Coming This Fall From NBC: Outsourced

A bunch of Shakers have emailed me about one of the new sitcoms that NBC will be debuting this fall. Titled Outsourced, it's about a white dude from the US whose call center gets outsourced to India, so he has to move there and colonize manage the outsourced call center:

[Full transcript below.]

Wow. Just…wow. How many Indian stereotypes can we jam into one four-and-a-half-minute clip? Indian traffic/culture is teh crazy—check. Indian names are unpronounceable—check. Indian names are funny—check. Indian clothes are weird—check. Indian women are submissive—check. Indian women are naively sexy—check. Indian men are silly and awkward—check. Indian men are conniving (and sinister!)—check. Indian people are clueless about Western culture—check. Indian people are literal and humorless—check. Indian food is awful—check. Indian food is too spicy for white people to handle—check. Indian food makes you poop!—check. And last but not least: Indian people really need a WHITE MAN to sort them out—CHECKITY-CHECK-CHECK!

And, let me guess: This heaping fuckload of racism is supposed to be okay, because the straight white male protagonist learns a thing or two about life and love and what it means to be human from these noble brown people, too!

All I can say is:

I mean, seriously, NBC? Seriously, this is the best you can do in the year two thousand and fucking ten? This is shameful. And that the whole thing is set to a backdrop of USian nationalism by way of "Ignorant American" stereotypes and jingoistic sloganeering on novelty products, in the middle of a recession, during the highest unemployment in a generation, while desperate and unkind people are dangerously pissed about outsourcing and immigration and any other vague sense that brown people are taking white USians' rightful jobs, just makes it that much worse.

Fail on a massive scale.
[A young white man named Todd walks into a call center which is deserted, except for a middle-aged white man at the other end of the room, who is named Jerry. He is standing under a company sign reading "Mid America Novelties."]

Jerry: Todd! How was management training?

Todd: Um…where is everybody?

Jerry: We had to do a little right-sizing.

Todd: But there's no one here.

Jerry: Exactly! That's what makes us the right size! Yesterday, we outsourced the entire call center t India.

[Todd looks confused, then startled as they are interrupted by the sound of shattering glass. A brick has been thrown through the window with a note tied to it. Todd picks it up and looks at the note.]

Todd: "You bastard"…?

Jerry: Ah! That's for me. [He takes the brick, reads the note and chuckles, then tosses it onto a pile of similar bricks next to his desk.]

Todd: Jerry! Jerry, I—I went through training specifically to run the call center.

Jerry: We still want you to run the call center. In India!

[Todd laughs, then his face drops as he realizes Jerry is serious. Cut to Todd riding in a cycle taxi in India, looking out at the traffic with a mixture of excitement and fright. He comments to his companion, a middle-aged Indian man, that the traffic is "insane."]

Male Voiceover: In the world of call center management, Todd Dempsey had reached the end of the line.

Todd: It's like Frogger, but with real people!

[Cut to Todd and his companion, who I'll call Manager, walking into a call center filled with Indian women and men. Manager claps his hands to get everyone's attention.]

Manager: Come now—you are meant to work, not sit around doing chit-chat!

[Paraphrase of the next section: Todd is seen introducing himself to many of his new Indian colleagues. He doesn't understand Marminder's name; he bows awkwardly at a woman who isn't named; Madhuri speaks so quietly he cannot hear her—she is so shy and exotic!—he is deeply amused by Manmeet's name: "Your name is Manmeet? It must be hard to chat on the internet with a name like Manmeet!"]

Male Voiceover: And for one of America's largest novelty companies, it was the perfect fit.

[Quick montage of novelties: Female employee is looking at the Mid America Novelties catalog, on the cover of which is "the Fanny Bank," where coins are deposited via buttcrack; Manager drinks out a toilet-shaped coffee mug; Todd puts a "cheesehead" hat on and the employees laugh.]

Todd: Let's not make fun of each other's head gear, all right? I mean, you guys have got some pretty crazy-looking hats yourselves. [A Sikh man wearing a dastar gets up and walks out, glowering at Todd.] Mostly on the women, though. [Cut to a Muslim woman wearing a hijab throwing Todd a WTF face.]

[Cut to a male and a female employee looking confused while standing on either side of an animatronic deer head singing "Home on the Range." Cut to a male employee standing with an animatronic dog humping his leg. "I've always wanted a pet! Bad dog!" he says, laughing. Cut to several quick shots of various employees wearing headsets, looking inept. Todd watches over the room, looking concerned. Cut to Manmeet on the phone with a customer, giving him the confirmation number to his order or something. He looks both competent and confident.]

Manmeet: That's 2, 5, 6, K as in Krishna, P as in Punjabi, R as in Ramayana.

Male Caller: Where am I calling? [Manmeets face falls.] Is this India?

