Monday, October 04, 2010

My take on OUTSOURCED


OUTSOURCED has received a lot of bad reviews. Crass. One-dimensional. Stereotypical. TV critics have hated it. I didn’t. I sure didn’t like it but I’ve seen worse (this year even). So here’s my review coming at it from a writer’s perspective (not that anyone asked). And hopefully it will be taken as constructive.

Disclaimer: I was not in on the development process nor do I know any of the writers. So when I point out what I believe are flaws I don’t know who’s to blame. Maybe some of the points I make the writers are saying, “Yes! We told NBC the same thing!” Or the same subject matter in the hands of different writers would produce a far better product. I dunno.

First off, what is this show REALLY about? Yes, the premise is simple: American gets assigned to run a boiler room in Mumbai. Fish out of water. Culture class. But this show explores that only on a very surface level. Sacred cow jokes. If you’re going to do a show about two very diverse cultures colliding there is great comedy to be found in the reality of the situation. There is also conflict and genuine emotion. 

The premise itself is so tired that it seems you have to work extra hard to make it fresh. OUTSOURCED has that potential. There’s never been a U.S. sitcom set in India. You have a goldmine of possibilities. Last year in HANK when they put the rich erudite Kelsey Grammer in the ‘burbs there wasn’t a joke you could do that hasn’t already been done on the twelve previous shows just like it. OUTSOURCED has the chance to be unique. Seize it.

The characters in OUTSOURCED all work for a company that takes orders  for goofy novelty items. And once people call they try to sell them additional items like fake vomit. That's their goal, to turn orders into larger orders.   And callers resent them because they’re Indian. Kind of a stretch.  Made up company with trumped up goals.

What  Americans resent is calling a local country and then being routed to the other side of the planet where the person they're talking to has no frame of reference for what you want.  My daughter Annie suggested, what if they were On-Star operators?   They're dealing with streets and towns and unpronounceable names and everything is a struggle.   They're asked to make restaurant recommendations, give short-cuts, etc.  And the drivers using this service are usually stressed out or crazed already.   Makes more sense than people order whoopie cushions and the company makes its money by convincing them to also purchase joy buzzers. 

So what's it like for the poor Indian operator when he's resented for absolutely no fault of his own?  He's just a perfectly nice person.  How does that mess with his mind?  How does that play havoc with his confidence?  How does that translate when he gets off work?  How does it effect his relationships?    How does that character react?  Does he keep it inside and blow up later?   Does he have a meltdown on the phone?    What is the burn out rate of these people?   And when people are fried they often react in irrational but hilarious ways.

On the one hand you’re asking these Indian employees to embrace U.S. culture when folks from the U.S. treat them poorly. So instead of an Indian girl who’s s on-the-nose super shy, what about one who has always been fascinated by America but now doesn’t know what to think? Are we this great country or a land full of shitheads? And how much comic mileage can you get out of shyness? What are you going to do with her week eight?

This may seem like a trivial note but the set is wrong. It looks completely bogus. We’ve seen SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. We know what one of these places really looks like. Check out real pictures of MASH units and compare them to the sets on the show. It may not seem important but subliminally it is. I believe the set of Dunder Mifflin is exactly what one of those office set-ups look like. Why do a workplace comedy and not make it look right? Especially when the audience knows the difference? And why make the set generic? You’re in a unique setting. Take advantage of that.

Ben Rappaport, as the American in charge is very likeable but has nothing to play. What makes him funny? He’s your lead for Cristsakes! He doesn’t seem to really be upset that he’s there. The workers seem okay with him. He can’t get beef. That’s his big issue. And even that is bogus because one of the characters says there are hotels that do serve beef. It sure helps if there’s some conflict. It sure helps if he really WANTS something.

What if he hates being there? What if he’s never been out of Kansas and it’s a complete culture shock? What if there’s something he desperately wants but it takes money and the best job available is here so he’s going to just gut it out? What if he’s trying to maintain a long-distance relationship? Or what if he’s still responsible for his elderly parents and has to manage their lives from 6,000 miles away? What if he’s allergic to curry? What if he’s vying for a vice-presidency job so he volunteers for this suicide mission in order to turn the place around and really impress the higher-ups? I dunno. Those are just off the top of my head. With some real thought maybe you could come up with something even better or fresher. But nice guy, not particularly funny, accepting his situation is not compelling and not giving you much to work with.

