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October 23, 2014

Review: Better Off Ted - The Great Repression

by Mike Moody, posted Jan 2nd 2010 2:14AM
better off ted great rep(S02E06) Now that was more like it. This was easily one of the best episodes of Better Off Ted this season. We got a wonderfully bizarre and fruitful setup, a funny B plot for Phil and Lem, and quotable lines up the wazoo. It was just the thing I needed to kick off the new year right and wipe away the memory of last Tuesday's so so outing. All that was missing was a Veridian commercial (What's going on there, ABC? Are you guys saving those for the Web or what?).

It's good to see BoT back on track again. Sadly, though, the outlook for a third season isn't good. This might be one of the funniest and brightest shows on network TV, but that doesn't keep ABC from treating it like a redheaded stepchild (or like In the Motherhood, either metaphor works here, really).

Framing an episode around a sexual harassment claim was a brilliant idea. This is Veridian Dynamics, after all -- a place where people have sex on desks, in supply closets, and flirt with their bosses until the clock strikes five. But it was Linda's weird touchy feeliness with a co-worker that got her in trouble. And Ted only made things worse by trying to fix the problem. And then things got really crazy after Veronica got the company to classify sexual harassment as a disease. (Oh Veronica, if only you used your powers for good instead of evil.)

As Ted and Linda were stuck in sensitivity training with the "League of Extraordinarily Perverted Gentlemen," Phil and Lem were having trouble with another co-worker. Of course, the co-worker in question was a cute and tiny robot programmed to clean up spills around the lab. Oddly, the company found that hiring an actual human being to clean up spills was less expensive than maintaining the robot. But robojanitor was headed for the scrapheap and not the fictional "technology farm" Ted had promised. But the boys got over the loss when the robot tried to kill them after they brought it back from the dead (haven't they seen Pet Cemetery?). Thankfully flesh and blood janitor showed up to mop the robot to death.

Back to the, er, sexier plot ... Veronica's genius came through in the end when she sucked all the sex out of the air with a parade of children. (I guess she does use her powers for good sometimes.) Children, they make everything better, don't they? Well, except when they're smashing you on the head with a phone.

We've only got a few more episodes left. I hope they're all as good as this one.

Five - and only five! - quotes:

- "My God, what kind of world are we living in where machines can be so easily cast aside for people?"

- "Why will nobody in this building ever smash anyone with a phone?"

- "My cat was named 'Meow is the Time for All Good Men to Come to the Aid of Their Country.' I just called him 'Meow.' And meow he's dead. He loved puns."

- "I feel like my heart has been kicked in the testicles!"

- "Great news, you both have a disease!"

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Sean

Please don't cancel it, I just discover it on youtube. What if Portia or Jay go on SNL to promote that would be good for more audience--please don't cancel.

January 03 2010 at 9:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Frank M.

It's a great show but ABC should have put it in the Wednesday comedy block with, "The Middle", "Modern Family", & "Cougartown".

January 03 2010 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alex

"It's like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, if somebody massacred the chainsaws."

January 02 2010 at 10:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sean

It was a hilarious episode. But I think we've lost a lot form season 1, like as I mentioned last episode review, the power dynamics, but also the relationships between characters (like Phil and Lem's subtly gay relation, Veronica and Ted's sexual encounter, and Ted and Linda's attraction and bush beating) all seem to be erased. But it's still quirky, even with its overt jokes now. Still clever wording. Ted has now two episodes in a row used unintended sexual puns that were very similar to each other. Still loved it though.

January 02 2010 at 6:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris

I loved seeing the Dalek. It was like the parallel universe where Cybermen were made on Earth, but since it was made by Veridian Dynamics, instead of taking over the world, it didn't work (it probably had a personally more like K-9 or something) so the buried it in the basement.
This show belongs after Modern Family. They should switch it with Cougartown, so Better Off Ted is where it should be, and Bill Lawrence's shows are together.

January 02 2010 at 1:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chrisis123

Anyone noticed the Dalek from Doctor Who in the junkyard? For some reason this made me laugh (of course, 90% of the show makes me laugh and I'm still sad that the show probably is gone very soon...)

January 02 2010 at 4:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to chrisis123's comment
Mike Poole

The Dalek made me spew coffee. Nice background detail.

@Bruce: Boo! Hiss! Boo!

Favorite quote was: What am I supposed to do? Go back to Wisconsin and work in the cheese mines? After I made that speech, threw down my cheese shovel, and stormed out of there?

January 02 2010 at 6:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bruce

Am I the only one who doesn't like the Veridian commercials? They're unnecessary and never really that funny (especially compared to the show itself). Plus I just hate commercials, even fake ones. If we have an episode of BOT about how Veridian treats its employees like crap, I don't need to see a fake Veridian commercial that implies the same. I think one fake Veridian commercial at the beginning of the pilot would have been fine, but that's it. I'm glad we have not had a veridian commercial in several episodes. It's 30 seconds that could be better spent watching the actual show.

Anyway, great episode. Phil and Lem are the best. So sad we only have 7 more episodes of this great, witty show.

January 02 2010 at 3:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bruce's comment
Robin

I also am not a huge fan of the commercials. They aren't as solidly/consistently funny as the rest of the show.

January 03 2010 at 12:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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