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Herc Says OUTSOURCED Is
NBC’s Worst Sitcom In Years!!

Published at: Sept. 23, 2010, 3:29 p.m. CST

I am – Hercules!!
Sunday and Monday had the season’s three best new shows, and now perhaps the three worst debut Thursday night. “Outsourced,” from screenwriter George Wing (“50 First Dates”) and writer-producer Robert Borden, who created “The Brian BenBen Show” and co-created“The George Lopez Show,” is out and out sitcom hackery and a throwback to when NBC had no qualms about putting garbage like “Four Kings” and “20 Good Years” on its airwaves. It’s about a South Asia call center established to field calls for an American novelty company that sells stuff like fake vomit. I’ve seen news reports on these overseas call centers and I suspect a funny, interesting show – one that that better adhered to that reality – could be forged from this premise. “Outsourced” dumbs down its characters until they descend into sitcom behavior unrecognizable as human. Kindly watch “The Office” tonight and switch off right after so “Parks and Recreation” can take over the “Outsourced” slot sooner rather than later. HitFix says:
I'm not sure where to begin in expressing my dismay … what's most upsetting is that NBC decided to bench "Parks and Recreation" not only the best comedy on that network, but on all of television last year - in favor of this cheap, lazy, unfunny mess. …
The Washington Post says:
… "Outsourced" is NBC's "Aren't brown people funny?" addition to its Thursday night comedy lineup and it is not the global recession-era humor catharsis I'd hoped for. …
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:
… labors for laughs and conjures few. … it feels like one of those mid-1990s hammock shows, series such as "The Single Guy" or "Union Square" that landed between NBC shows viewers really wanted to see, such as "Friends" and "Seinfeld." Disposable sitcoms didn't stand a chance then, and they definitely won't last in an even more competitive television landscape now.
The San Francsico Chronicle says:
… Um, have you read a paper in the past year or so? Jokes about the economy - probably too soon. And did you get the memo about making fun of other cultures to the point where you bump up against the racism thing? Apparently not. India is a big country. Laughing at their cows and curry - it makes you look as if you've never traveled. (Additional note: Making fun of people is easy and cheap. Write that down.) …
TV Squad says:
… The show treats this central culture clash with a great deal of tentativeness, a quality that never makes for good comedy, yet despite its scaredy-cat caution, 'Outsourced' still manages to be vaguely insulting and condescending. Many, many shows have mined quality humor from fish-out-of-water scenarios. 'Outsourced' is not one of them. …
The Boston Herald says:
… a depressing sitcom … My favorite character in the series is an unnamed extra, a man wearing a turban who never says anything but seems to find offense at everything Todd does and bolts from the room. That’s a smart man. There’s no laugh track here, which is either a blessing or proof that an automated tape can commit suicide. …
The Boston Globe says:
… too unambitious in scope, and too broad in tone, to satirize the recession or unemployment or anything that counts as relevant. …
The New York Times says:
… The fact that it’s neither embarrassing nor deeply offensive — once it gets rolling, the show is actually quite charming — is a credit to the cast and the writers. …
The Los Angeles Times says:
… It is no closer to reality than any of its Thursday night neighbors (Ken Kwapis, of "The Office" and other good things, developed it and directed the pilot), but it has a top-flight cast, characters who show you who they are rather than telling you, smart writing, sure rhythms and a cheerful attitude.…
USA Today says:
… Despite its Indian setting, Outsourced is in essence an American office comedy, and the office is filled with typical sitcom employees. Those include an over-ambitious assistant manager (Rizwan Manji); a naive would-be playboy stuck with the name "Manmeet" (Sacha Dhawan); a socially inept guy who talks too much (Parvesh Cheena); a shy girl who talks too softly (Anisha Nagarajan); and a lovely woman (Rebecca Hazlewood) who smiles a lot at Todd.…
The Hollywood Reporter says:
… Insensitive during this generation's Hard Times? Possibly. An excuse to mock Indian people and culture? Could be. Downright angering? Sure, for many. A spectacular risk for NBC, especially in the plum post-"Office" slot? Absolutely. But for those with the grit to get past, or over, the premise and watch without prejudice, "Outsourced" is a chance to grin in the face of modern economic realities while having fun with the U.S.-India culture crash.
Variety says:
… Once you get past the awkward recessionary premise -- outsourcing and layoffs? Hilarious! -- "Outsourced" is a fairly standard, occasionally sweet NBC comedy …
9:30 p.m. Thursday. NBC.
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Readers Talkback

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  • Sept. 23, 2010, 3:34 p.m. CST

    You said three of the worst debuts...

    by AndrewWanKenobi

    What are the other two? I assume "Shit My Dad Says" is one of them...

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Hey Herc? Which is 3rd, 2nd and worst worst?

    by tangcameo

    Just curious.