The first episode was a premise pilot so let’s look beyond that to week two. That’s the first glimpse into the kind of stories OUTSOURCED will be telling. (you can watch this episode on NBC.COM if you haven’t seen it and would like to although warning: spoiler alert.)

This was the story: Todd (Ben Rappaport) has to fire one of the employees because sales are down. First off, we’ve seen this story a thousand times. Second – it’s schmuck bait. We KNOW no one is ultimately going to get fired. Plus, we don’t know these characters well enough to even care.  And if you didn't see the pilot you didn't know that sales were to come after taking orders.  It appeared that this was a boiler room where these people called out.  So that was confusing. 

It starts with Todd dealing with some total over-the-top mugging Indian guy who I suppose is his co-manager or something. He’s just a cartoon and not very funny. Shameless mugging and zero threat to the employees.  Why is he even there?  The topic they discuss is BBQ food. Natch. Later, Todd ichats with his boss who does a ridiculous blue screen simulation of being on a rollercoaster. Why? Is this supposed to make him memorable? I mean, seriously, what the fuck was that about? Do you have to stretch that far to make the boss funny?

In between Todd does one-on-one employee reviews. That way he flat out tells us what each of these characters’ quirks are. There’s not a better, more artful way to establish their characters? How about through actions that inform us of who they are? And the scenes were not funny. A big subplot was Todd not understanding a head bobble gesture that one character has. Sorry but that’s pretty weenie. And it became a runner through the whole show. There was a minor complication involving a worker who thinks he’s being fired but is not. So at the end of the show he tells everyone off only to learn that he’ll still be working with them. He smiles sheepishly and says something like “Well, you’ll all be talking about me at lunch”. That’s it? That’s the big payoff?

The main story ends with Todd getting the guy who’s just hustling women on the phone to call and dump them all and along the way sell them ridiculous novelties. Huh? When a guy dumps you THAT’S when you’re most motivated to buy dribble glasses from him? Makes no sense. Not remotely real. Not particularly funny. Todd just stands around. Sales go up as a result. Super convenient.  No one fired. Just the on-the-nose predictable way to tell a tired story.

As for the tone, it’s tepid. And here again, this could be the network terrified to be too politically incorrect, this could be a knee jerk reaction to research testing, but the stuff is mild. Or maybe this writing staff just doesn’t have the comic chops. Maybe these are the best jokes they can write.

Or maybe this was just a bad episode and next week’s will be hilarious as they try to find their groove. But again, the premise, the characters, and the show’s set-up work against them.

I ask the writers and producers to be tougher on yourselves. Discard stories you’ve seen before. Just throw them out. Do a show about an American being in India without a single beef joke. Do research and present situations we haven’t seen before. Find stories you couldn’t do on any other show. When you have a joke take five minutes and see if you can top it. And then take five minutes and top that. Take chances. Be outrageous once in a while. Be audacious.

Otherwise, what's the point?  The studio could save lots of money and just outsource the writing.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, they're being very careful not to offend: The manager who sent the jobs overseas is shown as a jerk. They made sure that the jobs sent to India were ones Americans wouldn't miss, i.e. selling whoopee cushions.

It does have potential: My wife, who works with Indians sent to the USA, enjoyed it quite a bit. But the writers have a lot of work to do to round out the characters.

Chris Anton said...

The show is undoubtedly shallow and seems to be trying to go "viral" like The Office (which is about 1000x better) with short incongruous segments. It all just feels unoriginal.

Chris Anton said...

I just remembered that I have a friend who used to work at AAA (very similar to On-Star) that got a call from a woman asking what cell phone service she should subscribe to (huh?). The employees are told, sternly, not to suggest buying another company's products. The woman got angry and demanded a suggestion. My friend, not allowed to hang up, engaged in a very unique conversation. Your daughter is smarter than NBC!

Oliver said...

funny thing is: there IS already a sitcom about someone being transfered to india in order to run a call center. "mumbai calling" (itv & abc1, australia) did exactly that - but they really shot it in india and they put an english born indian in the lead. a nice twist in my opinion. it's not first class comedy neither, but much more clever than this "office" clone.

Anonymous said...

Haven't seen the show but it sounds to me like the UK sitcom Mumbai Calling didn't just get there first - a couple of years ago - it did it better.

Certainly it was much more elegantly and realistically engaged with the culture of India, and the 'call centre' aspect was based on exactly the business and tensions you describe in your post.

