My TV viewing habits are few. NASCAR races rank high, and I like catching a football or baseball game if they’re exciting/interesting. I’m not tied to the hometown favorites. I like the Bengals and the Red to win, but I listen to more baseball in the car than I watch on TV. Most weeks I’m not even sure what time the Bengals play.
I do have some series that I like. Monk was great fun, and has now been replaced by White Collar, also enjoyable. Psych is lightweight entertainment, less enjoyable than it used to be.
As far as “reality” shows, we tried “Minute to win it”, but I have better ways to waste my time than that. It’s a half-hour show filling an hour timeslot. And even then, the host could have phoned in his performance and saved all of us some pain and effort.
On the other hand, we enjoy Chopped, on the Food Network. Four chefs from different walks of life are presented with mystery ingredients that they have to assemble in a limited timeframe. They are judged on the taste, appearance, and creativity of the dishes. Bettie and I are introduced to new food items (some of which will never see the inside of my house or my mouth) and ways to use them. We now talk about “plating” our food for regular meals. And we enjoy picking early on who will be chopped, and who will be champion.
The show that won’t be entering the viewing rotation is Outsourced. I had high hopes for this new show about an American guy sent to run a call center in India. I like India, I like people over there. I feel a special affinity for the country, and was hoping this show would provide good laughs. I knew it wasn’t a documentary.
I watched the show’s trailer (look it up yourself), and some things they nailed perfectly. Riding in an autorickshaw is an experience. The one I saw I saw in the trailer looked clean compared to the one I rode in
although they got the size right – those things are small!
Showing it with two western men is accurate, but not an absolute limit.
The call center technology is incorrect – in one scene, everybody is listening to a single call, apparently over a loudpseaker, without it causing feedback problems in the phone mike pickup. And the customer service reps are shown as having their own desks. I have been to US call centers, and India offices. Over there, three to four worker bees share a cube – and they’re the college-educated, white-collar ones. I doubt very much that blue collar, high-turnover jobs have better support. You can say “artistic license”. I’ll disagree.
The gag about the quiet-spoken girl is not an exaggeration. They played it for laughs, but it’s accurate. It may have to do the cultural position of women in India. Women are valued as being less than men. A bride must bring a dowry to a marriage. Illiteracy rates for women are higher than 50% in a quarter of India’s states. Only 40% of girls attend upper primary schools. There are more than 4 girls who don’t attend school for every body who doesn’t attend. Even the church gets involved. Girls had their own special Sunday:
Back to Outsourced: the women on the trailer seemed modest, almost reserved. In one scene they were being offended, and rightfully so, by an offensive gag toy. In another scene a guy was doing a very explicit bump and grind dance (played for humor, but not funny).
The strong and pervasive sexual humor, along with some language and offensive stereotypes, keeps this show off my watch list. It may be that they were playing it up for the trailer – the show doesn’t debut for another couple of weeks. The show may be tame and relatively modest, the humor gently applied instead of being swathed on with a dirty trowel.
I won’t know. I won’t be watching it.