Thursday, March 26, 2009

Why are all the good shows mid-season replacements?

First there was Dollhouse, which finally shook off the shackles of mediocritude to stand revealed as awesome, and now there's Better Off Ted.

Better Off Ted (or BOT, as true afficionados will doubtless call it) is about, um, Ted, who manages the research division at Veridian Dynamics. They do everything. Seriously, everything. Drugs, materials, food, highly dubious weapons experiments. It's like they're a combination of 3M, Pfizer, Enron and Lockheed-Martin.

You could not have picked a better time to satirize corporate America. The closer companies get to taking a dirt nap, the more insane the behaviour of the higher-ups gets. (Not that I've been getting increasingly cheerful emails from my glorious leaders while the company stock price plumets like a solid-lead lemming.) So there's more of a built-in audience for this than there was a year or two ago.

It's also actually funny. It's a sort of rapid-fire, off-kilter show, with lots of weird little surreal touches and SF bits. It's not designed as a real SF show, but the science fiction components (cryonic freezing, meat grown in a lab) are actually fairly good and realistic ones. They're not as funny as the TowelMiser, but you can't ask for too much.

Better Off Ted is growing on me. Growing like a hunk of throbbing artificial lab meat. Growing like the pile of stolen coffee creamers. Growing like killer mold on a weaponized pumpkin.

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