Anonymous said...

This show is based on a movie (Outsourced, 2006). Having seen the movie, the sitcom is a little easier to follow. Although many of the characters are different, the movie itself should have been the pilot, and they should have stayed with the original characters.

LA Nuts book said...

The question I had from the start was this: Why the hell would Americans want to watch a show about American jobs being sent overseas during a job recession?

Ken, your trenchant analysis was far more than this show deserves.

Jeff said...

The main character has no wants or dreams. In fact, no one seems to have any. But it's set in India! And isn't that fascinating and hilarious?

Wait. It's not?

Crap.

Jaime J. Weinman said...

There are also a couple of bad trends this show suffers from, I think.

One is the trendiness of single-camera. Some shows need to be single-camera, but this one, for all that it's based on a movie, feels like it would be more capable as a NewsRadio type of multi-camera office comedy. As it is it's full of long pauses for laughs that never come, without the mock-documentary format that makes that work on The Office. But of course NBC wouldn't have picked it up if it hadn't been single-camera, because they're still waiting for all-single-camera lineups to explode in popularity.

The other thing is that the lead is a Krasinski, an affable guy with nice hair. It works for the real Krasinski because he's not the lead. But making these guys the star is just usually a problem, and it's always been a problem building comedies around nice, cute guys who aren't that funny. Again with the NewsRadio comparison, there's a show where the straight man in charge of the lunatics was a funny, quirky guy himself, and the show was better for it.

Anonymous said...

i could be wrong, but given how poverty-stricken much of India is, isn't getting a job in a call center tha achievement of the dream for many Indians?

As for why anyone would want to watch a show about American jobs that were sent overseas, I think most people realize that it's mostly large faceless corporations that do this kind of outsourcing and there's nobody you can stand up to and take your anger out on. It's not the dry cleaner or gas station or supermarket in your town that's sending the jobs out.

The choice of a novelty product is a good one to help the political correctness angle, so any time the American character thinks something about Indian culture is odd, it's a quick comeback to wondering why Americans in Green Bay, WI, wear blocks of cheeseon their head. The overall theme of the show is that we're not all that different. Whether there's enough humor to mine from it is another story.

As for the characters, I have to wonder this about any sitcom: How much forethought is put into a character's future development when it is first created? For instance, on Cheers, Norm, Carla and Cliff pretty much never changed. I doubt Coach would have changed much. They were certainly well-rounded characters, and in lesser hands would have been caricatures, but each served one basic function.

Also, how many different script ideas does a network want to see before greenlighting a show, so they can get an idea of whether the show has enough story ideas ofr a full season, much less multiple seasons?

Anonymous said...

DUNKER Mifflin???

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Great stuff, now do Shit My Father Says (which I didn't hate as much as most ciritcs).

KEN LEVINE said...

Oops. Typo.

Re the decision to use a novelty company, so is the point to show how stupid both cultures are? Shouldn't it be to show how alike we are in good ways?

I can't speak for other writers but when David and I developed characters for our pilots we ALWAYS concerned ourselves with their long range potential. Maybe it's because we had spent so much time on long running shows but we knew that rewrite nights would take forever if we were trying to service a character who had completely run his course.

Anonymous said...

I watch this show for one reason. The Aussie and the hot Indian girl. I know I'm a big. But they are both very, very hot.

amyp3 said...

when David and I developed characters for our pilots we ALWAYS concerned ourselves with their long range potential.

And the great thing about TV is that viewers and writers get to follow characters over a long period of time. But they have to be people you want to spend years with.

Just think of the great fish-out-f water shows and characters - and I'd include Hawkeye in Korea or Diane/Frasier/Lilith at Cheers. Joel Fleischmann in Cicely. Etc. Then compare and contrast what I know of these 2D characters.

I have a TV pilot set in Detroit in which one character is half-African American and half-Southeast Asian. It'd hold great potential to further explore how she deals with being from two different cultures.

So under other circumstances I would've liked to see an entire TV show built around mostly Indian characters - and their fish-out-of water boss.

But in complete contrast to Outsourced, my pilot is about a diverse group of Americans, Detroiters, dealing with the realities of life here.

Who knew you should just write "ha-ha everybody in the Midwest lost their jobs now let's go to India ha-ha these people talk and eat funny and have funny names."

