123 Outsourced


Comedy where the Midwest meets the exotic East in a hilarious culture clash.


Thursdays @ 9:30pm on NBC.


"Outsourced" is a comedy where the Midwest meets the exotic East in a hilarious culture clash. The series centers on the all-American company Mid America Novelties that sells whoopee cushions, foam fingers and wallets made of bacon -- and whose call center has suddenly been outsourced to India. Todd Dempsy (Ben Rappaport, off-Broadway's "The Gingerbread House") is the new company's manager who learns that he's being transferred to India to run the operation. Overwhelmed, Todd discovers that his new staff needs a crash course in all things American if they are to understand the U.S. product line and ramp up sales from halfway around the world. But as strange as America seems to his eclectic sales team, Todd soon realizes that figuring out India will be more than a full-time job. Rizwan Manji ("Privileged"), Sacha Dhawan (BBC's "Five Days II"), Rebecca Hazlewood (BBC's "Doctors"), Parvesh Cheena ("Help Me Help You"), and Anisha Nagarajan (Broadway's "Bombay Dreams") also star as members of Dempsy's off-shore team; Diedrich Bader ("The Drew Carey Show") and Jessica Gower (Network Ten's "The Secret Life of Us") additionally star. "Outsourced" is produced by Universal Media Studios. Robert Borden ("The Drew Carey Show" and "George Lopez") is executive producer/writer. Ken Kwapis ("The Office") developed the project through his company, In Cahoots, and serves as executive producer/director. Alex Beattie serves as co-executive producer.




Please note that these reviews may contain spoilers.
Gordon McDougall's Take
NBC has a long-standing tradition with its Thursday night comedies. Over the years, it has had some clear classics (The Cosby Show, Cheers, Seinfeld, Friends, etc.), and those shows have been paired with some perfectly passable shows (Family Ties, Night Court, The Single Guy, Suddenly Susan) that succeeded not so much because they were great shows, but because they were in close proximity to clear hits. Outsourced seems to be one of those passable shows.

Outsourced seems like a premise that would make a good one-shot, maybe a comedy movie (from Garry Marshall or Carl Reiner). As a weekly sitcom, Iím not sure how long it can sustain itself. Iím also not convinced the American audienceómany of whom have been touched by steep job losses in recent yearsóare going to find much to laugh at about a show that reminds us how many jobs have gone overseas to countries where cheap labour is plentiful. If the show were funnier, Iíd say it has a chance, but I didnít find a whole lot to laugh about in this pilot episode. There were a few smiles, but they were more because of the funny, quirky characters than anything those characters said.

There has been some chatter that the show is vaguely racist in its portrayal of the Indian characters. I didnít find them to be offensive stereotypes as some have (anymore than My Name Is Earl characters were stereotypical of people from the south, for instance), but I also didnít find them to be particularly funny characters that I would want to see every week. However, just as Night Court was a good way to pass the time between Cheers and Hill Street Blues or L.A. Law, Outsourced could be a good way to pass the time between The Office and The Apprentice.
Rating: Limited success (Might survive a full season)
About Gordon McDougall
TVGord is a radio host at 580 CFRA in Ottawa. He does a weekly segment about TV every friday which you can hear in MP3 in the '580 CFRA Interviews' section of their website, www.cfra.com