The IT Crowd: seen it before

I don’t know what to make of the first episode of Channel 4’s new sitcom, The IT Crowd. Granted, all sitcoms are meant to be a bit predictable. But if you made a list of all the stereotypical jokes about geeks or technology, you could have sat through the opening 20 minutes and ticked them off, one by one. Geeks smell – check. Geeks do pointlessly pedantic things – check. Geeks dress stupidly or scruffily – check, both. Geeks can’t handle talking to women – check.
There were a few positive signs, if you’re an optimist. The opening visual gag. The central character stretching the truth on her CV, and getting found out. The support call becoming a little confrontational. Plus a little mindless violence never does any harm. But we don’t need a running joke of ‘have you turned it off and on again?’. And Chris Morris – is he auditioning for the role of CJ in a remake of Reggie Perrin? Come on Chris, you didn’t get where you are today by shamelessly imitating classic sitcom characters.
Will I watch it? Yeah, probably. Maybe your first episode needs to play to the stereotypes, to win an audience. Maybe it’s not meant for those of us on the inside; we’ve already had Nathan Barley. But let’s put it this way, The IT Crowd will need to develop some serious depth if it’s to last a full series. Judge for yourself: episode two is online from tonight.