Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Better Off Ted

We recently finished watching the first season of this short-lived show, and I am amazed at how good it was. I cannot recommend it too highly. The writing is witty and quick and will leave you laughing out loud frequently; the pause and rewind buttons are musts for viewings of this show. As soon as the second season is available on DVD, I'll be picking it up.

What most amazes me, though, is how poorly the show fared when it was on the air. So far, every single person to whom I've recommended it or who has watched it has found it marvelous. When it was on TV, however, its ratings were as abysmal as its critical rankings were high. Its subject--life in a big, uncaring corporation--is certainly accessible and relevant to a huge audience. The tone was wry and the events frequently fantastic, but everything about Better Off Ted made it clear that this was a comic fantasy. The actors were uniformly wonderful, each over the top in all the right ways for her or his character. Everything about it screamed "winner," but it was a ratings disaster and died before they'd even broadcast all of the second-season episodes they'd filmed.

I would have bet money on this one to be a sure thing, so it's proof once again that I am not someone you should trust to predict popular taste.

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