What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this workplace sitcom is set in India and derives most of its jokes from cultural clashes and misunderstandings. There's some mild stereotyping for comedic purposes, but nothing that's truly offensive. There's also some low-level cursing in the form of "ass" and "crap," some sexual innuendo, and a bit of consumerism -- although the show generally pokes fun at Americans' urge to buy things they don't need.
What's the story?
When call center manager Todd Dempsey (Ben Rappaport) shows up for work on his first day after management training, he finds out that his entire department has been OUTSOURCED to India, a move that will save the Mid America Novelties company a fortune. Now, the only way Todd can keep his job is if he agrees to move overseas to manage the company's newly acquired Indian sales team, a motley crew that includes eager-to-please ladies' man Manmeet (Sacha Dhawan), brainy beauty Asha (Rebecca Hazlewood), and managerial rival Rajiv (Rizwan Manji).
Is it any good?
Most people probably missed the quirky 2006 indie film that inspired this fish-out-of-water workplace sitcom, but the TV version generally improves upon the original by making some minor adjustments to the plot -- including the addition of a few new characters -- and generating a lot more laughs. Diedrich Bader (The Drew Carey Show) gets some of the best one-liners as a transplanted American who prefers to stay isolated rather than assimilate, importing his own supply of PB&J, Cheetos, and Ding Dongs to avoid eating Indian food. But so does Parvesh Cheena, who proves to be a charming scene stealer as the socially awkward Gupta.
In an era of economic uncertainty, real-life outsourcing is an undeniably timely topic ... although Americans who've seen their own jobs shipped overseas might not be in the mood to laugh about it. Still, the series has proven its worth as a lighthearted means to common ground through comedy and clever satire, without resorting to one-dimensional and predictable cultural stereotypes.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about stereotyping on television. Is Outsourced breaking barriers for actors of Indian descent, or is it reinforcing negative stereotypes? How are Indian characters portrayed on this show?
What's the show's take on consumerism? Is the portrayal of Americans' need to buy things they don't need accurate?
Has your family been affected by a corporation's decision to outsource jobs to another country? Did that negatively impact your views of service workers overseas?