Disillusionment is rising within me like the high tide of an ocean. The bubble has burst. My eyes are clearing. As it passes, I begin the process of acceptance. All is not what is seems.
Buddhism speaks of disillusionment as a good thing, seeing through the veil of illusion. According to the Art of Dharma site:
This whole world is a trick. It’s a fantasy land, a place to get lost in and a place where there are tricks within tricks. Beings get fooled by these tricks all the time.
If the world is a trick, what is the world’s greatest method to convey this trick but television? It’s visual, one is easily fooled, easily tricked.
A fan of British comedy, I happened upon the series The IT Crowd and watched season 1, which was aired in 2006.
The seeds are there – it’s undeniable. This show continually reminds me in character and some story line of The Big Bang Theory (TBBT) which aired in 2007. TBBT is not the original comedy I once believed it was.
The IT Crowd
The IT Crowd starts with a woman, Jen, applying for a job as head of the IT Department. The skills that she presents as her fit for this role are the ability to open, send and delete emails. She’s hired.
Her two male employees, Roy and Maurice, reside in a man-cave in the basement of a high-rise. Both are socially inept in different ways.
Roy is horny and obnoxious and treats his callers with disdain. When answering the phone is first question is, “Have you tried turning off and on the computer?” His next question is usually, “Is it plugged in.” Often, we find, the computer isn’t plugged in suggesting Ross’ irritability with his colleagues has some grounds.
Maurice, in contrast, is unable to read social cues. He doesn’t understand sarcasm, is unable to lie and has flat emotional responses such as when in response to a raging fire a few feet away simply emails the fire department.
Into this situation walks the flighty female boss with no qualifications for the job. Her role is more clearly defined when Roy is being beaten with a shoe by a female employee who didn’t care for his snarky manner. Diffusing the situation, Jen sees that she can provide the relationship management her socially inept colleagues need to survive.
In the very first episode the similarities to TBBT are discernable. In the next few episodes similar story lines and characters began to emerge.
In his inability to lie effectively for his boss, Maurice tells his colleagues the boss has died (TBBT – Sheldon can’t lie for Leonard and makes up a ridiculous story about a drug-addicted cousin). The company then sends Maurice to a psychologist whom he ends up sleeping with. Roy sees her in the office and mistakes her for his own mother (TBBT – Leonard’s mother is a psychologist and connects with Sheldon).
There are definitely some places that The IT Crowd goes that US comedy won’t touch such as death and suicide. With a Goth locked in a room behind the red door (TBBT – similar to Howard’s never-seen mother?) how could we not touch on a few dark subjects?
The IT Crowd Astrology
My TBBT blog labelled Sheldon an Aquarius, Leonard a Cancer, Howard a Leo, Raj a Pisces and Penny a Gemini.
Roy seems to have been split into TBBT‘s Howard and Leonard with a bit of Howard’s Leo ostentatiousness combined with Leonard’s strong Cancer need to connect. In the episode where Jen’s PMT (known as PMS here in the States), Roy explains that he’s feeling “delicate.”
Roy’s constant, humiliating rejection by females doesn’t stop his pursuits. Very Howard. He’s got mother issues too as when he mistakes the company psychologist for his mother. His mother seems to call him quite often as well. Very, very Howard.
Maurice seems to have been split into TBBT‘s Sheldon and Raj. The Sheldon obsessive-compulsive characteristics are definitely there (he makes two cups of tea each morning because he often accidentally drops one), but he has interest in sexual, if not emotional, relationships – a bit like Raj. Like Raj, he is shy as he explains during a story about picking up prostitutes with Roy. Unable to perform, they take the prostitutes to the fair.
Oh, Maurice wasn’t supposed to tell that story. Very Sheldon.
Oh, and Maurice has an obnoxious knock when he knocks on the bosses door. One of Sheldon’s unique characteristics is the three knocks on the door.
Is Maurice a mixture of Sheldon’s Aquarius and Raj’s Pisces? Pisces at first glance seems inappropriate for someone with stunted emotional responses. But consider that when water is overwhelmed, it shuts down in anxiety. For Pisces and other water signs, daily life can be enough stimuli to dam up the waters and the emotional responses.
