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File:Outsourcedtvshow 193.jpg

Outsourced is an NBC Work Com about an American heading up a call center in India, based on a 2006 independent film of the same name. The show was cancelled shortly after completing its first season.

The major characters are:

  • Todd Dempsy (Ben Rappaport) - The Everyman and a Fish Out of Water, like his filmic counterpart, though with some more Deadpan Snarker leanings added. He's also a bit too fond of the Idiot Ball. Younger than the movie character, who was approaching middle age and had been a manager for some time. In contrast, the TV version is still fairly fresh out of college and had only just finished management training before the pilot.
  • Rajiv Gidwani (Rizwan Manji) - Todd's two-faced assistant manager, who would like to displace him and run the call center himself as a whip-cracking dictator. His filmic counterpart was named Puro and was a perfectly friendly Number Two character, although the less sympathetic TV version is still given occasional Pet the Dog moments.
  • Manmeet (Sacha Dhawan) - A Casanova/Casanova Wannabe type character, who was a Living Prop in the movie. Todd's Lancer, more or less, largely taking over the role which Puro had in the original movie.
  • Asha (Rebecca Hazlewood) - Todd's love interest in the movie, she has UST with him on the show, but it was, of course, never fully resolved. When she's not being used for romance plots, she's a Generic Girl who tends to be Out of Focus in favor of the quirkier Madhuri.
  • Gupta (Parvesh Cheena) - A Wacky Guy with no counterpart in the movie. The show's Butt Monkey, though occasionally a Jerkass. Never stops talking. Ever.
  • Madhuri (Anisha Nagarajan) - A Shrinking Violet and another filmic Living Prop promoted to series regular. Began to show some Cloudcuckoolander leanings towards the show's end.
  • Charlie Davies (Diedrich Bader) - An American who has been running an Indian call center for some time. A Cynical Mentor to Todd. For some reason, Charlie appears to spend his off-hours getting involved in wacky hijinks with Todd's employees. The movie has a somewhat analogous character who appears in only one scene.
  • Tonya (Pippa Black) - An Australian call center manager in a Love Triangle with Todd and Asha. A Good Bad Girl type in contrast to the more conservative Asha. Does not have a counterpart in the movie. Todd dated her for awhile, but she was Out of Focus a lot before and after their relationship.

During its time on the air, the show acquired a Love It or Hate It status, with most mainstream critics falling into the "hate it" camp. The show has been accused of everything from being racist to being insensitive to victims of outsourcing, but is more often simply decried as being a weak comedy that's too similar in premise to Thirty Rock and Community. Nevertheless, the show was starting to pick up a fanbase towards its end for whom the "racist" allegation in particular has been repeatedly decried as a case of Political Correctness Gone Mad based on the Everything Is Racist logic.

