<p>So who loved &quot;Outsourced&quot;?&nbsp;Anyone?</p>

'Outsourced' - 'Pilot': Bathroom humor

Posted Sep 23, 2010 10:00 PM By  

I expressed my dismay over NBC's "Outsourcedin yesterday's review (and Fienberg wrote even more eloquently about the many things wrong with it). Now it's your turn. What did you think? 

And to pre-empt the question I get most often: "Outsourced" failing quickly wouldn't automatically get "Parks and Rec" back on the air quickly, as NBC has several other mid-season comedies, and they're ones developed by the current head of the network, where "Parks and Rec" is a survivor of the Ben Silverman era. So while I'd like to think Angela Bromstad will go with quality over advancing her own stuff, that's not always the way this works.

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  • Chew_talkback_profile
    Shitegeist
    Lord, I knew it was going to be bad but I wasnt prepared for that. It's a shame for some of the actors though, I thought Rizwan Manji was rather winning.
    September 23, 2010 at 10:03PM EST
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  • 64_talkback_profile
    DirtyKash
    Obviously I found the show excruciatingly painful. But to nit-pick, the part that bothered me most is that they're a call center and they were sitting there not receiving any calls for long stretches of time, until that one dude gets the very first call only to get hung up on. And then later on, everyone's suddenly busy on the phones at the same time...?
    September 23, 2010 at 10:08PM EST
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    • Stubby1_talkback_profile
      cadfile
      The call center part they got right. Calls can be routed to other call centers or to voice mail if needed. So there can be times when no calls come in or one or two are let in.
      September 24, 2010 at 4:23AM EST
  • (guest)
    I might be one of the few people to say this but I enjoyed the pilot. I'm not saying it is a great show by any means but I think I will keep watching as long as it's around which my not be very long.
    September 23, 2010 at 10:10PM EST
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    Dennis (guest)
    I'm scared that the ratings will be good do to the lead in that NBC will think it's a good show
    September 23, 2010 at 10:12PM EST
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      Shitegeist
      I'm more scared that there'll be people who actually like this. I've got a sinking feeling that it will last far longer than critics predict.
      September 23, 2010 at 10:17PM EST
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    Jim (guest)
    It scares me that a group of executives at NBC could actually think this is good enough to put on the air. I feel like I could show that to 10 random people on the street and at least 9 would know it was terrible.
    September 23, 2010 at 10:15PM EST
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    Twitter Fiend (guest)
    Outsourced is trending all over Twitter's ass right now. Here's a sample tweet:

    "Outsourced is the funniest comedy I have seen in a while plus bing bang what a funny combo"
    September 23, 2010 at 10:15PM EST
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    • Default-avatar
      Here's another:
      "Who saw Outsourced? It was actually even better than I expected it to be. I wish I had a DVR to record the whole series..."
      September 23, 2010 at 10:24PM EST
    • Default-avatar
      He doesn't have to do any homework tonight.

      "Big Bang Theory, S..! My Dad Says, #theoffice, and Outsourced are tonight. Best of all, I don't have to do any homework!!!!"
      September 23, 2010 at 10:25PM EST
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    Dave G (guest)
    Outsourced is pretty much the Indian version of blackface. This is some racist stuff. This is really 2010??
    September 23, 2010 at 10:18PM EST
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      NJMark
      "Blackface" refers to white performers putting on makeup and pretending to be black.

      These were actual Indian performers.
      September 24, 2010 at 11:33AM EST
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    Anand (guest)
    I actually really enjoyed the movie outsourced, which the show is based on. Not sure why they did such a poor job developing it into a tv show.
    September 23, 2010 at 10:22PM EST
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    Shamik (guest)
    I'm Indian and my white fiance is far more entertained by my horrified reaction to this show than this horrible show itself. I'm pretty sure they've exhausted their Indian cliches by now. What the hell is the 2nd show supposed to be about?
    September 23, 2010 at 10:26PM EST
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      Shitegeist
      My guess is they'll stage a Bollywood style musical number to foster team spirit, or some shit.
      September 23, 2010 at 10:31PM EST
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    Truck (guest)
    It wasn't really as bad as I thought. At least it didn't have a laugh track. It's not something I'll watch ever, but I watched it out of morbid curiosity and didn't end up turning off my TV (but I didn't actively pay attention). Matt Walsh, man... how does that guy agree to so many awful roles?
    September 23, 2010 at 10:26PM EST
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    Caleb Alpaugh
    Having read, and heard, Alan's as well as Dan's thoughts about the pilot, I was prepared for much worse. But I saw the show as a comment on stereotypes as a whole, because not only were the Indian characters stereotyped, but many American stereotypes were portrayed as well. Maybe this is just me giving the benefit of the doubt to the writers, but I think this might be a case of "not judging a book by its cover," and that the series as a whole, as well as its characters, will make this clear.
    September 23, 2010 at 10:31PM EST
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    ArrrghMyEyes (guest)
    It was every bit as terrible as you suggested. Worse actually.