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

I rarely watch new sitcoms or dramas but happened to see this one. I agree with all you said, Ken. The whole show fell flat IMHO. One other typo, if I may. Culture class should have been culture clash.

Scot Boyd said...

The movie held together much better because the main character had a lot more obstacles to overcome. In the sitcom most of those obstacles are gone.

But the biggest problem with the sitcom version is that it just isn't very funny.

-bee said...

On paper - I think the premise of this show is really interesting, but it would stand of fall based on the writers being really familiar with life in India.

It always bugged me a little bit on MASH that in a show that took place in Korea - none of the main characters were Korean. But I also understand why that choice was made because bringing more 'Korea" into the show would have entailed a lot of the type of hard work that would not have really fit into the schedule and budget of a US sitcom.

But at least in MASH - all the main characters were American - and so were more 'relatable' to a pool of American writers.

Unlike MASH, many of the main characters in Outsourced are native to India. If the show wants these characters to be well-rounded people, it puts a huge responsibility on the shoulders of the writers to get things 'right'. Relying on cheap laughs by making the company in question a manufacturer of tacky novelties is not enough to sustain a long-running series.

Lou H. said...

Maybe this is by design, but the setting seems claustrophobic considering it's supposed to take place in an exotic locale. Why have a show ostensibly set in India if the entire range of sets is a couple of rooms? You might as well place the show in Fargo or Mayberry if all you're aiming for is to have people of differing backgrounds stuck in the same room. They should get out more.

I'm not saying sitcoms all need to do location shooting. A show with just a handful of sets can be great if the characters are as enjoyable as those on, say, THE OFFICE or CHEERS. Alas.

What made fish-out-of-water stories like NORTHERN EXPOSURE and GOING TO EXTREMES and FRANK'S PLACE work was a set of well-drawn supporting characters who did interesting, quirky things. Our protagonist's new environment should be an ocean full of novel people, not a fish bowl of stereotypes as OUTSOURCED seems to be.

Anonymous said...

Whatever its problems, this show deserves some credit on two fronts.

Unlike most comedies it isn't just about friends lounging around together, or about the foibles and trials of a white suburban family. It is about something. It might be fumbling and not executing well but thank god it's at least about something. That sets it head and shoulders above the concepts of the vast majority of sitcoms.

Also - It has single handedly employed more Indian-heritage actors than the rest of prime time combined. That's something to admire.

Tom Quigley said...

My immediate solution to all these problems: Move the locale to New York City, replace the Indians with Middle Easterners, and rename the show THAT MOSQUE ACROSS THE STREET...

Mac said...

Very interesting post. The comedy writer's perspective on comedy is often the only one I can be bothered reading. Of course columnists and reviewers can be perceptive - It's just that someone who knows how the nuts and bolts go together is going to have a far more illuminating insight.
The whole "fear of being offensive" tack is interesting. I'd have thought they could have racked up the tension way more, but avoided offence if it was skill-fully handled. The "Grampa Willie" Frasier ep had a blast with white guilt (even using the line "God bless your guilty white ass") yet no-one came out of it looking bad.
Here's an interesting article from an Indian journalist.

http://www.salon.com/entertainment/tv/nbc
/index.html?story=/ent/tv/feature/2010/10/01/racism_of
_outsourced

I wonder if defaulting to a "quirky" portrayal of India causes more offence than an honest view that's better handled. And might have paid off in bigger laughs.
But like you say, it could be that by the time it got to the screen, it was a very different animal to the ones the writers initially came up with. In which case, you can be sure the execs responsible will be moon-walking away from the whole thing as smoothly as possible.

D. McEwan said...

Boy. I'm glad you didn't hate it.

Northern Exposure was a show that did right much of what you've pointed out here is done wrong, especially is having the poor schmuck protagonist hate getting stuck there, and in exploring and giving fair dues to both sides, without resorting to cheap shots and one-joke premises.

I missed epsiode 2 of Outsourced; having seen the debut. Next week, I plan to miss episode 3.

Gareth said...

Thanks for writing this, I asked a Friday question about this show and this works as an answer. I haven't seen the show myself, but I still think there's a basic problem with the concept. You're trying to get several million Americans with no particular knowledge of or interest in India to laugh at Indian characters. That's got to be a recipe for either offensiveness or bland timidity. It's actually worse than the hypothetical black or Hispanic versions - you could assume a network audience has some familarity with those cultures and make the jokes more specific.

Chalmers said...