The boss Jen I’ll assign the same sign as Penny from TBBT – Gemini. Talking your way into (or out of) a situation is very Gemini as Jen demonstrates by getting a job as Manager of IT (with no IT skills) and by keeping her job after swearing profusely at the Japanese visitor (who takes his gift sword back in response).
Also Jen clearly describes herself to literal Maurice by saying, “I lie, l lie, I lie.” While we all lie, what’s she’s really telling Maurice is that life demands agility like when you say, “She’s not here” and she really is.
The creator of TBBT as well as many other comedies is Chuck Lorre. I’m not familiar with a lot of his creations, but some of his recent shows have focused around a pair of characters with opposite traits (a la Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple and Barefoot in the Park):
- Two and a Half Men with the wild and crazy brother providing shelter to the neurotic and compulsive brother.
- Mike & Molly with gender providing the opposite characteristics.
- Dharma & Greg which I haven’t seen but is described on IMDB as an “odd match” of a “successful businessman” and an “unconventional free spirit.”
According to Astrotheme, Lorre has both sun and moon in Libra with some extra kick from Saturn and Neptune in Libra as well. Libra is about relationships and with sun and moon in that sign, that’s the primary theme of one’s life. Libra tends to hook up young and really can’t get on in life until the other half is found.
It’s no wonder many of his written creations are couples.
Libra-other as opposite of Aries-self tends to reflect off of others to define the self. Thinking about the elements (earth, air, fire and water), only earth has natural boundaries (mountains, for example) while the other elements can’t be controlled or contained so easily.
Water crosses boundaries emotionally. Fire crosses boundaries spiritually. Air crosses boundaries mentally and often crosses boundaries to gain identity. Earth creates boundaries.
That The IT Crowd and TBBT have the same seeds is the very quality of air. Was one idea first and the other second? Was the idea in seed in many places at the same time? With the rise of technology was it just a matter of time before techies and nerds rose in the visual media? How do writers tap into the energies of the workplace when they are not there?
Lorre has all elements in his chart with Uranus, Mercury and Venus in water, Pluto in fire and Jupiter and Mars in earth and the aforementioned air (Libra).
Mars is in Capricorn, an ambitious and driven placement. By degree, this Mars doesn’t square any of the planets in Libra. It’s in the early degree of Capricorn and only makes a wide trine to Mercury. Mars in Capricorn may be the loose cannon in the chart – ambition not acknowledged by the Libra sense of fairness and beauty.
We know, of course, that Lorre has been Capricorn successful through Libra creative pursuits. It’s always enjoyable as an astrologer to see an individual happily living out his/her energies.
Yet, I think there may still be a “me-other” issue here with the IT Crowd and TBBT. We broke with Britain for a reason and this isn’t the first show where we’ve imported the premise from across the pond (The Office).
If we did import The IT Crowd from across the pond, let’s bring Richmond (the Goth who lives behind the red door in the basement). Stuart of TBBT‘s comic book store isn’t quite enough to match the emotional intensity of Richmond. (Oh yeah, Roy reads comic books instead of answering the phone after his tapes his standard replies to phone calls.)
Although in some ways The IT Crowd is ruined for me (disillusionment hits hard), I’m still eager to watch a few more seasons. British comedy seems more edgy, more willing to cast its characters in the light of their true selves – both pretty and ugly.
Libra is a sign associated with pleasure and beauty and, for me, can have difficultly in life with what I think of as “ugly” situations. For example, getting on a public bus with a cross-section of humanity and its concomitant sounds and smells can be a very distasteful experience for Libra energy. That pimple on your nose is also bothersome to Libra (and Virgo). Regular daily “ugly” stuff like that.
Take Charlie Sheen in Two and Half Men. His character was a raging alcoholic who regularly made reference to throwing up over the toilet. Yet he still always came out on top of his neurotic brother. His character never suffered for his behavior. It’s interesting that in real life Sheen has similar behavior which made him look quite pathetic and caused him to suffer; but on TV with the same behavior, he was cool (no wonder he wanted back on so badly).
Roy in The IT Crowd is not spared with his unkempt appearance and unwashed t-shirts matching his obnoxious personality. Possibly his redeeming qualities, if any, will appear in subsequent episodes.
If we imported The Office, I don’t see why we can’t import The IT Crowd. The Brits created the English language first, why not series on the telly?
Moreover, don’t they say that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?”
Who said that?
Oh, that was a Brit too.