    I was so deeply offended by how bad it was I wanted to punch every NBC exec who had anything to do with it right in the face.

    The worst part though? As bad as it was it was still far better than the premiere of The Office. That was so bad I want to punch everyone involved with it in their private parts.
    September 23, 2010 at 10:40PM EST
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      Guest
      How about that song to start the season? I almost had to turn the office off in the first minute of the season.
      September 23, 2010 at 11:04PM EST
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      Very Sad
      Matt Walsh is in this T*rd? Say it isn't so (if so, I will now drink drain cleaner)!
      September 26, 2010 at 11:57AM EST
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    dickey simpkins (guest)
    A show about outsourcing and the mix of Western/South Asian cultures has serious potential. Instead, they went the lazy route and used tired ethnic jokes to drag the show out. The lead character comes across as a giant douche, why am I supposed to like this guy? Shouldn't the strange white man be the brunt of the jokes, not the other way around? It's like they tried to re-create the Office but if the show was solely from the perspective of Michael Scott or Jim Halpert.
    September 23, 2010 at 11:26PM EST
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    diemunkiesdie
    I'm Indian and I honestly was not offended by it. I actually laughed a few times, and I will definitely be tuning in next week!
    September 24, 2010 at 12:39AM EST
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    Tim Tom (guest)
    Didn't watch, killed the half hour between The Office and Always Sunny reading the AV Club write ups of tonight's shows and getting in some early comments. Looking on the bright side, this being on at least gives me that opportunity.
    September 24, 2010 at 2:05AM EST
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  • Tyroc_talkback_profile
    Tyroc
    Huh. While it was certainly devoid of jokes for long stretches (the entire first half?) and the direction and pacing felt very odd which was distracting, I didn't find it offensive at all. The American is the one with the stereotypes, and he's the rube who keeps saying the wrong thing. Just not in a particularly funny way (but not offensive either. So mild.)

    And I certainly didn't feel that "Rappaport himself comes across like a smarmy imitation John Krasinski". I thought he was rather pleasant and charming but not given anything funny to say or do.

    Overall, I thought it was really mild in its suckiness, and just mild all around. It's not funny, which is its most glaring problem, but was it offensive in its suckiness that it elicited such a strong negative reaction? I didn't get that. More dull than anything.

    As for the diarrhea jokes -- well, I don't know many Americans who have traveled to India without some stomach issues. I love Indian food but travelers know to be wary as our stomachs just aren't raised to be as strong (much like visiting Mexico City.) That would be like someone traveling to the USA and being warned that the portions are gigantic. Just a fact.
    September 24, 2010 at 2:18AM EST
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      VisionOn
      If it was offensive, it was intentionally offensive to both Americans and Indians.

      There were multiple occasions where the shallowness and ignorance of American culture was on display and similarly aspects of Indian culture were commented on.

      In fact if anything this show should be more offensive to rednecks and those who buy the crap they sell. It all came off as rightly boorish and tasteless.
      September 25, 2010 at 9:00AM EST
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    Chip (guest)
    Pretty funny show.

    Seems like many of you have decided to hate the show even before you watched it just because Alan said so.
    September 24, 2010 at 2:21AM EST
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      Kmarko
      Yup. I had the same thought.
      September 24, 2010 at 9:24AM EST
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      Col Bat Guano
      No, I watched it and manage to be worse than Alan said it was. Really unfathomably bad.
      September 24, 2010 at 9:35AM EST
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      rachelmed
      I actually decided to hate it when it took over the spot for Parks & Rec. Then I saw the trailer and realized they ruined a wonderful little indie movie and hated it even more. Alan didn't need to say anything to convince me to not watch this show.
      September 24, 2010 at 11:26AM EST
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      primeribcutter
      I watched all painful 22 minutes of it. If someone didn't have the patience to endure, I cannot blame them.
      September 24, 2010 at 1:32PM EST
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    Kingsley (guest)
    I want to meet whoever thought of the whole low-talker/silent character and understand what they found funny about it. That was one of the worst "jokes" I have seen on TV in a long, long time.
    The main character came off as a huge douchebag who was ungrateful and unlikeable.
    This may have been one of the few shows that would have benefited with a laugh track, there was a lot of just awkward moments.
    September 24, 2010 at 2:33AM EST
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    Harmony (guest)
    I didn't think it was AS bad as you described in earlier posts. Of course in some ways it was more crass than needed; however, it seems like it's genuinely trying to make fun of American's ignorance more than India's culture. Though maybe I'm being soft on an idea that could have been executed a lot worse.

