There’s a reason why computer geeks work in IT and not in TV development. Perhaps the best illustration of this can be seen at The IT Room, home of an original web series from Motiv Films about the calamities of working in information technology whose second “season” started earlier this month and whose advertisements can be seen in RSS feeds all over the web.
It’s not a bad concept (and actually, the UK’s channel 4 has a popular show called The IT Crowd). After all, the movie Office Space showed us that there can be humor in destroying a copy machine or filling out TPS Reports, so it would seem reasonable that lives of IT professionals would make for an OK subject in the world of office comedy.
And nerds! Well, nerds have been successful fodder for entertainment as long as we can remember. From The Nutty Professor to Louis Skolnick to that pesky, yet beloved little scamp, Urkel, there has always been a place in the hearts of Americans for our darling, klutzy, bespectacled, pocket-protector-wearing, binary-loving nerds.
In the tradition of user-gen TV content, the stories in IT Room are primarily based on real-life IT events. In fact, there’s a section on IT’s main page for true-blue IT folks to submit tech-related horror stories and/or videos of their own. But really, the only thing you need to see is the trailer, which is probably IT’s best video and speaks volumes about the show’s premise, production and writing qualities. (And, please, don’t be deceived because, while I will admit that the show has a monkey – and as we all know, monkeys can only elevate a plot to a whole new level of hilarity – IT’s little monkey has too big of a burden to carry this show on his back.)
To be fair, the show isn’t terrible; it’s just very amatuerish, and too evocative of other comedies that do the same ideas way better. For example, the plot-line in which Ryan circulates a photo of his ugly baby was very reminiscent of a Seinfeld from a billion years ago that was way funnier.
It is funny, however, that Jim Lampley (veteran sports commentator best known for HBO World Championship Boxing) plays the nefarious CEO, Roy Hodges, who is shown barking orders over the phone from time to time. Who’s his agent?
At points, the show takes a departure from its regular series to feature main character and IT head, Mike (played by character actor Michael McCafferty), in an editorial-style newscast called “The IT Factor.” It has some clever ideas (for example, Mike rates trends with Cheetos bags and Red Bull cans, and wouldn’t you naturally assume that an IT dork would subsist on Cheetos?), but overall, it’s not very original; one major revelation we learn from two separate episodes is that Mike has a foot fetish. Snore. It’s too bad because I have no doubt the cast is made up of decent and funny actors. Unfortunately, bad writing breaks this – or any – show.
And lest you think that I’m just hating on IT geeks, I would like to make it very clear that some of my closest friends are nerds.