Sorry, but in the category of "non-military foreign-set sitcoms," I'm still loyal to the five-episode run of "Ivan the Terrible."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074008/

Mike said...

I've seen both episodes so far, and those are some very sound observations, Ken. You're right, there is no conflict at all with the main character. He seems to be perfectly OK he was transplanted to India. And more to the point of the second episode: it was a lousy story to tell the second week. Like you said, it was a story we've all seen a ton of times before, it's one that you knew was going to end with no one getting fired, and what's more, it's the second week of the show; we don't know these people at all, let alone well enough to care if one gets fired (and note: even if you did think someone was gonna get fired, it sure wasn't going to be someone who's in the opening credits). The head bobble thing seemed to exist for that Three's Company-style joke where the super-shy woman (and already getting tired of that joke, btw) comes in and sees the hot woman bobbing the guy's head for him.

Like you said, it's not the worst new sitcom even of this season. (The early frontrunner of the show's I've seen is Crap My Dad Said; the pilot had potential, but the second episode was very light on laughs and just left me with a desire to smack that ungrateful, annoying son in the face.) It's tough that NBC -- who a decade ago was airing like 15 sitcoms a week -- has decided it only has room to air four comedies a week, because it's kind of made it impossible *not* to compare this show to Parks and Recreation. I know that's unfair, and certainly not the show's fault, but Parks and Rec. is coming off a dynamite second season and to be forced to wait in the wings kinda really sucks.

amyp3 said...

Parks and Rec. is coming off a dynamite second season and to be forced to wait in the wings kinda really sucks.

I said elsewhere:
When NBC advertised Outsourced while Amy Poehler was hosting SNL it was like some d-bag bragging about his skanky mistress while his fantastic wife was standing right there.

As for the writers not knowing a lot about India - I read that the showrunner admitted he could've traveled to India before starting the show. But he'd promised his wife a different trip.

And my response: OK, you don't give a sh*t enough to know your subject matter, I don't give a sh*t enough to watch your show.

(And yes, the reason I talk so much about a show I'm not watching is because I'm a bitter P & R fan.)

Anonymous said...

"OK, you don't give a sh*t enough to know your subject matter, I don't give a sh*t enough to watch your show."

Except Parks and Rec didn't know much about its subject matter when it started. It started as a weak, lazy show rehashing old Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute tics and talking heads. It took a number of episodes to become even passable and begin a slow road to incremental improvement. I like Parks nowadays but man it set a record for lazy, bad writing when it started. So lets be patient with Outsourced, it's starting bad but not Parks and Rec level of bad.

Anonymous said...

I was looking forward to this show for a couple of months now. I had to turn it off halfway through the pilot. When the lead starting pulling the different novelties out of a box, I felt this was just a way to get cheap laughs. Carrot Top does it better. And neither one is funny.

Anonymous said...

I hope that there is never going to be a scene where the American character has to play cricket and he holds the bat like a baseball bat and somehow turns out to be brilliant.
if there is I'm going to write a sitcom where a British "football" hooligan becomes a star QB despite not realizing that he can use his hands.

Anonymous said...

americans think of these kind of people as faceless entities that need to be managed like objects (the other day, on a discussion about that videogame that lets you play as a Taliban soldier, I almost get kicked out of the internet for posting that the war has 2 sides and there might be people with the same concern about american soldiers on the other side. how dare I?). So the american guy goes to india thinking he has to manage a bunch of foreign or hostile resources, and in the process finds out they're just people with families, and hopes and dreams, just like you and me. That's the kind of "character driven" shit everyone likes, right?

But, of course, that would be too controversial. Just give them some fake vomit and crank up the volume on the laugh track.

bevo said...

I like Ken's version of the show much better than the actual product. His argument reflect a point I made previously about work-place comedy. The writers never worked.

I don't mean slinging coffee and taking food order. I mean actual go to an office/warehouse/factory work. Go work for about three to four years. If you cannot build a workplace comedy at that point, then comedy writing is not for you.

Brian Phillips said...

Hey, Chalmers! Here is a very short promo for "Ivan the Terrible" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pZ70BsU6Cg

I remember this show. I watched all the episodes. Didn't Ivan call people "Yutzes" on occasion?

Jeffrey Leonard said...

Ken...Great ideas to save this sinking ship of a show. Why don't they just hire you as the writer? (Not kidding).