    In all, I might stay tuned for a few more episodes to see what direction it goes. But, if each episode is too similar, regarding the unfamiliarities between cultures as the pilot is [rather than focusing on the characters/humanity] - then I'll probably focus my attention elsewhere.
    September 24, 2010 at 3:28AM EST
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      cadfile
      Reply to comment...
      September 24, 2010 at 4:24AM EST
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    Jason (guest)
    Man, that was painfully unfunny. It was like the 30 Rock "Rural Juror" greenlight meeting ("I love that we can work while we're on cocaine!") actually happened.
    September 24, 2010 at 4:19AM EST
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  • (guest)
    Excuciatingly painful... nuf ced! Great concept, louy execution. Opportunities for some of those actors completely blown. Ouch!
    September 24, 2010 at 8:24AM EST
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    Kmarko (guest)
    Not bad, actually. The "offensive" angle is a bit strange, too--it's a pretty affectionate take on the characters, if a bit broad. But nearly every comedy pilot in history is broad, while subsequent shows provide depth.
    September 24, 2010 at 9:19AM EST
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    Jim (guest)
    I didn't watch the whole thing, only til the first commercial break, and that was enough.... But, then, I got to talking with my fiancee, and, like others who've commented below, we're shocked that NBC would ever air a show like this. Which made us wonder if there isn't some kind of meta-satire going on here. Is the joke not about the call center but about our perception of the call center and how pigeon-holed our view of India, its people and its culture really is. Thus, they present us a mirror of our bias.... Or, maybe I'm giving them way too much credit.
    September 24, 2010 at 11:44AM EST
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  • (guest)
    I'm an American-born Indian and I dont find it as offensive to the culture as much as I find offensive to comedy. As Britta said to Vaughn, "I find that disrespectful to me and to the definition of rhyme scheme." They seriously bumped Parks and Rec for this??????
    September 24, 2010 at 1:15PM EST
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      OrphanFunkhauser
      I'm not Indian, but I agree with this poster. The show was just offensive to comedy.
      September 24, 2010 at 3:33PM EST
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    primeribcutter (guest)
    The show was poorly done. I am not just talking about the stereotypical characters, the plot, or the lack of intelligent humor. The show felt dead, no sound besides dialog, poor greenscreen, and poor timing. Thursday night on NBC was one of the smartest 2 hours of broadcast television. At least we still have an hour and a half of humor.
    September 24, 2010 at 1:26PM EST
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    Kujo
    Embarrassingly bad. Zero laughs. If there's any justice, this show will crash and burn.
    September 24, 2010 at 1:29PM EST
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    christy
    My husband is Indian (born and raised) and he was not offended at all by this. He seemed to find it mildly funny, but he likes sitcommy sitcoms. He'll put on a rerun of Everybody Loves Raymond most days, for instance. I think the thing he liked least about it was that Indian call centers would not be taking phone calls from the US during the day. Which led me to ask, well, what time DO Americans place phone orders for joke novelties, anyway? But he's probably right, it'd be more likely to be dark out in India while Americans are awake than not.

    He was, however, REALLY OFFENDED by the fact that the Indian restaurant at the beginning of Better With You had goddess statues in it. Not kidding. It really turned him off.

    I feel like the stereotypes on Outsourced are no more offensive than you'd see on other low-quality-but-popular sitcoms, but it's stereotyping a culture that's never had a whole American sitcom based around it so I think it feels worse because of that. For the most part this struck me as your average, everyday crappy sitcom. Put it on CBS between Rules of Engagement and Two and a Half Men and you'd hardly notice it.
    September 24, 2010 at 2:29PM EST
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    Kevin Dark (guest)
    I watched about 10 minutes and had to turn it off. It was pretty offensive and the humor was pretty dry.
    September 24, 2010 at 5:09PM EST
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  • (guest)
    Ugh. Slightly less painful than I was ready for and I was ready for *really* painful.

    I put up with it because I had a large reservoir of good will for the movie and hoped the presence of Batman might help it overcome its obvious weaknesses. He didn't. Poor Diedrich. At least he has another job to fall back on.

    And as Ben Rappaport...he wasn't so much acting in a TV show as auditioning for a job as a John Krasinski celebrity impersonator. It's a niche gig, granted, but he's got the smirk down pat.
    September 24, 2010 at 5:12PM EST
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    VisionOn
    I didn't think there was anything technically wrong with the pilot. It looked very good and was well shot.

    It just wasn't funny. It wasn't even not funny in an obvious way. It was just lacking anything that felt like it was supposed to be a comedy.

    It was just very forgettable.
    September 25, 2010 at 8:55AM EST
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