Monday, April 6, 2009

TV. Better.

Hetero Life-Pal CT tipped me off to this show the other week. It is a new show on ABC, Wednesdays at 7:30pm. Which was the time slot of Pushing I am not happy about that but at least it is not a cop, lawyer, or doctor show. Of the newer shows that I have seen, this would be my choice to replace Pushing Daisies if it is indeed dead.

Better Off TED, focuses on Ted a Middle Manager/Team Leader of a research team at Veridian Dynamics. VD, is a large company that has it's hands into everything - consumer products, space exploration, industrial foods, and weapon systems to name a few. VD is the kind of large corporation that researches whatever tickles its fancy at the moment, morals, laws, ethics be damned. VD considers nothing impossible...for the right price. Want to weaponize a pumpkin or create cow-less beef? They can do that. Ted is a nice guy working and tries balancing the company's profits with the morally questionableness of some of its experiments. The kind of company that sends you a copy of the bill for any personal calls you made at work each month...not because they want you to pay for them, they just want you to know that they know.

Each episode begins with a VD commercial, which are usually twisted spoofs of BASF commercials (if you remember the "We don't make the products you use, we make the products you use better" commercials). "Power - we make that, Technology - we make that, Cows - um, we don't make that...but we did make a sheep." Always funny.

BOT is like a corporate version of The Big Bang Theory...with science and technology being laughed at but unlike Big Bang, the characters geekiness is not the central comedic theme. Better Off Ted, focuses more on the corporate greed and moral-lessness of the company in general...and the ideas that come from that "We want to freeze Phil for a year, because we think that we can."

  • Humorous spoofs of real life companies - check

  • Geeky science humor - check

  • Research analyst who steals all the coffee creamer - check

  • Company trying to figure out why it uses so much creamer - check

  • Ethically questionable company willing to perform experiments on its own employees - check

  • Mass of lab grown meat name Blobby (don't name it, then you won't want to eat it - don't you remember Chester the Carrot?) - check

  • Ideas that seem really funny and implausible until you realize they are based on real world studies - check

  • Company that uses its daycare service to have the children do such fun activities as "paint the lines in the parking lot!" - check

  • Portia de Rossi - check

All in all, a very entertaining show. Only three episodes in, you can easily get caught up on-line before the next airing.


kelly said...

Nice, I'll have to check it out.

Though Portia de Rossi's stock really plummeted for me with the whole getting married to Ellen thing.

And on that topic, you put the Lesbians tag on Girl Scouts but you don't on one mentioning Portia de Rossi?? Shocking omission.

Michael said...

I totally meant to put the Lesbians tag on there...I'm an idiot. I blew that one.

In my mind, I replace Ellen with Tobias (David Cross) from Arrested Development...him in his "Never Nude" shorts are a much more appealing thought.

Cameron Ted said...

Some of my favorite bits have been the commercials for Veridian Dynamics. Hands. Three.