Aired: 2009 – 2010
Starring: Portia de Rossi, Jay Harrington, Andrea Anders, Jonathan Slavin and Malcom Barrett.
Better Off Ted follows a group of characters working for a conglomerate called Veridian Dynamics. It documents their daily life from their work perspective. Veridian is a typical Fortune 500 type company where it gets the maximum work out of employees by putting them through bizarre situations.
Ted Crisp (Jay Harrington) heads the Research & Development wing of Veridian who also narrates the story. He has a thing for Linda Zwordling (Andrea Anders), a tester in his department. His team also consists of Phil (Jonathan Slavin) and Lem (Malcom Barrett), two socially awkward but genius scientists. These four are headed by Veronica (Portia de Rossi), a beautiful but cold woman feared by her subordinates.
Most of the humour is dead-on. It is a funny take on how companies treat employees, corporate laws, business tactics and lots of bending-the-rules. Another funny aspect of the show are the mock commercials that are shown in between. In the end, the message is clear, “What the company wants, the company gets”. People like me working for a huge company can relate to the characters.
It was cancelled after two seasons despite garnering critical acclaim. Better Off Ted suffered, not from the lack of talent but from the lack of “stars”. There were no Jerry Seinfelds, Teri Hatchers, Donald Trumps or Paris Hiltons for it to go on. All it had was a very talented cast who gave it their best. If you ever get a chance, please watch it. It’s a relief from all the crap that is being aired now. Yes Jersey Shore, I’m talking to you.