I have to admit that I don’t have much humor about the outsourcing of American jobs to foreign countries. That being said, I was prepared to hate the TV show “Outsourced”. I saw it as an outright mockery pf of the loss of customer service call center jobs and couldn’t understand how anyone would find a show about this phenomenon entertaining.
Then I watched it. Sure the TV show “Outsourced” is about a call center that closed in the US and moved to India. It is at that point however, where the real life tragedy ends and a different kind of adventure begins. “Outsourced” is a comedy about an American call center manager who arrives at work to find out that his job has be relocated to India. If he wants to keep his job, he needs to relocate and head an office full of Indian workers. He does not understand their culture, and they don’t understand his. To add insult to injury, the relocated business is the selling of novelties, many of which are a bit racy in nature.
There are several built in comedic situations in “Outsourced”. First, there is an American in a land where actions, words, and gestures considered harmless at home are very likely to be offensive. Second, employees who are extremely modest are forced to sell items that they consider immoral at best. Finally, the call center employees mixes employees of different social casts and levels of modernization and tradition that makes for many embarrassing and funny situations within itself.
So, OK. Outsourced makes for a very funny situation comedy. Whether you like or appreciate the basic premise of the show, the writing is funny, and I think it will be a long time before the writers run out of jokes to tickle the American funny bone. One of the funniest aspects of Outsourced, is the A-team group that can speak in any number of American accents, in order to convince callers that the employers are not, in fact, outsourced. This groups gets minimal screen time, but the bits and pieces of people with East Indian faces, speaking in American southern, and inner city accents is hilarious, until you begin to wonder about the customer service person you spoke to on the phone this afternoon.
There are also individual characters who are a constant source of hilarity. Madhuri, for example, is a soft spoken young lady with large doe-like eyes. She speaks so softly that it is difficult to even hear her on the phone. Here quiet voice may be a result of being from a lower cast and being looked down on and mistreated by others. According to the character sketch, “behind her pathological shyness lies an inner strength”. The name Manmeet, another major character on Outsourced, causes a sly grin, the second his name is uttered. Only an American, however, would find it funny as the joke is a crass play on words. Just like in every other good ensemble sitcom, he is the office womanizer whose first act is to begin seducing American women over the phone. Being the most Americanized man in the office, he hits it off with his boss immediately.
Chances are, whether you like the idea of the show or not, it will be difficult for you to dislike it. This large cast of character with no shortage of awkward situations, will keep you laughing and will also keep the show on the air for the foreseeable future.