Outsourced (1) – NBC

I decided to give this a try.  I already watch The Office and 30 Rock so why not try NBC’s newest comedy?  But something feels wrong about even watching it.  So, watch it I did and I feel like it was a half an hour long version of Tosh.0‘s “Is it Racist” bit.  I’m not so sure about this.

Todd goes through the management training program for the novelties company he works for only to come back and find out everyone in the call center has been fired and the center has been moved to India.  In this day of people being unemployed (waves), I’m not sure this is quite the message to be sending to America right now.  (Todd’s boss has a stack of bricks next to his desk, all of which have been thrown through the office window since he fired everyone.  Haha.  That’s a riot.)

Having no choice because he has no other job, Todd goes to India to run the call center.  He meets Rajiv, his assistant manager who wants his job and has peopled the center with folks who don’t really work well.  There’s the over-eager loser.  The sexy woman.  The woman who doesn’t speak above a whisper and Manmeet, only named so Todd can make a joke about using the name Manmeet while chatting on the Internet.   This show feels like it should have been made in the 1970s.

As an aside, I only just found out this is a spinoff from a movie with the same name and similar plot from 2006.  It makes me sad that it took them four years for this.

There’s a long exchange between Todd and Rajiv about the sacredness of the cow that’s supposed to be funny but only comes across as ignorant.  A little Hindu 101 for folks at home, I guess.

Then we’re off to the cafeteria.  Only yellow, green or brown mush for lunch and only one other American in the place.  Charlie is a seemingly stereotypical obnoxious American but he has friendly tips for Todd.  Most important is to not eat the food unless you “hate your own ass”.  Charlie shares a sandwich with Todd made from food he imported from America.  So not only does this show embrace Indian stereotypes but American ones as well.  Lovely.

But don’t fret…there’s a sexy non-Indian woman too!  Australian Tonya who doesn’t give Charlie the time of day but is obviously attracted to Todd.  And now we set up the eventual triangle among Todd, Tonya and the “sexy” one in the call center, Asha.  This sitcom feels like it was written by someone who had a “Sitcom Writings for Dummies” next to their computer.

I can’t even bother to write about it any more.  He compares the call center folks to the Bad News Bears to encourage them all to meet a goal, even the gal who whispers, and it ends with Todd not having to run to the only American in the cafeteria but sitting with his workers.

Worse than perpetuating stereotypes, this is just not funny.   Displaying stereotypes for satire (see Brooks, Mel) is one thing but being flat-out unfunny while beating those stereotypes to death really doesn’t work for me.

Goodbye, Outsourced.  I just gained back a half a hour a week.

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