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September 4, 2015

Jane After Dark: Catching up with Better Off Ted

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jan 2nd 2010 11:00AM
Better Off TedI'm kind of bummed that it looks like Better Off Ted might be on its way out. Maybe not, though. Mike's review this week sounded like it might get a reprieve from the axe. Who knows, really? But either way, I'm glad to have found this quirky series, and have been watching season one on DVD this week.

It's kind of a cross between The Office and Arrested Development. If you're not familiar with the show, it takes place in the Research & Development department of Veridian Dynamics, a corporation with lots of cubicles and fluorescent lights.

Ted (Jay Harrington) is a pleasant guy who runs things and answers to Veronica (Portia de Rossi), an uptight boss who wears her hair pulled back so tight it's amazing she can even breathe.

Linda (Andrea Anders) is a cute young intern whose job includes testing the various experiments created in the lab by Phil and Lem (Jonathan Slavin and Malcolm Barrett). Right away, there's sexual tension between Ted and Linda, but he has a one-office-affair rule, and he's already used that up with Veronica. That kind of threw me for a loop because quite frankly, it's hard to imagine anyone having sex with her, much less Ted. But apparently, anything can happen on this show and usually does. It's goofy that way, That's why it reminds me of Arrested Development. Well, that and the fact that Portia de Rossi plays Veronica.

It reminds me of The Office because it takes place in an office with an auxiliary setting (the warehouse in The Office; the lab in Better Off Ted). Also because it tackles all sorts of touchy subjects with unabashed gusto -- beef without cows, motion sensors that don't detect black people, accidental overdosing, competing against handicapped kids, resume padding, daddy issues and toxic leaks, just to name a few.

It's fun how Ted talks directly to us (the viewing audience), and I absolutely love the little Veridian commercials they play between segments. They remind me of the ones played on The Prisoner, only without the dark undertones. Unfortunately, it sounds like they haven't been consistent with the commercials this season, and that's sad.

I wish more people were watching Better Off Ted, because then it might have a shot at another season. Maybe if everyone jumps on the bandwagon, we can still save it. Who's with me?

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One of my favorite comedies, though since there are only 4-5 comedies I watch, not sure how meaningful that is. Most comedies revolve around dumb family men getting food on their faces.

Anyway, this is a great show, which means it's only got 7 episodes left.

Also, I don't think Linda is an intern, she's a product tester. Or more specifically she's in the product testing department. Wouldn't say she's the head of that department, as you'd think such a person would have an office rather than a cubicle, but at Veridian who knows.

January 03 2010 at 5:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My boyfriend and I are tuned in to this show every time it's on. It's one of the highlights of our week! And I also feel a great similarity to Arrested Development in this show.

January 02 2010 at 11:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Robin's comment

...and I just read Mike's review and it certainly doesn't look good for a season 3. Or am I missing something?

January 02 2010 at 11:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Please don't degrade the good name of Arrested Development by mentioning BOT in the same sentence. Sure, it stars Portia from AD, but that's it. It has some funny moments, sure...but it is not the same caliber show. Modern Family is the only show even *close* to the holding the AD torch. Thank you, my opinion matters more. lol

January 02 2010 at 11:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love Better Off Ted! My husband and I started watching last season. It's so funny and I love that it takes on topics that are unconventional. I don't know why this show is flying under the radar. I think it has all the right elements. But I loved Pushing Daisies too and that got the axe after two seasons. Sigh. I still have The Office.

January 02 2010 at 2:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well, I am definitely watching Better Off Ted, I love this show, and I was thrilled when it came back. I also loved Arrested Development, and that one was always in danger of being cancelled, too. But, it seems I only watch shows in danger of being cancelled. This either means I am not like the general public, or I am like the curse of Ted McGinley. Actually, poor Andrea Anders is turning into the Ted McGinley, since she's been on three cancelled shows in a row. Well, almost-cancelled, this would be her third. Sending out the good vibes, I hope!

January 02 2010 at 12:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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