonsense restaurant manager, Caroline in the egotistical chef sitcom, Whites.
I enjoy her every time she pops up on my screen, including her guest appearance as Kitty Riley in the very wonderful Sherlock episode, “The Reichenbach Fall”. She seems to have no shortage of work and I can imagine her availability is getting difficult to schedule around.
On to Richard Ayoade:
Who knew that behind the ultra-nerdy persona of Maurice Moss was a budding filmmaker?
With his unusual looks and eccentric delivery, Ayoade has been primarily relegated to surreal roles. Basically when not playing the King of the Geeks, IT technician Maurice Moss, Richard has worked on the The Mighty Boosh and off-shoot projects of its cast and creators. However in 2010, I was intrigued to hear that Ayoade had written and directed a little film getting a lot of festival buzz. A coming-of-age dramedy, Submarine is witty and quirky but exhibits a lot of heart. After a while, I forgot “Moss” was involved in this in any way.
In addition, Ayoade came across the pond to make a Ben Stiller/Vince Vaughn 2012 sci-fi comedy called The Watch. Intended to be one of those sort of raunchy summer movies, it was little more than average. And while Ayoade’s role was pivotal, he didn’t have nearly enough screen time or punch lines. Nonetheless, I foresee him getting more screen time in front of and behind the camera in the future.
Richard Ayoade – unfortunately, his comedic strengths went underutilized in this Seth Rogen-penned comedy.
Finally we come to Chris O’Dowd, the main reason, I believe, behind The IT Crowd is not continuing as a series:
This is where most Americans became acquainted with Chris O’Dowd.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame Mr. O’Dowd. I’m sure that making it in Hollywood is the ultimate goal for a majority of actors…and I’ve seen it coming for quite some time. From supporting roles in British films and tv, Chris started quietly making an impact with small parts in mainstream American films like Dinner for Schmucks and Gulliver’s Travels. Then came that sweet policeman from Bridesmaids and all of a sudden he’s entered the awareness of people who would have never understood, never mind appreciated, The IT Crowd. Whenever this happens I start to worry that my favorite British actors will go “totally Hollywood” and stop taking the sort of roles that made me appreciate their work in the first place, i.e. they’ll move to America and accept only roles in action blockbusters.
A generalization to be sure, but look at his recent string of films – Dark Knight, Taken and Titan franchises, Unknown, The Grey and Battleship. I rest my case.
As we speak, O’Dowd has a Judd Apatow comedy set for release this holiday season and a US tv series on the horizon so I’m hoping for the best. I am encouraged however that he has co-written and is currently starring in a British- based series called Moone Boy wherein he plays a boy’s imaginary friend.
Alas, the one small consolation is that we’ve been promised an extended IT Crowd special sometime later this year – Christmas, I’m guessing. Maybe this will allow me closure and the time to accept that all good things must end.
As I’ve demonstrated above, there will be no shortage of screen time for these three actors( or probably for Graham Linehan either). But whatever Katherine, Richard and Chris go on to do, I’ll always think back to where I first got to know them, in the manky, techie basement of Reynholm Industries.
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