Pseudo Sci-Fi aka Better Off Ted

I still have a whole ‘nother season to bemoan the impending demise of Eureka, so I thought I’d instead (prompted by some DVD-inspired procrastination) bemoan the actual demise of another show.  Better Off Ted lasted two seasons and was billed as an office comedy, but the office was a division of a large company (Veridian Dynamics) doing research and development of awesome and ridiculous sci-fi tech. Weaponized pumpkins, anyone?

I can seriously watch this show over and over and it makes me laugh every damn time.  The pilot revolves around the company cryonically freezing one of their scientists for a year, just to see if they can.

“It’s probably okay.  If he can get past minus 20 without his eyes bursting, that would be the first sign of trouble.”

Then later…

“They can’t force employees to participate in human experiments.  They lost that court case.”

Phil’s eyes don’t explode, but it doesn’t end especially well for Phil, although it does end humorously.

As a side-effect of being frozen, Phil starts periodically making a strange noise.  When he does it in a meeting, his boss sprays him in the face with a water bottle to shock him out of it.

“How did I get wet?”
“No one knows.  Maybe you urinated.”
“In my face?”

The second episode starts with this introduction:

“Veridian Dynamics.  We’re the future of food, developing the next generation of food and food like products.  Tomatoes the size of this baby.  Lemon-flavored fish.  Chickens that lay 16 eggs a day, which is a lot for a chicken.  Organic vegetables chock full of anti-depressants.”

It may not be totally clear, but the episode‘s theme is… you guessed it… food.  Specifically “beef grown without cows”.

Four days before the project is due, the taste tester is supposed to sample the “cow-less meat grown in a lab” and tell them what he’s eating.

“What does it taste like?”
“Despair.”
“Is it possible it just needs salt?”

Working the despair out of the “meat” causes conflict between the scientists.  The buildup to this line is a bit too long to explain, but seriously, aside from The Big Bang Theory, when was the last time you heard dialogue like this on TV?

“Their knowledge of micro fabrication technology for vascularized tissue engineering vis-à-vis bovine muscle protein is so last year.”

It’s clever, absurdist, and satirical all at the same time.  Clearly it got cancelled because it was too smart for the average viewer ;) but it’s available on Netflix.  So, I think you all ought to start watching it right now!  (Psst… the second season starts out with the company posting a list of employees who are encouraged to date each other because their DNA is compatible and their offspring is less likely to incur health care costs…)

Yeah, yeah, I know, another TV post.  Hey, everyone needs to be good at something, and I am AWESOME at TV watching.

KC Burn

8 comments

  1. Better Off Ted is an awesome show! Another so-good-it-got-canceled “sort-of sci-fi” TV show I just finished watching is Day Break. Set in modern day, but the twist is that the main character lives in a time loop — sort of like Groundhog Day, but a crime drama.

    1. I’ve never heard of Day Break! I’ll have to look it up. Thanks, JL, I can always use more TV :)

  2. OMG! I loved BOT! So sad they canned it. Why do networks have to dumb down TV?

    I’ve never heard of Day Break either. Need to look for it, I guess.

    1. Hey Cathy! I know, so sad it’s gone, so sad TV gets dumbed down.

    2. Day Break is available on Netflix streaming (and I assume Netflix-by-mail).

      1. Been buried (oh so buried) under edits, but managed to watch a couple of episodes of Day Break. I like the concept so far, and they put a unique spin on the repeating day. Who knows when I’ll get a chance to finish watching it!

  3. I adored Better Off Ted! Such great characters and dialogue. Adored all the tongue-in-cheek humor at the expense of corporate America and the science savvy.

    1. Hi Jeanette – oh, yes the digs at corporate culture are hilarious, and funny because they do hit so close to reality!

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