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One on One | Breaking IT

by Simon Garrity / 25.11.2011

It’s the vacuum that opens up as they face the consequences of their actions that binds them. Two guys in polar opposite shows. My matching dueling pistols of recent television fascination. Jesse Pinkman, scruffy drug dealer, meth lab assistant, grieving lover and petty criminal from Breaking Bad and Roy, indentured IT support slave, basement-dwelling, bureaucracy-entwined pawn of Reynholm Industries in The IT Crowd.

Two genius scenes link them.

For Jesse it’s a brutal reversal in his Narcotics Anon meeting. Reeling from a trail of bad breaks, he cannot confess his part in a murder. An act with no apparent consequences. It isn’t his first killing. He suspects that before he’s done it’ll not be his last. The business of tweakers is not for the faint-hearted. So he invents a true confession about a fake dog. “I killed… a problem dog”, he says. A good dog he just didn’t need anymore. The revulsion and hypocrisy of his fellow addicts in the room disgusts him. What happened to forgiveness, tolerance, understanding? “If you just do stuff, and nothin’ happens, what’s it all mean? What’s the point?” Nobody in there has an answer for him.

Roy’s at the theater and doesn’t want to wait in line for the bathroom and pops into the loo for Disabled People. He gets caught in there by ushers and collapses to the floor, pretending to be physically challenged. Rescued and placed in a wheelchair, he has to keep up the charade, enjoying the attention. He’s committed himself, he will have to follow it through.

At the end of the night, the transport van comes to pick him up along with his fellow “disabled”. We watch him drive away. His self-made trap is our comedy.

There they are. My two recent favourite scenes from the tube. Fade to static.

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