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 3:48 p.m. CST

    One of the best-reviewed shows of fall.

    by NinjaRap

    Right alongside "Shit My Dad Says." I wonder if Herc is right on this.

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 3:55 p.m. CST

    no herc...there is no material there

    by brabon300

    itv made a show called "bombay calling" and it was horendous<p>at least that show didnt attempt to bring humor to the evil that is outsourcing

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 3:58 p.m. CST

    It would have been a lot better if

    by ThrowMeTheIdol

    it was about two American guys who go to work in an Indian call center as regular workers and learn about Indian culture and become over time localized. Rather than hey lets laugh at the brown guy doing a southern accent.

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Hasn't anybody else seen the movie?

    by PunkyMeadows

    Previews and write-ups for "Outsourced" have been running seemingly for ages and not once have I seen any reference to the movie it's obviously based upon, also called "Outsourced". It was a cute, small movie that, based on what I've heard and seen about the show, handled the subject matter much better. I'd even recommend it.

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 4:07 p.m. CST

    Can't believe this took the place of Adam Carolla's pilot.

    by Bungion Boy

    Not sure if that was as good as Carolla has said, but it had to be infinitely better than this. I'm not easily offended, but even I'm a little put off by this premise.

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 4:09 p.m. CST

    AAAwwwwwwwwww

    by FlandersBum

    I liked the premise and the initial commercials. Too bad it's been getting lousy reviews.

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Hindus are safe to mock, apparently

    by Chief Joseph

    Interesting.

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 4:15 p.m. CST

    @PunkyMeadows and the Movie

    by Huelya

    I've seen it and like it. But as as a dumbed down sitcom? No thank you.

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 4:17 p.m. CST

    Ugh, why can't Parks and Rec be on?...

    by DanielKurland

    But to play devil's advocate, Parks WAS terrible in its first season too.

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 4:27 p.m. CST

    The funniest thing about this is...

    by DanielKurland

    In the movie version, the woman he falls in love with is NOT white, and in this she is. For a network whose new slogan is "Colorful," and even seem to be using that to ESPECIALLY market this show, it's crazy that such a drastic whitewashing was still done.

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Ha Ha, remember Four Kings?

    by jim

    No? Lucky you!

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 5:09 p.m. CST

    No one will watch this.

    by fiester

    No one.

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 5:36 p.m. CST

    This is a complete rip-off of my sitcom OUTSAUCED

    by CHRISTIAN_BALE_TRASHED_MY_LIGHTS

    An American gets shipped over to his ketchup company's factory in Mexico. Comic gold.<p>Sadly it wasn't picked up by NBC for some reason.

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 6:05 p.m. CST

    Bring back The Knights of Prosperity.

    by Uncle Stan

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 6:08 p.m. CST

    Worst TV Show Idea EVER!!!

    by _Maltheus_

    I can't even imagine how someone could come up with an idea like this in a major recession. Did some NBC exec actually think that a bunch of laid off workers would chose to escape their depressing existence by watching a comedy about the people those jobs were outsourced too?? Really??? Are you shitting me???? And it's more than one guy, a bunch of people actually agreed to approve this. Every dumbass I've ever known is a genius compared to your average Hollywood type. Yet they're rolling in money while everyone else is barely hanging on. It just makes my head hurt.

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 6:31 p.m. CST

    NBC - More Colorful

    by terry1978

    Indeed.

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Herc normally I respect your opinions...

    by adml_shake

    but I stopped reading after you said Kings was garbage. It was one of the best shows on the air last year, it is near a crime that it was canned so early and at all.

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 7:27 p.m. CST

    Good thing there's no smell-o-vision

    by torontoxic

    lol we will do your jobs for pennies and live in mud huts <P> How is spreading poverty funny? <P> Oh right...the race card still has some pull with the retarded <P> The Bad News Bears are a bunch of disease riddled parasites who think women are property and will bullshit you till their last breath for your last penny. <P> If I had to rank countries in order of best to let it go India would be at the bottom just above China and Mexico.

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 7:50 p.m. CST

    f it, give mcfarlane a show why not, give meh Parks & Rec now, b

    by strykebr

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 8:21 p.m. CST

    I was outsourced to Pakistan

    by m_prevette

    and actually worked there for a few months teaching the new replacements how to do the job - a grim, depressing situation...but what tremendous people there. Really. I hate the outsourcing notion but there's material there.

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 8:22 p.m. CST

    OK, I laughed at the dude's name being Manmeet

    by Toe Jam

    But other than that, the stench coming off this show is easily in the Hobo power double-digits. (The person above who made a point about Adam Carolla's pilot will appreciate that one.)

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 9:13 p.m. CST

    adml_shake

    by Hercules

    "FOUR Kings." Sitcom starring Seth Green.

