The Best Surprise in Bridesmaids: Chris O’Dowd / You Should Be Watching ‘The IT Crowd’


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Last week, there I am making a double feature afternoon out of The Hangover: Part II followed by Bridesmaids. Kristen Wiig’s character is weaving all over the road out of anger, police sirens and lights abound and she is pulled over.

All of a sudden I am whacking my sister on the arm hissing, “OH MY GOD, the cop is that guy from that show! You know that British show I made you watch on Netflix…The IT Crowd!”

That would be code for Chris O’Dowd, Wiig’s Irish-yet-Wisconsonian-police-officer love interest in the movie.

To her credit my sister remembered this somewhat obscure reference, placated me with an “Oh yeah,” and the movie watching went on.

Turns out that O’Dowd has been in a handful of movies such as Pirate Radio, Gulliver’s Travels, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, and Dinner for Shmucks—for example. I loved Pirate Radio but I don’t recall the mental processes clicking regarding his appearance in it. I might have to Netflix it to refresh my memory.

But what is the point, you might ask.

The point is that once upon a time I was flying back to the states from a touch of archaeology in España (which is how I prefer to refer to Spain for entirely obscure and inexplicable reasons).  On this cross-Atlantic ordeal one of the entertainment choices was an episode from some rando British sitcom entitled The IT Crowd. I like sitcoms, I like British people, and in the 25 minutes before food service I took a leap of faith.

The IT Crowd is a bit as though Big Bang Theory and The Office had a baby. There is so much hilarious geeky awkwardness, social and workplace incompetence and bizarre mayhem. It’s amazing. I die.

Quick plot background: Jen knows nothing about IT but claims to know “a lot about computers” on her CV. She gets hired by a big company to manage their IT department which consists of two guys (Roy and Moss) who hide out in the basement. Madness ensues. Catch phrases include: “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”

Good advice.

The point is: you should probably be watching this show. If you have Netflix, all four past series are available for instant streaming. There is apparently a fifth (and last) to be aired this summer by Channel 4—not that that information helps you if you’re not in the UK.

But Netflix. Net. Flix.

And when you go on Netflix, give it two or three episodes to get going. Trust me.

I will now share with you clips from my favorite episode entitled “Friendface,” clearly mocking Facebook and other such social networking sites. I couldn’t find a full episode of it on YouTube, but… have a taste.

Brings me back to the days of instant messages my college roommates whilst sitting three feet away from each other in our triple.

Sorry about the disabled embedding. Deal with it. Open another tab. It will be OK.

Oh,  and O’Dowd was adorably funny in Bridesmaids too. Misleading post title.

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