The IT Crowd – Italian for Beginners (S04E04) – Episode review

Let’s make this one quick, since the next episode of The IT Crowd is due to air on Channel 4 tonight. I’ve literally just caught up on last week’s episode which was a huge improvement on the others in this series. Just like with IT Crowd episodes of old, I laughed my socks off. A stark reminder of how genius this series can be when it’s firing on all cylinders!

Jen makes a desperate mistake when trying to outdo the other woman in the office – a virtual triathalon-doing, just-had-a-baby-but-straight-back-to-work type. She pretends to know Italian in order to ingratiate herself with Douglas, then ends up having to translate his conversations with a powerful Italian businessman. Moss steps in with a piece of software to do the donkey work for her, but the Italian makes a surprise visit to the office and she’s forced to translate without her software! It’s pure comedy gold, and Katherine Parkinson excels as a terrified Jen trying to mask the fact that she’s mortally offending the Italian in front of her boss.

Roy’s met an uncommonly good-looking woman with a history. Her parents were killed in a terrible fire…at Seaparks! He’s driven mad by the idea of a fire at a water park, but doesn’t want to offend his girlfriend by continuing to ask questions about it. His attempts at reconstructing the fire are hilarious as he makes reconstructions out of first mash potato and then egg boxes and matches. Naturally, his obsession ends with him setting fire to the model and burning his hands.

Oh, also watch out for Moss mocking his girlie jacket, and Roy explaining his furtive late-night Googling for Seaparks to his girlfriend!

Moss gets a much reduced, but still brilliant role in proceedings as he traps himself inside a grabber machine in an attempt to ‘win’ an iPhone. Richard Ayoade proving once again that sometimes Moss doesn’t even need to speak to be funny – just watching his face as he tries to process certain nuggets of information can have the audience in convulsions of laughter.

All in all – unless tonight’s episode proves otherwise – Italian for Beginners was a fantastic return to form for The IT Crowd with biting commentary on corporate climbing and some cracking visual humour as always.

Pick of the quotes: Italian for Beginners

  1. Linda: “It is not a wee-wee walk. I am actually doing a round the world virtual triathalon for charity using an iPhone application and Google Maps. Look, I’m in Spain.”
  2. Douglas: “Haven’t you just had a baby?” Linda: “So they tell me.”
  3. Moss: “Maybe they’re not really dead. Maybe she doesn’t know what the word orphan means. Maybe she thinks it just means houseproud.”
  4. Roy: “A fire? During a sea lion show? At Seaparks?”
  5. Jen: “It’s not that much of a lie Moss, because I have always wanted to speak Italian. And I can sound like I’m speaking Italian, so it’s more or less the same thing.” Moss: “Except to Italians. Or people who can understand Italian.”
  6. Moss still doesn’t take kindly to Roy’s girlie jacket: “Is it the jacket? Because it should be.”
  7. Moss: “Roy, when I was on holiday, I lived at Seaparks. It’s the funnest, wettest, most splish splashy place in the world.”
  8. Girlfriend catches Roy researching her parents: “What are you doing on the computer?” Roy: “Masturbating.”
  9. Moss: “But it’s an iPhone, Jen. I might be able to get an iPhone without giving any money to Apple. I’ll be living the dream.”
  10. Jen responds to a stream of Italian: “Vienetta fiat punto.”

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