The Office is a snooze, one degree shy of "reality" TV. When did
anxiety become funny? Better Off Ted is a good answer to such
lack of imagination, with every thing purposely blown way out of
proportion to the drudgery of a "real" world order.
The plots engagingly spin out to the nth degree what the consequences
could be if the greatest company in the world could create the best products
that...wait a minute, this helps us how, exactly? This show makes a
good foil for all the cynicism our current economy has engendered.
The apt cast dishes out pills for reality bites with all the aplomb
that their wickedly stereotypical roles can garner:
> Portia de Rossi is deliciously feckless as a power mad Sr. Exec.
Her Veronica would no doubt be 1st in line to walk straight through
any plate glass ceiling for want of noticing trifles like obstacles.
Veridian Corp. IS Veronica to the "T," er, "V" is for victory, right?
> Malcolm Barrett and Jonathan Slavin portray bitchy BFF lab buddies,
running hamster-wheel laps around each other in their lemming-like
corporate devotion to engineer the next big thing in consumer futility
(if Lem is short for lemming, could Phil be short for philosophy-lite?).
> Andrea Anders seasons cubicle despair as the klepto-neurotic Linda,
a would-be love interest. Watch for her to kvetch and take simple
pleasures whenever she can get away with them.
> Jay Harrington is well positioned as a go-along-to-get-along middle
management hack. Who else could make sense of criminal insanity?
Episode 4, "Racial Sensitivity," hits a great stride as a hilarious send-up
of denial in corporate culture where the profit motive butts up against
ersatz political correctness. Or is that the other way around? Anyhow,
the elevator scene was precious, as were all the grossly underpaid extras.
Celebrate the return of can-do Americanism and endless possibility
for fantasy fun and occupational hazard; and just be glad that your
half-hour "work-day" at home doesn't have to be filled w/ sad drivel
and non-committal glances. That's what reality is for.