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'The Big Bang Theory' Vs. 'The IT Crowd': Which Nerd Sitcom Is Better?


By Sarah LoydPublished 7 years ago 3 min read
The Big Bang Theory [Credit: Warner Bros. TV]

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 IT Crowd (starring Chris O'Dowd and Richard Ayoade) did the same for them. Both comedy series have nerds and geeks at center stage, and both have become immensely popular. The It Crowd has even reached a loyal following in the US. The question is: Which geeky show is better? This can be analyzed by looking at the plots, characters, and humor of both shows.

The Story

For those who do not know, The IT Crowd is about career girl Jen (Katherine Parkinson) who lies on her resume about having great computer skills. The truth is, she knows nothing about computers or technology. Nonetheless, the company hires her to work in the IT department with the slacker Roy (Chris O'Dowd) and awkward, naive Moss (Richard Ayoade).

The Big Bang Theory 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 story lines. 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 Characters

The two comedy series have a similar setup of characters. Roy is a mix of Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) and Leonard. He is flirtatious with women but is still strikes out for being nerdy. Moss is behaviorally similar to Sheldon. They both speak their minds, no matter what, and both have compulsive tendencies. Jen is a little like Penny. The girls are pretty, and yet not the brightest bulb of the bunch. They both serve as a normal foil to the geeks in the show.

Now, Big Bang has got a bigger cast, so there is 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. The characters on The IT Crowd have their quirks, but it does not ruin their personalities. Roy and Jen are little selfish at times, but they are never mean.

The Humor

'The IT Crowd' [Credit: Channel 4 Television]

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 jokes are 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 is 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 nerdy shows. It has some 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 would really like to know is whether you agree or disagree. Which show about lovable nerds do you prefer?


About the Creator

Sarah Loyd

I love movies, music, TV, and all things entertaining. I also love to write poetry. Follow me on Twitter @musicl0v3 and on Mix You can also find me on Pinterest @sloydmarie

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    Sarah LoydWritten by Sarah Loyd

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