You’ve seen the commercials. You’ve heard the hype. Now there’s only one thing you want to know: Which of the new fall shows are worth watching and which should be avoided at all costs? In this continuing series, we give you the scoop on some of the most highly-anticipated shows of the season. Starting with the reason we won’t be seeing PARKS AND RECREATION until 2011, NBC’s OUTSOURCED.
The Boilerplate: Since these pilot presentations may go through numerous rewrites and casting changes prior to premiere, this by no means should be considered an official review. Rather a preview of what one might expect come Fall.
The Elevator Pitch: OUTSOURCED is THE OFFICE meets the Bad News Bears.
The Plot: As the title suggests, Mid America Novelties outsourcing their call center to India leaves young twenty-something Todd “in debt to his ears” Dempsy (Ben Rappaport) with little choice but to move to India where he’s tasked with teaching a ragtag bunch of call center employees about America. Needless to say, east meets west, cultures clash, and hilarity, in theory, ensues.
The Snap Judgment: Despite a cast of fairly likeable relatively unknown actors (save for THE DREW CAREY SHOW’s Diedrich Bader) OUTSOURCED suffers from one fatal flaw. The novelties products that the fictional Mid American Novelties company sells —including but not limited to some very clever fake blood splatter that we’d very much like to purchase in time for next Halloween — are far funnier than anything the pilot had to offer. Jokes about flatulence, funny sounding Indian names, and the country’s reverence for Cows are all played for predictable laughs. And what’s worse, stick out like a sore thumb when surrounding by the far smarter and sophisticated humor offered by the likes of COMMUNITY, THE OFFICE, 30 ROCK and PARK AND RECREATION.
The Verdict: Unless OUTSOURCED decides a page from their own pilot and outsource some of the show’s writing duties to, say… Tina Fey, we have a feeling we’ll be seeing PARKS AND RECREATION a lot sooner than originally planed.