Here in the US, people are now embracing nerd culture all thanks to shows like The Big Bang Theory. In the UK, one can argue the The IT Crowd (starring Chris O'Dowd and Richard Ayoade) did the same. Both comedy series have nerds and geeks at center stage, and both have become immensely popular. The question is: Which geeky show is better?
For those who don't know, #TheITCrowd is about career girl Jen (Katherine Parkinson) who lies on her resume about having great computer skills. So, the company hires her to work in the IT department with the slacker Roy (Chris O'Dowd) and awkward, naive Moss (Richard Ayoade).
#TheBigBangTheory plot is a little different. Basically, a pretty girl named Penny (Kaley Cuoco) moves in across the hall from scientists Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons). Leonard then does everything he can to win the heart of someone very much out of his league.
Seeing Penny and Leonard's relationship blossom over the years is cute, but the IT Crowd's plot doesn't rely on the main characters dating each other for storylines. For me, that gives them more of an edge. Jen, Moss and Roy are different people becoming zany friends. They learn from each other and, as a viewer, you root for their friendship. So, when it comes to story, sometimes the simpler the better.
The two comedy series have a similar setup of characters. Roy is a mix of Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) and Leonard. Moss is behaviorally similar to Sheldon, and Jen is a little like Penny.
Now, Big Bang has got a bigger cast, so there's more to work with as far as character interactions go, but the characters in IT Crowd, are more likable. Most of the Big Bang characters like Penny and Leonard can come off as annoying and mean. Howard's wife Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) has the same problem.
Both shows have funny, geeky characters. However, having one show from the US and one from the UK makes the humor geographically different. Big Bang's is goofy and smart (thanks to the writing), with many geek culture references, from Star Trek to Firefly. IT Crowd also has the goofy, smart humor, but some of the references may go over viewers heads unless you live in the UK. Does that make the show less funny? No, it's still enjoyable; however, the misunderstanding may take away from the viewing experience.
In my opinion, The IT Crowd takes the top prize when it comes to nerd shows. It's got lovable characters and a simple story to follow. The Big Bang Theory may have better humor, but it takes more than jokes to present a great show. What I'd really like to know is whether you agree or disagree, so let me know in the poll and with a comment below!