Outsourced could have been a disaster but it seemed to me to be a solid comedy with some subtle nuance along with the more broad based slap stick. The land mines to avoid would be insensitive racial humor, and also, what do you do about the anger about the U.S. economy, and all of the jobs that are going overseas? That joke just isn't funny anymore. But in spite of or because of these problems, against all odds, it seems like it is going to be a success. It handles most of the ticklish situations with finese, and finds humor in an overseas call center in India.
There is the yank sent over to manage the call center. He seems likable, like Jim on The Office. He has to pay off $40K in student loans, so he has to accept the job. Also, they have eliminated the U.S. Call Center for the novelty company he works for, so he has no choice. In the cafeteria he finds another yank who warns him about the food and offers a PB&J sandwich. He is familiar from the Drew Carey Show, and he has a strange name that I can't spell or recall exactly. Then there's a Australian who the guy says is stuck up, but of course she comes right over to the fresh faced dude and flirts with "the new bloke," much to the chagrin of the Indian Food hater dude. He thinks Australian women are hot since they are all descended from convicts. She says things like "we are out in the middle of Whoop Whoop" where a yank would say "out in the boondocks" or "the sticks." You can see one of the pretty young Indian employees, Aisha, watching with interest. Her name means hope, and when he met her he said "I aisha to see more of you." This is where the subtle nuance comes in. The look she gives as she observes the Aussie, her competition. There is an assistant manager who wants him to fail so he can get his job. He has a lot of comedy potential. Then there's Gupta. He is kind of a compulsive talker that annoys everyone. Manmeet, in spite of his unfortunate name, is the lonely young and inexperienced guy who likes red heads, blondes, and even brunettes. Hey, he basically likes all women, and wants to meet one so he can get married. I predict that he will be friends with the manager, in spite of an awkward introduction: "Manmeet? I'd hate to go in an internet chat room with that name." Then there is another woman who speaks in a whisper. She is from a lower caste, and the assistant manager hired her so the manager could fire her on his first day, and earn everyone's respect. To his credit he doesn't fire her, but instead gives her a chance to overcome her shyness. All his employees are kind of misfits, they are the B Team. Not the ones who work for the big call centers where they trained in the U.S. and can mimic their accents. The PB&J sandwich guy calls one of them over and asks him what are grits? "Why, grits ain't nothin' but ground corn. You know who makes the best grits? My mama," he says in a perfect Southern fried accent.
Outsourced is funnier than the plastic puke they sell on the lower left corner of Page 23 of the catalog. Can't wait for the Slum Dog Millionaire parody, and the Bollywood musical episode.