WV: praddes
What happens on special holidays.

Anonymous said...

I think the OnStar idea would definitely be a huge improvement for the show, and it would definitely feel more real than novelty sales. I used to supervise a call centre and we'd occasionally work with a centre in the Philippines on larger projects. The fact that they work through the night, constantly did contract work on different systems for different companies in different countries, and found it more cost effective to keep several hundred people on call in the building in case they were needed instead of scheduling for specific projects is the kind of stuff that could be used to build comedy around. None of those things is funny, but the strains and miscommunications of operating in that environment can provoke really funny reactions if your characters are allowed to be people. Reducing both American and Indian culture to the laziest stereotypes kills off what really could be a great premise.

Also, the movie this is adapted from made the central character quite a jerk at the beginning, but the point was that he developed beyond that, came to appreciate India, and left the company. By turning the concept into an ongoing show, all of that potential for character development is gone. Where is the show going to be a year from now when they can't think of any more "isn't Indian culture WEIRD?!?!" gags and the character isn't a fish out of water anymore?

Chalrmers said...

Brian, Thank you!

I thought I was the only person who remembered this show.

I was very young, so I don't remember too much, but Alan King produced it, so I think it was a lot of Borscht-Belt stuff. At my age, the jokes and phrases were fresh to me!

I do recall (I think) that the credits showed a bleak skyline scene with their crowded Moscow apartment building (kind of like the "Good Times" end credits but with chanty Russian music).

There was also a recurring gag with a vicious unseen dog (kind of like a Cujo-esque "Carlton the Doorman").

I think they just marketed it wrong. They should have appealed to young women with the molten sexual magnetism of both Lou Jacobi and Phil Leeds (both seen in the promo!)

lucifervandross said...

Well i used to work for an auto manufacturer that may own on-star, and the on-star call center people were useless and not in the U.S. but in canada rather. I lost my department to Buenos Aires, and then quit to finish school and i hope to be in ken's business next year. Even working at a U.S. Call center, which a lot of people discussed shows or movies about, it just never felt to me that the material was there. The culture clash seems like the perfect change. Isn't it based on the movie of the same name?

xjill said...

I, too, have seen the movie it's based on and enjoyed it. It worked because the lead was more conflicted about being there and while mostly a "nice guy" could still be an asshat at times.

In addition the movie was filmed in India and that makes such a huge difference. I don't know how they can replicate that for a sitcom but someone smarter than me at a studio needs to figure it out.

Anonymous said...

The premise would work better if there were two story-centers -- the American employee in his domain in India, and certain key Indian employees from different call-centers, not just that one company, who are friends, or cousins even, and meet once a week to shoot the breeze and ultimately compare notes. Through flash-backs they can relate stories. In the end they arrive at acting in the real-time and solution. That allows to see how the two situations figure out their "problems" (which could even be the same one sometimes) and go forward. I think there would have been interest to see two sides in comparing cultures and funny situations, or how each one handles certain things. But selling novelty items is just dumb and unreal --- computer warranty repair, that's one that almost sank Dell.

doubleshiny said...

Just on the 'On-Star' comment, I'm from the UK and have no idea what that is despite about 90% of the television I watch being US produced and visiting the US twice a year. Maybe that's why they went for something universal - not hard to explain a novelty item. Also, the joke I think they are going for is that American 'culture' is as confusing for them as Indian culture is to the lead. There;s not really a culture clash in wanting to know where restaurants are etc.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

I just watched Mike and Molly and didn't dislike that as much as most commentators did either. I must have a bad case of Jimmy Burrows Love. Another part of it is I really like the guy plaing Mike. I have seen him coming along in roles here and there. I am just sda for him he had to become even bigger than he was to get a real lead. Friday question... did George Wendt even try to diet and stop because it would cost him his job?

Baylink said...

> Why do a workplace comedy and not make it look right? Especially when the audience knows the difference?

Because the producers don't care, in my estimation.

I want to take a moment to pat Fincher and his crew on the back: I do this stuff for a living, and not only did the *tech dialog* in Social Network impress me, *the computer screeens did as well*, and no one *ever* gets that right.

Ever.

Clearly, they knew that DVD sales of this movie would hinge -- at least a bit -- on the early buyer opinions... and those buyers would be geeks buying the BluRay, and freeze framing every monitor shot.

And wow, as I write that, it sounds incredibly self-important. :-)

What an aeurph I am.