Friday, January 25, 2013

Day Twenty-five - Better Off Ted: Season 1, Episode 3, or "Family. Yay."

More palette cleansing and it's time for some awkward workplace comedy complete with fourth-wall breakage.

First, I want to talk about this episode's Veridian commercial. Not quite as cute as those previous, but still just as dysfunctional, it hints at child labor, complete corporate domination of all waking hours for work, cloning, resurrection, and tops it all of with feigned enthusiasm. I both like it and hate it, simultaneously appalled and amused.

Pretty much what they were going for, I think. I just wish it were a little more subtle and realistic, like the pilot.

Anyway, there are three plots running through the episode: Lem and Phil are having trouble with who's in charge in the lab, Ted and Linda are dealing with their attraction to each other, and Veronica appropriates Ted's daughter Rose to make navigating tense managerial meetings easier. 

This definitely isn't my favorite episode of the series, but it's still amusing enough to be decent. The Phil and Lem tension never really reaches their normal levels of mad science (though, they try with the two man hazmat suit at the end). Lem's dual affair hijinks are pretty good, but only for the one line at the end, really. And Linda and Ted, while they're always cute together, you just don't feel the pressure that Linda's ex is supposed to apply (maybe because he's not seen), nor is Ted's eventual rejection (and Linda's reaction) all that believable.

Sadly, that's the problem with the show, I think. They're forced into that sitcom status quo mentality where everything has to be back where it started at the end of the episode for the sake of preserving the maximum amount of both sexual and comedic tension.

The perspective shots from the hazmat suits during the fiberglass kissing scene were pretty good, though... an actually inspired cinematography choice. Too bad I can't find any pictures of it to demonstrate. Instead, you'll have to live with this side shot as they mash lips separated by transparent aluminum (I wish!).

See? Cute.

As always, Veronica is pretty much the most effective character in the episode due to sheer severity of performance by Portia de Rossi. Andrea Anders is hella cute, and I love the personality she puts forth with Linda, but Veronica can't help but get me to laugh.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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