The new TV show Outsourced premiered to the disgust of some. Outsourced buzz has been pretty lousy ever since the pilot was screened to critics weeks ago. Most of the more noteworthy comments have been rather negative, as it has already been described as an offensive series. Various Indian stereotypes are on full display, with the series said to be too unfunny to balance it out. However, although Outsourced has a lot of obstacles to overcome, it isn’t impossible for NBC comedies to overcome bad starts.
The NBC Thursday night comedy lineup introduced its only new show at 9:30 after The Office. However, the office in Outsourced is in India, as an American manager is sent there to run a call center for a novelty items company. What follows are a lot of jokes about Indian culture and stereotypes, which didn’t land too well with reviewers.
The Outsourced reviews were not too promising when the pilot screened for critics, as they called it both offensive and unfunny. Using stereotypes and racial jokes has been used to good effect before, but the early word was that this series couldn’t do it.
Both NBC and CBS are reported to have comedy bombs on Thursday night, muddling otherwise powerful lineups. However, the Outsourced reviews were actually much higher than $#!t My Dad Says, according to Meta Critic. While Dad Says only got an average score of 27 on Meta Critic, Outsourced got up to a 48.
In spite of the early negativity, critics from the Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Reporter, and the New York Times helped elevate the ratings. This could signal that the series might have a few fans who could help it buy time to improve.
Despite the mixed buzz, this may be no different than when 30 Rock, The Office, Parks and Recreation and Community had troubled starts. All of NBC’s Thursday night comedies were met with resistance at first, but they got time to fix their initial mistakes. After they found the right tone, they became embraced by critics and cult audiences — so, by that pattern, the show should become NBC’s latest cult comedy.
Of course, those other NBC comedies weren’t called offensive and derogatory by its worst critics. Outsourced is certainly a different series than its predecessors, so it has different obstacles to overcome.
Some don’t want to give the show a call back, but they also felt the same when 30 Rock and The Office got started. The series will try to capture the same late lightning every Thursday night at 9:30 p.m..
Meta Critic- “Outsourced: Season 1”
San Francisco Chronicle- “My Dad Says, Outsourced: Don’t bother”
New York Times- “Outsourced”