UPDATE: The second episode, “The Measure of a Manmeet,” was more tame. Some lines were questionable, like: “This isn’t an elk. These are my employees,” in reference to which Indian employee the boss should fire, and this exchange:
But in general it seems like the show is becoming more of a generic workplace comedy. However, I will not be watching, as I have too much TV to watch anyway!
ORIGINAL: So as you know it’s premiere week, and mostly it’s no big deal. Still one of the more buzzed about shows was Outsourced, about an American guy whose “knick knack” company outsources its call center to India, and he has to go manage the new team.
The buzz on Outsourced was mostly that it was offensive and would be swiftly canceled. (UPDATE: Its ratings, thanks to an Office lead-in, were pretty good). Now that I’ve seen it, I can say it’s not as bad as I thought, though clearly a little problematic. There is, of course, the premise: “white guy goes to India to lead, train and acculturate them!” But let’s be real, that happens and is encouraged by corporations every day. Beyond that, we get a lot of jokes about India from the America perspective, and jokes from Indians about America, but we don’t learn much about India itself.
But I expected worse.
Anyway! I collected what would be considered the most offensive lines. Judge for yourself — completely out of context!
9. White guy Todd Dempsey in the streets of Mumbai for the first time: “It’s like Frogger but with real people!”
8. At the cafeteria, which is full of Indians: “Creepy isn’t it? It’s like they’re pod people or something.”
7. “Your name is man meat?” It’s Manmeet.
6. At the sight of a cow: “Well, I guess you don’t have to go far for the creamer.”
5. “As far as I’m concerned you’re not a superpower until you’ve’ got a cheese named after you.”
4. “Aren’t all the workers here kind of the same?”
3. “In the meantime, I’m not sure what religion you guys are, but this is your new Bible.” It’s the company catalogue.
2. “You guys have got some pretty crazy looking hats yourselves….mostly on the women though.”
1. NBC to viewers: “Watching Outsourced online is one of our sacred customs!”
Here’s the episode.