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 9:46 p.m. CST

    The only thing funny about this show...

    by Red_Right_Return

    Is the fact it was made in the first place? I mean, come on, we are struggling to keep jobs in our country and away from India, and I've had many friends lose their jobs in the last 10 years, but now they make a fucking show I'm supposed to laugh at about jobs being outsourced to India? I still think it will be cancelled in 3-5 episodes. I said this months ago when I heard about this "genius" of an idea. Hey, genius, if you are reading this, you better hope someone who has lost their job in this recession to some Indian dude being outsourced or insourced for that matter, doesn't turn your face into tenderized meat.

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 9:53 p.m. CST

    Okay...

    by dukeroberts

    It was rather weak, but I thought it made fun of Americans just as much. "Look at all of the useless crap that stupid, American rednecks buy!" I chuckled a time or two. Bring back Parks and Rec!

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 10:38 p.m. CST

    It had potential, but just wasn't funny.

    by beastie

    I agree that it made fun of Americans equally. This show already had Deidrich Bader. Bring in Mike Judge and help it realize it's potential.

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 11:38 p.m. CST

    Not THE worst

    by lordgrimplemort

    I haven't watched them all but, this was was at least 2 mild chuckles better than the crapfest Mike and Molly. Within 5 seconds that show gave us a sassy Jamaican waiter with a made for shitty sitcoms accent making lame fat jokes and it didn't get much better. I predict cancellation for both.

  • Sept. 23, 2010, 11:59 p.m. CST

    Raising Hope

    by Spursfanjd

    Raising Hope and Running Wilde (Wednesdays on FOX) were both very good. Really funny stuff. Outsourced is painfully bad.

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 12:17 a.m. CST

    Ironic NBC opted to replace Aziz Anzari with unfunny brown peopl

    by Tigger Tales

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 5:05 a.m. CST

    Eh, wasn't that bad

    by Heresy

    At least the deer singing Sweet Home Alabama was funny and it has Deidrich Bader. I'll give it another episode before it's removed from the DVR schedule.

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 5:19 a.m. CST

    Outsourced, The Movie...Was Great!!!

    by Media Messiah

    Forget this TV show, see the movie!!!

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 5:42 a.m. CST

    ok in my defense...

    by adml_shake

    I was a bit intoxicated and didn't see that until I had already posted it. My apologies.

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 7:44 a.m. CST

    Parks and Rec...

    by Captain Hollywood

    I thought Amy Poehler got pregnant and thats why the show has been moved off the schedule until January.

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 8:15 a.m. CST

    The one good thing

    by The McPoyle Clan

    that could come from a Comcast/NBC merger is the removal of the idiots in the current regime. But that's not enough to offset the damage it will do to the industry at large.

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 8:59 a.m. CST

    Yes, I agree, Outsourced the movie was realy good!

    by HelveticaConspiracy

    Please go watch it, instead of this ugly looking 'sitcom'. I hope the filmmakers behind the movie made a bankroll from this garbage so they can make another movie. Then, I hope they cancel this steaming pile of 'manmeet'. ugh.

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 10:54 a.m. CST

    It's Not Bad

    by Rebeck2

    I have no idea what all this fuss is about. Have we become so politically correct or just timid that we can't laugh at something that is undeniably true? And all the Indian actors here are doing a great job - very funny and very SPECIFIC, so they don't generalize the whole of Indian culture. I especially like the cute shy girl who can't speak up, with those big eyes of hers - she was funny right off the bat. Jesus, everybody relax and get upset about something that matters. Like what complete lying assholes Republicans are. Now THAT'S disturbing.

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Better than I expected

    by jim

    Granted, my expectations were quite low. Some funny bits. Not appointment TV by any means, but a show I'll watch now and again (maybe catch them On Demand when everything else goes on hiatus).<p>Of course, it probably seemed a lot better than it was because I watched it right after seeing the truly awful "Shit My Dad Says". Has there ever been a more appropriately titled show?

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 12:57 p.m. CST

    This Just In

    by InActionMan

    NBC green-lights new sitcom about the hilarious goings on at a plantation during slavery in the Antebellum South.

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 1:12 p.m. CST

    No

    by Karuma

    It's not.

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 5:43 p.m. CST

    Disagreeing with Hec again

    by Lummox JR

    NBC has disappointed me many times in recent years, but Outsourced was no such disappointment. I found it pretty funny. Personally I think everyone dumping on it is doing so because they're comparing it too heavily to the Office, and even then failing to realize that it's not the same show and that even the Office isn't up everyone's alley. Give this show a chance.

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Rip Off

    by fanboy2001

    what a load of crap this is !!! Talk about it being a orginal comedy !! Did the pproducers fail to see that this is so similar to the failed series in the uk called 'mumbai calling' and that they ripped the heart out of the film called 'outsourced' which was a gentle cute comedy not this piece of garbage that was aired !!!

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