Manmeet: [nervously] No.

Male Caller: [angrily] Am I calling FREAKING India to get a mug that says "America is #1"?!

Manmeet: [frantically, as Todd and Manager watch] No! We're in Detroit—city of motors and black people!

[The caller hangs up and Todd makes a pained face. Cut to an employee named Gupta on the phone with another customer.]

Gupta: If you like the beer helmet, we also have a t-shirt which says "Beer makes my clothes fall off." ... I'm wearing one right now! … No, you're a liar!

[Cut to Todd having a quiet conversation with Manager.]

Todd: Are these really the best workers that you could find?

Manager: Are you suggesting I hired lesser employees to make you look bad? [He says it in a way that suggests that's totally what he did, probably because Todd is taking his job.]

Todd: If I can't make this office work, they're gonna get rid of me.

[Manager gasps, trying to contain his glee; Todd is too stupid and/or up his own ass to notice. Cut to the cafeteria, where Todd is greeted by another white USian man. He sits down to have lunch with him.]

Charlie: [shaking Todd's hand] Charlie Davies. I run the call center for All-American Hunter. [He looks over at Todd's staff, who are eating together at another table. They are dressed in casual and/or traditional Indian clothes.] Looks like you got the B-team, my friend. They probably don't know squat about America. [He points to another table, where a group of Indian woman and men are dressed in business suits.] Now that's the A-team over there. They all work for the big boys, like Intel and Apple. They've all been in the States; they've even studied all our different accents.

Todd: No way!

Charlie: [gesturing to one of the men from the "A-team"] Hey, you—come here!

A-Teamer: Yes, what is it?

Charlie: You know what grits are?

A-Teamer: [in generic and broad Southern accent] Well, grits is just ground-up corn. I'll tell you what, my mama used'a make the best grits—

Charlie: All right.

A-Teamer: I'd be sittin' on the front porch with my hound dog, Freedom, sippin' on some sweet tea—

Charlie: All right, enough!

[Cut to Todd standing in front of all his employees at the call center. There is a map of the US behind him on the wall.]

Todd: Okay, it's time you guys learned about [he pauses and pulls out DVDs and CDs from behind his back] America.

[Paraphrase of the next section: Manmeet acts out a scene from Glengarry Glen Ross; the others applaud; Asha performs "It's Tricky" by Run DMC; Todd looks horny for her; Madhuri whispers something so quietly no one can hear her—she is so shy and exotic!—Gupta sings and dances "Don't You Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me" by the Pussycat Dolls, which is not only funny and gross because he's a dude, but because he's fat! Everyone howls and tells him to stop.]

Male Voiceover: [over image of Todd looking at a cow out the window, which, btw, does not have horns, as an actual cow in India probably would] Coming to NBC…

[Cut back the cafeteria scene. Charlie gestures at Todd's food, which looks dreadfully unappealing and drab, no red vindaloos or golden kormas to be found.]

Charlie: You got the [?].

Todd: So?

Charlie: You hate your own ass? If you eat that, you'll be crapping yourself for five days. Five. Full. Days.

Male Voiceover: [over image of Todd holding up theJingle Jugs] Cultures will clash…

Todd: [grinning] This is Jingle Jugs!

Male Voiceover: [over image of blond white Australian woman approaching Todd and Charlie in the cafeteria] Romance will blossom…

Tonya: I'm Tonya. [She shakes Todd's hand and Asha looks on jealously from the other table]

Male Voiceover: [over image of Madhuri on phone, being all quiet and shy and exotic] And operators will be standing by!

Male Caller: [exasperated] Hello?! Hellooooo. Is anyone there?

Madhuri: [after glancing at Todd nervously, who gestures to her to take the call] How can I help you?

Caller: I'd like to order the fake dog poo.

Madhuri: Wonderful choice. [Todd looks on and grins, like a proud patriarch.]

Caller: Yeah, my roommate's really getting on my nerves, you know?

Madhuri: In that case, could I also interest you in our fake vomit, on page 23, lower lefthand of the page?

Caller: Does it look real?

Madhuri: Well, it makes me sick to look at it.

Caller: Mmm…okay! Yeah, sure, fine, why not? I'll get the vomit, too.

[Madhuri smiles; the others applaud, as if: A) They can hear the call; and B) She's not still on it; and C) The caller couldn't hear them applauding and cheering.]

Todd: I knew you could do it! I KNEW it!

[Cut to image of Todd giving a two-fisted thumbs-up and grinning like a dildobrain, next to the text: OUTSOURCED. Cut back to Madhuri on her call.]

Madhuri: Sir, how would you like to pay for your vomit and your poo?

[Cut to image of Manmeet wearing a big foam #1 hand next to the NBC logo.]

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