Last night ABC debuted its quirky new sitcom, Better Off Ted. It takes place at Veridian Dynamics, where awkward brainiacs are coaxed into getting frozen by their pretty superiors. Thankfully, the geeks steal the show.
Science fiction comedy is a hard sell, but even though Better Off Ted debuted with somewhat dismal numbers (around 5.8 million) we've got moderately high hopes for the series.
The comedy takes us to the offices of Veridian Dynamics, where the good-looking protagonist Ted (Jay Harrington) carries on a running monologue aimed at the camera, as he leads us through an average day where his minions work on weaponizing pumpkins and building other sorts of inane and zany products. Ted spends the day pleasing his cold-as-ice boss (Portia de Rossi) and flirting with the new girl Linda (Andrea Anders). It's a sweet little "getting to know you" comedy, and Anders has a fresh delivery that makes it fun to watch her on screen.
But the side characters, Lem (Malcolm Barrett) and Phil (Jonathan Slavin), awkwardly scamper away with the audience's hearts. Their slightly sad and debilitating mannerisms make you immediately root for these weird little nerds. Especially when you see them getting pushed around by the company's preternaturally beautiful upper management.
But in general, we're not won over by Ted just yet. Some of the show was too cute for its own good, while other moments felt about right. Sadly, I don't know if the show will take off, but I'm rooting for the series to focus more on Lem and Phil.