Tropes used in Outsourced (TV series) include:
  • Alternate Continuity: There are changes in the characters' names (for example, "Todd Anderson" becomes "Todd Dempsy") and the company's headquarters is moved from Seattle to Kansas City.
  • Arranged Marriage: Asha, similar to the film.
  • Ascended Extra: All the call center operators besides Asha. In the movie, they were Living Props, but in the TV show they're Regular Characters with their actors credited in the opening titles. And in show, Pinky.
    • Also Bearded Turban Guy, who showed up as a Living Prop but who is, as of the finale, Madhuri's boyfriend.
  • Betty and Veronica: Asha and Tonya towards Todd respectively.
  • Brick Joke: You remember that one-off innuendo that Todd's boss was getting a happy ending at his massage? It isn't until two episodes later that we find out the masseuse was an undercover cop, the resulting scandal hit all the major newspapers, and it's the reason his marriage is falling apart.
  • California Doubling: The movie was really filmed in India. The TV show is, of course, filmed in California aside from Establishing Shots and Driving a Desk type shots.
  • The Cast Showoff: An episode was written so Anisha Nagarajan, a Broadway musical performer, can sing in the climax.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: An Arranged Marriage plays a major factor in the current storyline, and despite the fact that the practice clearly offends the American protagonist, the show has taken a surprisingly non-judgmental route with the whole thing.
    • During his lecture on sexual harassment, Todd showed his workers a video from the 80s discussing what is and is not appropriate behavior in the workplace. Not only did Todd's staff think complimenting a coworker's blouse was inappropriate, but most of his employees walked out offended at the sight of two people kissing.
    • Todd keeps getting reported to the sexual harassment hotline because he incessantly touches people's shoulder. Naturally Todd has no clue he's done anything.
  • Denser and Wackier: The movie could take place in the real world, but the show is decidedly set in Sitcomland. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, as the same could be said of Thirty Rock, Community, et al., but it does mean the film and the show have completely different styles of humor.
  • Did Not Do the Research: The show seemingly takes place in an office working normal business hours. However, in India, call centers are matched up with the time zones of the customers (i.e. the U.S.A.), which should put the call center's hours almost exclusively at night in India.
    • The film even mentions the time difference several times, which suggests that perhaps the writers didn't even watch the movie.
    • Only somewhat. During episode 2, on a conference call with Jerry, it shows the skyline outside dark, while it is daytime in India. Also while on the phone, Manmeet mentions that it is a woman's bedtime, indicating it is night there. So they just reversed the times.
      • Fridge Brilliance: They're taking the late night calls that people make at 2 AM when watching mindless TV.
      • At the beginning of one episode, you see the regulars taking seats from other people, the implication being that they're replacing the night staff.
    • Occurs in-universe when Todd shows his employees a U.S.-produced video about yoga. The woman in the video starts off by sharing some obviously untrue and fairly offensive "facts" about India. After the employees MST it for awhile ("Yoga is the greatest gift of these spiritual, magical people.", "We’re Indians, not elves."), Todd decides to shut it off.
  • Double Date
  • Fake Nationality: Pretty much all of the Indian characters are played by American, Canadian, or British actors. They're of Indian and Sri Lankan descent, but not native Indians like their characters, so they fake the Indian accent with varying degrees of success.
  • Fan Service: Am I the only one who noticed that the last few episodes, Manmeet turned into a Walking Shirtless Scene?
  • Fictional Holiday: The Holi episode might seem like this but, sitcom hijinks aside, it's an actual holiday and it really is a custom to throw paint and powder at people. It was also featured, with fewer hijinks, in the movie.
    • Vindaloo Day on the other hand...
  • Fish Out of Water
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Gang of Bullies: The rivals in the cafeteria claiming to work in the call centers for Apple and Microsoft.
  • Guile Hero: Madhuri has figured out how to con Rajiv quite well, getting him to pay 21,000 rupeees for a 3,000 rupee sari.
  • Halloween Episode
  • Hand or Object Underwear: A coconut, specifically.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Pretty much every episode title is an Incredibly Lame Pun merging some aspect of Indian culture with an English phrase relevant to the plot. Examples include "A Sitar Is Born", "Sari, Charlie", and "Take This Punjab and Shove It".
  • Idiot Ball: Many of the problems Todd encounters could be avoided by reading a travel guide about India.
    • Similarly, many of the Indian workers come across a little too naive or lacking in knowledge given the amount of American culture that is exported via the internet/Hollywood movie/TV to India.
  • Jerkass: Gupta can come across like this at times, more so than his Butt Monkey status. YMMV though.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: One of the employees in "Todd's Holi War" storms out without even listening to the plan. After the plan is executed she shows up Late to the Party.
  • Meaningful Name: The character Manmeet ("Man meat")is also the playboy charmer of the group.
  • Musical Episode: Which included a Bollywood homage in the cold opening.
  • Operator From India: No, really?
  • The Other Darrin: Everyone. The movie and TV show have no shared cast members.
  • Out of Focus: Poor Asha. She was the secondary lead in the movie, but on the TV show she's lucky to get a Mandatory Line in between the shenanigans of her wackier co-workers.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Tonya and Charlie have jobs running call centers similar to Todd's. We don't see Tonya's workplace until the sixteenth episode. We rarely see Charlie's subordinates. Charlie is shown goofing around with Todd's co-workers more often than his own.
    • Makes sense when you think about it, Tonya's staff is considered one of the best in India, so they don't need her constant supervision. Charlie is the Bromantic Foil, so in contrast to Todd, Charlie doesn't even the know the name of his staff.
  • Pop Cultural Osmosis Failure
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Rajiv gives one to Jerry.
  • Recycled: the Series
  • Sensitivity Training: An entire episode about sexual harassment with the expected jokes involving different cultural standards of acceptable workplace conduct. Todd, for example, doesn't realize that touching Madhuri's shoulder is seen as inappropriate.
  • Shrinking Violet: Madhuri, who speaks unintelligibly quietly. As Lampshaded, working a, you know, phone line may not have been her calling. She finally talks in a just intelligible voice at the end of the pilot, making a sale and thus apparently securing her position.
  • Start My Own: Todd briefly considered starting his own business instead of moving to India. One reminder about a forty-thousand-dollar debt and one Gilligan Cut later and he was already in India.
  • Stock Scream: The Wilhelm scream is heard when someone falls off a train at the end of "Training Day".
  • Too Dumb to Live: Todd, desperately trying to not offend people in a new culture, seems to go out of his way to do just that.
  • Toilet Humour: Sometimes, but not usually the focus.
  • Trailer Joke Decay: And how! If you watched NBC at all during the summer of '10, you've pretty much already seen the whole pilot or at least any mildly funny moment in it beaten to death repeatedly.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: An episode has Rajiv taking over temporarily after Todd gets food poisoning and instituting a strict office Dress Code, banning personal items, etc.
  • Welcome Episode: Starts with one of these
  • Will They or Won't They?: Early episodes have this teased between Asha and Todd. The last scene of the show implies they will.
  • Window Pain: The first scene of the pilot
  • Work Com
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