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the early word

NBC's ‘The IT Crowd’: Skip IT!

Photo: Courtesy of NBC

Vulture's taking a look at some of the most prominent of the picked-up fall TV shows. Which are good? Which are horrible? And most important, which will be worth a precious DVR season pass?

Title: The IT Crowd

Stars: Jessica St. Clair, Joel McHale (The Soup), and Richard Ayoade (imported from the British version)

Network: NBC, mid-season replacement

The pitch: The other American comedy based on a British show about office life. Just hired to manage an IT department, Jen is a hot, young, upwardly mobile, résumé-savvy businesswoman … who doesn't know how to use a computer. Uh-oh!

Pilot report: Set against a corporate-interior backdrop that has a certain eighties-movie, Michael J. Fox–works–his–way–up-from–the–mailroom je nais se quois, the show clings to ham-fisted puns, "Hey, there's a chick in the office!" elbow-nudging, and tech-geek jokes that have gone the way of the Commodore 64. More than half of the punch lines involve the idea that some electronic device is not even plugged in.

Representative dialogue:

Boss: "I'm going to put you in IT because you said on your résumé that you have a lot experience with computers." [Laugh track: mild chuckling.]


Jen: "I did say that on my résumé, yes." [Laugh track: shy giggles.] "I've got lots of experience with the whole computer thing. You know, e-mails…" [Laugh track: nervous titters.] "…sending e-mails, receiving e-mails, deleting e-mails, um …" [Laugh track: uncomfortable silence.] "… the computer screen, the keyboard … space bar…" [Laugh track: confused, are-we-still-supposed-to-be-laughing? laughter.]

Boss: "Well, you certainly seem to know your stuff. It's settled!" [Laugh track: uproarious! Relieved!]

Breakout star: Hmmm, maybe it's … zzzzzzz …

Worth a season pass?: No. For the love of God, no.