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‘Outsourced’ and the movie roots

'Outsourced' and the movie roots

Over the weekend, I caught up with the first three episodes of NBC’s new sitcom, Outsourced. The show is based on John Jeffcoat’s film festival hit of the same name, which received a minor release in 2007. The premise for the show and the film, revolves around a white American yuppie who is transferred to a call center in India, and fish-out-of-water hysteria ensues! The sitcom is dreadful, and at times, borderline racist. All of that aside, I cannot imagine a world where the premise sustains itself for more than one season. There’s nowhere to really go with the characters or the setting, and unlike cult favorites such as Community, the writing isn’t sharp enough for us to care. It’s admirable that Jeffcoat (who hasn’t directed a film since, and is a producer on the series) was able to adapt an otherwise modest festival crowd-pleaser, into a network sitcom. Unfortunately, the film wasn’t the best source material for the medium of episodic TV comedy. Outsourced is far from the first movie inspiring a TV series (M.A.S.H. was probably the most successful example), especially when the same network has not the first but the second attempt at a Parenthood show. I’ve heard rumblings of one or two other recent festival hits finding deals for potential network sitcom status. Hopefully they’re better planned than this poor waste of air time. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of Outsourced the movie and Outsourced the TV show:

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