Judge David Johnson outsourced this review to a toddler, the show's obvious demographic.
Our review of Outsourced (2006), published August 6th, 2008, is also available.
An all-American comedy, in India.
And if by "American," you mean "loud, bloated, and obnoxious," then yes…that works as description of this lame series.
Facts of the Case
Our hero in this sordid saga is Todd Dempsey (Ben Rappaport), an up-and-coming executive trainee who finds himself shipped to India to manage a call center for novelty items. Immediately, he is flummoxed by this new culture, which leads to a series of miscommunications, social foibles, and borderline offensive joke engineering.
Full disclosure: I came into this series holding a grudge. Outsourced had bumped the funniest show on network television (Parks and Recreation) to mid-season replacement status. I sampled it for just a few minutes last year, felt like I was watching eye surgery on the medical channel, and promptly pushed it out of my consciousness. But the suits at NBC must have seen something they liked because it got a full order, before ultimately getting canned. And now Outsourced has returned in optical disc form to continue tormenting me.
The good news: I made it past the first few minutes. The bad news: It just kept getting worse.
According to Judge Adam Arseneau's review of the movie this mess is based on, it should be "exotic, charming, and fun." Yeah…no. I won't go as far as to say the series is racist, but it is incredibly broad with its stereotype humor and the jokes aren't even close to funny. Yeah, we get it…India smells bad. Can we please move on?
Oh no, you're in for 21 more episodes of "it smells bad in India" jokes, bucko, and you're going to like it! And if you don't nod and laugh, how about some jokes about Indian surname pronunciations?
For some reason unbeknownst to me, I have wronged my editor, and my punishment was to suffer through this hokum.
Punishment! That's the word I was looking for! Outsourced isn't an earnest attempt at a half-hour sitcom. It's a vehicle of punishment, a conveyance that was created to rain down misery upon those unlucky enough to watch it. The creative minds behind this series are orcs or something, and its concept was forged in the fiery bowels of a volcano. That's the only plausible explanation.
I just don't know how this show got off the ground. Todd Dempsy is a moron, a character made unlikeable because of his Vaudeville approach to living in a foreign country. Well, that and Ben Rappaport's unwavering desire to slap on a smirk as often as possible. We're obviously supposed to root for him, especially when he gets into a variety of relationships, but he's such a cartoon character it's impossible. Surrounding him is a squadron of one-dimensional comedy cut-outs: a plump, dopey guy who is both loveable in his naivete and grating in everything else; a naïve, squirrelly girl who constantly looks like she's witnessing a bear attack; an Indian kid who sounds hip and cool like an American, which is funny because he's Indian; and Todd's second-in-command, who resents his demotion and is mean to everyone…which I actually sort of enjoyed because a) he was often the lone amusing respite in a sea of crap, and b) he was mean to rest of these idiots.
I'm done devoting bandwidth to this show. Outsourced is a brutally unfunny, borderline offensive production that is best left to the dustbin of history. And to be safe, we should put that dustbin in a rocket and fire it into the sun.
The DVDs: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, Dolby 5.1 surround, deleted scenes, a gag reel, and a couple of commentary tracks.
Also outsourced: laughs and good taste. Run away fast.
Guilty. You are banished to the mines to work for Mola Ram.
Give us your feedback!
What's "fair"? Whether positive or negative, our reviews should be unbiased, informative, and critique the material on its own merits.
Scales of Justice
• Episode Commentaries
Review content copyright © 2011 David Johnson; Site design and review layout copyright © 2016 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.