Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The other office sitcom: Better Off Ted
"The Office" is a wonderful sitcom. It is loopy, nicely embarrassing, painfully insensitive and strangely poignant and grounded in real, slightly insane human beings. For all the insanity, however, it somewhat grounded in reality. The world needed more workplace comedy. More office insanity. This time, however, it could not be grounded by reality or common sense.
Enter "Better Off Ted", the delightfully berserk office nightmarish comedy of R+D doom. Think "30 Rock" meets "Office Space" meets "Wild Science", only with more cryogenic experiments on employees. The boss in Veridian Dynamics is not just an evil sociopath; she just believes in herself and modern capitalism a bit too much. Portia De Rossi is just awesome as a completely demented careerist that you can only admire: no one is that ruthless without being friggin' awesome.
The show is still young, mind you; it is not yet flawless. "The Big Bang Theory", "How I Met Your Mother" and "30 Rock" are still funnier. This is sitcom word, however; good comedies only start reaching full potential after 10-15 episodes, when the writers get a hang on what makes characters tick and what ideas can really drive the show. After all, BBT was not Sheldon-centric from the get go; it takes a bit to see what works.
"Ted", however, has a ton of things that are great, and getting better. Portia De Rossi is just perfect; the show can not have enough of her. Andrea Anders is funny, and can play insanity like the best. And any show that parodies the overleveraged finance industry, military procurement, happy pills and corporate discipline on drugs in a single episode is definetely going places.